Archive for the ‘Practice’ Category
Here’s a great drill that will help to create awareness of where the clubface is angled at impact…
Keep in mind that the clubface is PRIMARILY responsible for where the ball launches, while the clubpath is PRIMARILY responsible for the curvature of the shot. If you know the predominant shape of your shots, the key is to launch the ball in the proper direction – this drill will help! Give it a try and please let me know if you’ve made any progress.
I have had so many people ask me how to better control where they strike the ball on the face that I had to share this drill. Most golfers display a consistent pattern when striking the golf ball and although the impacts points may not be in the exact same position, after hitting a handful of shots a definite pattern will start to emerge. Many golfers want to hit draws and a slight toe side bias to that strike pattern will encourage draws. The ideal strike point with the driver is above and outside of center. Here’s how to build your strike point awareness and ultimately improve your ability to hit it on the good part of the face.
I spray the clubface with Dr. Scholl’s Odor X foot spray and then divide the clubface into four quadrants. The objective is to place the center of the ball in each intended quadrant.
- The frist shot should be the high toe strike
- Followed by the low heel
- Then the more difficult shots, the low toe
- And the high heel.
The above photo is the first time I have ever seen anyone complete this drill on the first try. The more I learn about the importance of impact location, the better I feel about this quote from my Twitter feed:
I see a higher correlation between quality shots and where the ball is hit on the face, than just about any other factor in the swing.
You may ask why don’t we just practice hitting the shot on the intended location? As my friend and fellow coach Chris Como once shared:
Repeatability does not necessarily come from just trying to be more repeatable. Learn to solve similar ‘problems’ a variety of ways…
In other words – learning to hit the ball in a variety of locations on the face will actually make you better at hitting it in the desired location. If you can learn to better (you’ll never be perfect!) control where you impact the ball on the clubface you will dramatically improve the consistency and quality of your shots. Give it a try and feel free to share your experience and photos.
Any idea which shot went the longest out of the four? Read the link below for the answer…
There has been a fair amount of banter online recently regarding various topics and I thought it would help both of us if I jotted down a few thoughts:
A functional draw is one that finishes at the target – something many of us strive for. In order to hit functional draws you need a clubpath that is traveling outward (in to out) and a clubface that is angled slightly closed relative to the clubpath, yet open to the target (assuming center contact).
It is possible to hit both functional draws, ones that finish at the target, and bad draws, ones that move away from the target, with a clubface that is open, square and closed to the target at impact. You can even hit good and bad draws with the appropriate clubpath, but I believe an outward moving clubpath is integral to hitting functional draws. And here’s why…
I am yet to teach a golfer who fades the ball that consistently swings from in to out!
Clubpath is king and clubface is queen – I might get the desired shot shape with clubface, but I cannot get the desired result without clubpath. It is simply not possible to hit a functional draw with a clubpath that travels from out to in (assuming center contact). It is clearly not the only thing, but in my opinion it is the most important thing.
I am well aware there are many different ways to achieve this and whether as a coach or golfer you upgrade the clubface first or the clubpath first is entirely up to you. After all it’s all about results no?
Many golfers and TrackMan users are under the impression that smash factor indicates how well a ball was hit, or how centered the strike was – this is not necessarily the case. A high smash factor purely indicates high ball speed relative to club speed. Here is the simplified formula:
It is quite possible to have a smash factor with irons that is too high. Golfers who play from a closed face position and who tend to flight the ball low will often have a higher smash factor than golfers who flight the ball appropriately. This does not mean the low ball hitters are striking it better, it just means they are generating too much linear ball speed off of a particular club.
It is important for golfers to understand that ball type and condition, dynamic loft, clubhead mass, attack angle, CoR and of course quality of strike go into determining the smash factor for any given shot. If you don’t believe me take a look at the real formula for smash factor:
The objective with the driver should 1.50 or higher, but with the shorter clubs a higher smash just might not necessarily better. Go for solid hits and ball flight over smash factor any day!
A Note to Golf Coaches:
I have made more than my fair share of mistakes in life. From these mistakes I have learned and improved as a coach and a person. One of the many valuable lessons I have learned from making mistakes is to never deride, belittle or insult another golf coach. It does nothing to enhance your image or reputation and you will never look better while attempting to make someone else look worse. Be wise when addressing other coaches and the methods they employ – you’ll be better off for it.
Here is an exercise to help you gain a few miles per hour of clubhead speed over time and allow you to pick up that much needed yardage off the tee. The objective is to slowly introduce your body to the increased speed, efficiency and agility necessary to generate additional clubhead speed.
Here is what is required:
- It is important to get loose prior to starting your speed sets
- Using your driver you want to hit two sets of five golf balls with a recovery period in between each set
- There should be little concern for accuracy or even quality of shot – the sole objective is speed
- The first shot in each set should be at your normal driver speed
- Each shot builds on the speed of the previous shot
- The final shot in each set should be the absolute fastest you can possibly swing
If you can do two speed sets as mapped out above 3 times a week for a month I would be surprised if you had not gained 4 mph of clubhead speed when making a normal feeling golf swing. That’s enough for 10 more yards off every tee box!
Additional resources for more distance off the tee:
It is important to understand that the angle of the clubface will influence a golfers’ ability to get into a proper impact position. Athletic instinct will always compensate in order to position the face squarely (or as squarely as possible!) at contact. Thus, a square clubface will allow any golfer to naturally assume a world class impact!
There are three good check points that occur prior to impact to observe the position of the clubface. As these check points get closer to impact they tend to have a greater effect not only on the impact position, but also the outcome of the shot. Here they are:
- Here the face is looking more towards the sky than is optimal
Ideally the clubface should be vertical to slightly tilted down here with the clubhead covering the hands.
- In this situation the clubhead has lagged a little behind the hands and arms with a slight draggy start to the swing
-The arms are moving in and close to the body as the handle stays inside the clubhead
At the top of the backswing:
- Also notice the cupping in the back of the left wrist
- The left wrist position is quite flat and may even become bowed
- The weight will invariably stay back as the golfer tries to position the body to aid in squaring the face
-There must be a loss of body angles through the hit in an attempt to deter the face from flipping closed
-Practice hitting high, cut up 8-iron shots that travel 50 yards to overcome this fault
Here are two important tidbits to remember when it comes to your clubface: The grip is the primary determinant of clubface angle and a Swingyde (mention keyword RICE for a discount) is a helpful teaching aid when working to improve your clubface position
Additional articles regarding the clubface: