Posts Tagged ‘ball first ground second’
Impact is the most important part of the golf swing! The ball spends an average of 1/2000 of second on the face of the club, yet it is during this time that it receives it’s all-important travel itinerary. How high; how far; what curvature; spin rate; and ultimately what destination is all determined in that fraction of a second.
The above picture is an ideal impact position.
The weight is comforably on the front foot
The handle is leading the clubhead into the ball and the clubhead is travelling slightly down for a ball-first, divot-second strike
The head is over the ball with the weight in front of the ball leading to body curve
There are only three errors a golfer can make at impact and here they are:
In this example the head has worked back behind the ball too much and the weight remains on the back foot. This golfer scoops the ball off the turf and tends to hit weak, high fades and slices with the occasional pulled shot. Should a divot occur it is most often before the ball is impacted. This is a typical what I would call ”weekend warrior” swing.
In this example the golfer has found a way t0 “squeeze” the ball and actually strike it fairly well, however, due to the upper body being positioned in front of the ball, direction is a major challenge. Divots are quite deep and this golfers’ tendencies will be to hit pull draws with the occasional push or flare. There is not enough body curve in this mid-level impact position.
This impact position is invariably the demise of the better golfer. Here the golfer has found a way to attack the ball from the inside while still delivering a downward blow to the ball, yet there is too much of a good thing. The head hangs back while the hips drive to the target, dropping the clubhead too far to the inside and encouraging the hands to flip through impact. This golfer will tend to play well with good timing, but should things get nervy they will hit blocks and quick, sweeping hooks.
Analyze your shot pattern on the golf course and start to get an idea as to which of the above categories you fall into. Get in front of a mirror and work towards improving or tempering certain elements of your impact position. As you do this remember feel is very seldom real when it comes to golf. Create the correct look in the mirror and then absorb what that ‘look’ feels like and take that out to your next practice session.
The greenside sand shot is unique to the game of golf in that it is the only shot we hit where we do not (or at least should not!) hit the golf ball. Some people I know have hit their longest drives ever from a greenside bunker!
Here are two simple things to keep in mind when extricating your ball from the sand:
- Set-up and aim to hit the sand before the ball. Hover the club over the spot that you intend to impact. When practicing, draw a line in the sand and see how many times you can impact the sand right on the line. Avoid holding the clubhead over the ball at address for more consistent ground contact!
- In a regular golf shot we should be attempting to strike the ball first and the ground second. This can only be done with a slightly descending blow and the weight on the golfers front foot. Due to the fact that we only want all sand and no ball in the bunker there should be no forward weight shift into the hit. Try to play sand shots with the back foot remaining fully planted and quiet throughout the swing. The weight should remain where it was set at address. (Notice the post impact picture below) This will reduce those ‘low heaters’ out of greenside bunkers!