Posts Tagged ‘impact’
Correct foot action throughout the golf swing is indicative of a body that is working well. A body that works well will create the opportune space necessary for the arms and the club to get into the slot – the delivery point where the club has virtually no choice but to do the right thing through impact.
Here is breakdown of what to look for:
As the club gets into the delivery position the outside of the back foot raises up off the ground – it banks in towards the target. The heel should not be coming off the ground at this point. The foot works in this fashion due to the forward, sliding/driving motion in the hips.
At impact the heel should start to roll off the ground due to the fact that the hips have driven just about as far forward as they can and now they have started to rotate. It is this rotation, and only this rotation, that gets the heel to begin ascending.
Into the finish the foot is fully rolled up onto the toe due to the hips having fully rotated to the target. Because the hips drive to the target to start the downswing and rotate to the target to finish the swing the heel on the back foot will never move away from the target.
Here is a very good drill to give any golfer a greater awareness of what the feet are doing throughout the swing. This drill will not only improve your footwork, but also improve how you shift and transfer your weight throughout the swing.
If executed correctly the finish should look like this with the bottle still standing due to the proper “bank and roll” action of the back foot.
Right Foot Action in Golf Swing by John Hoskison
Home | Swing Catalyst The premier software to track foot action!
Ben Hogan once said that he despised any ball flight that curved from right to left (a draw!). Having been a chronic hooker of the ball in the early part of his career he knew what it was like to lose shots to the left. It wasn’t until he found a way to overcome the dreaded flip through impact that the legend that is now Ben Hogan was created.
If you too struggle with untimely hooks and occasional blocks, you fully comprehend what Mr. Hogan had to overcome. Flippers have to rely on timing to make their shots go straight – the timing of the hand action through impact determines the outcome of each shot. And when impact between ball and face lasts for approximately 1/2000 of a second it’s not that easy to be consistent – especially under pressure! The better you play, the greater your anxiety level, the less you control the timing of the flip – not a good recipe for low scores when it counts.
Having studied the swings of Hogan and Snead I found that when viewed from down the line it appears that the clubhead and ball seem to disperse aggressively post-impact. The clubhead moves quickly back inside the target line, while the ball launches straight. It almost appears as if they are trying to hit slices, yet the ball flight is very straight.
Watch the following video to get a sense of what to feel while doing the Anti-Flip Drill:
To practice the drill you will need the following:
- Two alignment rods – one on the ground just outside the ball and another in the ground just inside the target line and 18-24 inches forward of the ball. Be sure that the one in the ground is leaning away from you (towards the target).
- A 7 iron with the ball teed up so you can make sure it is in the same location relative to the rod in the ground each time.
- Start small and slow, making sure you swing inside the rod with the clubhead and keep the face square to open thus launching the ball to the right of the rod.
- Patience! Give it a few goes and you’ll start to get the feel. Feel the clubhead and ball dispersing – one goes left and the other goes right. Remember that you have not been doing this “naturally” and that’s why it feels so strange and “incorrect”.
Here is the drill demonstrated in slow motion:
Here’s another good drill to help you overcome the flips:
How to Stop Flipping – Bucket Drill » John Graham Golf
A common complaint I hear from golfers is that their swings are too fast or aggressive. They just have a sense that they are quick either in the transition or the downswing.
Rhythm and pace are very important elements in the golf swing. When a golfer feels quick the first thing they do is try to ‘slow down’…and in an attempt to get some rhythm in the swing they often go overboard and end up slowing everything down a little too much. This can lead to an overly slow start to the swing, which in turn leads to a rapid change in pace during the transition and on into impact. It is this drastic change in speed that conveys the sense of quickness and aggression in the swing.
The PGATour average time for the backswing is right around 0.75 seconds, with an additional 0.25 seconds for the downswing. Notice that ideally there should be something close to a 3:1 ratio of backswing time vs. downswing time. That means that on average a Tour golfer will strike the ball in about a second from when the swing starts. Ernie Els, one of the smoothest swings out there, takes just over a second to strike the ball while Nick Price, who has one of the faster swings, takes around 0.8 seconds. Far too many of golfers I teach take well over a second to complete just the backswing. In watching Els or even Price, most golfers believe they swing a whole lot faster than either of those two top players – that is not the case.
