Posts Tagged ‘impact’
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.
We are all capable of hitting amazing golf shots, yet it is those mind-numbingly bad shots that ruin our day and erode any measure of confidence that we may have been hanging on to. The question we all would like to know the answer to is – why? Why was that shot so far offline when I’ve been hitting the ball straight just about all day? What is the primary cause of my inaccuracy?
My experience is that most golfers tend to look in the same place to find answers to their problems. Just like husbands tell their wives on every bad shot she might hit – “You lifted up!” Well, so to do we tend look towards the same area as a cause for our bad shots. Talking with my students it appears that far too many golfers are of the belief that bad shots are caused by a swing that was suddenly over the top or under plane – in other words the clubpath was different and that’s what led to the offline shot. This is even a favorite for the golf commentators on Sunday afternoons – if a golfer hits a shot left coming down the stretch you are very likely to hear Nick or Johnny chime in with, “Well, he came over that one…”
Teaching with TrackMan has taught me that most golfers’ inaccurate shots are caused by one of two factors:
- An open or closed face at impact
- Or an off center strike (heel or toe)
Golfers tend to be fairly consistent with their clubpath. Keep in mind that this is a general statement and not all golfers are consistent, but my experience has shown that golfers that work at their game tend to have a good measure of consistency when it comes to the direction their clubhead is travelling at impact – clubpath. It may not be an ideal path or what they are looking for, but consistent it is!
Consistency to your shot pattern comes from passive hands through impact and a predictable point of contact on the face (even if it’s not in the center!)
Please note that there is a mistake in my video! The face does not determine where the ball finishes, but rather where it starts! Sorry about that….
If you would like to find out what’s causing your shots to veer offline contact me at andrew(at)andrewricegolf.com to set up a TrackMan lesson or to discuss an online lesson.
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.
The objective with the driver should be 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.
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:
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.