Posts Tagged ‘descending blow’
Here are a few examples that come to mind:
- You’ve got to “Release the Club through Impact”
- “Draws Must be Hit with a Closed Clubface”
- “That Drive Had Tons of Sidespin…”
- “My Divots Point Left so I Must Be Over the Top”
- “That Ball Faded – I Must Have Cut Across It”
- “My Instructor Showed Me My Club Path on Video”
- “Hitting Down Always Leads to More Backspin”
- “Draws Are Much Longer and Spin Less Than Fades”
And while it’s not a myth, even though PGA Tour golfers average out with a downward attack angle on the driver, TrackMan has more than done it’s share to prove how maximum efficiency and distance can be achieved by hitting up with the driver.
Feel free to share your thoughts or questions…..
One of the first things I do when I teach a golfer for the first time is I go through their clubs and take a look for certain tendencies as we’re having our introductory chat.
I have seen so many drivers that look like the one in this article that I had to write about it and share what your driver is attempting to tell you!
The first place to look for answers as to what might be going on is to check the face….
Notice here how the black paint is being worn off the bottom of the face and there are numerous impact marks on the upper portion of the face from sand getting caught between the ball and the face.
Secondly, inspect where the crown of the club meets the face….
Here, the wear pattern indicates numerous pop-ups. A few balls must have almost been missed to get them that far up onto the crown. Keep in mind that the only way to hit a pop-up is to have a descending blow where the top edge descends below the equator of the ball.
Finally, take a look at the sole of the club….
It is apparent here that the club is making contact with the ground on almost every shot. The attack angle is very much down – to such a degree that both the paint and lettering are being buffed off the sole of this club.
The golfer who owns this club hit down on the ball with an attack angle of -9 degrees. Keep in mind that optimally we would like to hit up on the ball for maximum efficiency. I am pleased to report that he is working hard at his new attack angle and he is fairly comfortable in the -3 degree range – not perfect but better. Oh, and he just might extend this poor clubs lifespan at the same time.
Clearly I have selected an extreme example to show you here, but take a minute and inspect these three key areas on your driver. I believe you will learn a fair deal about your angle of attack and why your golf ball is doing what it does. Keep in mind that the only time a driver should ever contact the ground is when you are addressing the ball. It should never contact the ground after the first foot or two of the swing. The only marks on it should be tee marks running along the sole and perhaps a ball mark or two in the center of the face!
Here are a few resources to help you hit more up on the ball:
As in the picture at the top of the page the weight should be anywhere from a 50/50 split to favoring the front foot slightly
Your head should be centered between the heels
There should be very little spine tilt away from the target and as a result the shoulders will be fairly level
Setting up for shots off a high tee:
As in the picture below the feet are fairly far apart and there should actually be a little more weight on the back foot than the front foot
The ball is positioned inside the left heel and teed high
The spine should be tilting away from the target a little as you prepare to “swing uphill”
The best teacher you have available to you to help with this is a mirror. You are now aware as to what it should look like, but you don’t quite have the feel yet. Get in front of a mirror, set up so that it looks correct (your feel might have something else to say about it!) and take that with you to practice or play.
One thing I have been seeing in my lessons recently has been a tendency for golfers to rotate their shoulders on a flat plane (like a merry-go-round!). This is, I believe, in an effort to extract as much turn as possible from the backswing. By doing this you create a situation where the arms are too wide (stretched), the upper body is ‘pulled’ off the ball by the turning of the shoulders (the lead shoulder runs into the side of the jaw) and due to the flat pivot action the right forearm is visible below the left when the left arm reaches parallel (for right-handers) – all elements that none of the top golfers employ in their swings.
Here is an excellent drill that will provide you with the appropriate feel for a correct shoulder pivot:
This drill is designed to help convey the feel of getting your body into the correct position at the top of your swing. Assume your address as if you are preparing to hit a 7 iron. (It is best executed with a ball in position.) Place an iron across the tops of your shoulders and cross your arms to support. Be sure to have the grip end off your lead shoulder and the clubhead flat against the opposite shoulder. During the pivot action of your swing, try to get the butt of the club to point at — or slightly above — the ball. Feel how the lead shoulder moves down as
the shoulders wind into the backswing. This drill will also illustrate how the lower body needs to free up in order for the shoulders to pivot on a steeper plane. Sure, this drill is slightly overdone, yet it is rare for someone to get the shoulders to pivot on a plane that is too steep. As you do this drill try to feel how the shoulders are now tilting more like a ferris wheel than the flat, merry-go-round plane from before.
- If your swing tends to get too long, the steeper pivot actually creates more tension in the backswing and this will serve to tighten/shorten the backswing.
- Due to improved shoulder action, the upper body is now more inclined to stay centered, positioning you properly for a sound impact.
- If you have a difficult time taking the correct divot, a steeper shoulder turn will enable you to be in a position where you are now able to deliver a more descending blow to the back of the ball.
Try this simple standby drill – I believe it will help you to make better contact more often. Remember – Ball first, divot second!
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!