Each of the above golfers are able to maintain a good rhythm in their swing because they maintain something close to a 3:1 ratio in their swings. When a backswing takes over a second to complete the golfer is now faced with a 4:1 or even 5:1 ratio which feels way out of rhythm.
Here are a few pointers when trying to get better rhythm and pace back into your swing:
- Don’t try to speed up your backswing up too quickly – take one pill a day and not the whole bottle…
- The body should not feel hurried; the wrists and arms will create much of the necessary increase in speed.
- Try a few shots with the clubhead starting 2-3 feet ahead of the ball and then flow into the backswing in one motion. This gives the club a moving start and gradually increases the pace.
- Remember that rhythm does not have to be slow…
- Stay patient and gradually build up to it; try to build the speed in your downswing from the transition.
There are not many ways to track your timing ratio, but SwingCatalyst software does it for you.
Another factor to consider is that the less time your swing takes the less opportunity you have to get your body out of position. This is a very important factor and cannot be overlooked – keep the motion concise and it is more likely to be consistent. Give it a try….
One of the most important aspects of great ball striking is compressing the golf ball. Now, we’ve all heard that statement and we know the feel of a purely struck shot, but what really is compression and how can we do a better job with it? Let’s start by understanding the photograph below. This is a simulated shot where the clubface is just about to reach the back of the golf ball. The red line indicates where the loft or upward face angle is at impact and the blue line indicates the direction the clubhead is travelling during impact. The white line connecting the two represents the amount of compression “experienced” by the golf ball.
The narrower the gap or closer the two lines are the more compression will be exerted onto the golf ball and assuming a decent strike and appropriate launch, the ball will travel further. TrackMan refers to this gap as spin loft and without being too detailed it is the difference between where the face points at impact and where the clubhead travels at impact.
Fredrik Tuxen – one of the founders of TrackMan refers to spin loft as compression itself. To get a better understanding of how the numbers work let me give you a few examples: Jack hits a 5 iron with the face pointing at 16 degrees and the clubhead moving 2 degrees down. Bob swings at the same speed as Jack with his 5 iron and he gets the face pointing 15 degrees up and the clubhead moving 6 degrees down. Jack has a spin loft of 18 and Bob has a spin loft of 21. Both shots are hit well, so which goes further? Jack’s does because he has a narrower spin loft gap and thus compresses the ball more than Bob. What spin loft would create the maximum compression? Zero! However, as we will learn spin loft is in large part responsible for the amount of spin imparted on any shot and a golf ball needs some spin to keep it flying in the air. I have found that a spin loft of 11 is very good for a driver.
Some interesting points about compression or spin loft:
- Hitting down will not increase your compression of the golf ball or the spin on the shot. Invariably this only leads to a shot where the face angle and the clubhead direction both move downward – there is no change in spin or increase in distance.
- A higher spin loft increases spin and generally slows down ball speed.
- If you have similar swing speed, but hit your shots far shorter than your playing partners – this is due to a lack of compression on your shots.
- Shots with a lower spin loft will curve in the air more easily than shots with less compression. That’s why it’s easier to keep a 7 iron straighter than a driver.
- Custom club fitting can help to improve your spin loft simply by delofting either your irons or driver.
Now that we really understand what true compression is we can start to look at methods to help us improve our own ball striking. There are two ways we can compress the ball better – deloft the face angle more at impact without hitting down any more or hit down less without increasing the the loft of the face during impact. Ideally we need to deloft the face without hitting down any more. Notice how in the Jack and Bob example I used above – Bob’s face was delofted more than Jack’s, yet he hit down more and this limited his ability to compress the ball.
To get a good sense of what is required:
- Get in front of a mirror with a 7 iron.
- Grip the club and facing the mirror get the clubhead about 3″ off the ground two feet back from where the ball would be.
- Now slowly glide the clubhead through impact while maintaining the 3″ space between the clubhead and the ground noticing that as you go beyond impact how much your hands need to stay in front.
- When you start hitting balls – start small and hit soft shots off of a tee.
- There should be no ground contact, try to leave the tee in the ground and see how low you can hit these little 7 iron shots.
This is the feel you want! Delofting the face without slamming the club into the ground. And believe it or not this applies to the driver as well. I know it may sound strange and it took me a while to wrap my brain around this, but it is entirely possible to hit up on the ball with the handle/hands in front of the clubhead.
If you have gained something from this article please share it with a friend. Let’s be honest, they could most probably do with the help….
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.