Shaft Angle at Impact

All I can say after doing the research for this post is WOW! This is something that is really interesting and I've never really delved into it before. In looking at the illustrations above and the photos below you will see what I am referring to - it is very rare for any golfer to return the shaft/club at impact to the same position it occupied at address (when viewed from down the line).
In fact so rare, that I have only found four golfers who do it more often than not. The amazing thing is that this group of golfers is a collection of some of the finest ball strikers that ever played the game. They are Lee Trevino, who Jack Nicklaus claims is the best hitter he ever saw, Ben Hogan, Nick Price and Sergio Garcia.

I have included the picture of Tiger Woods from 2000 below to illustrate where most PGA Tour caliber players return the shaft to at impact. Notice how his handle is above where it started (on the red line) at address.

Out of the four golfers I have found to get the shaft completely back to the line it appears that Sergio might be the least consistent at always returning the shaft back to the line, but as noted above, he does so more often than not.

Another interesting point to note is the golfers who are very close to returning the club to the line: Vijay Singh and Joe Durant (who has led the Tour in GIR stats 4 times and finished in the top 12 for the last dozen years!). In fact looking at the stats Joe Durant is a much better hitter than Tiger Woods - and consistently so!

Two additional golfers who may get the club onto the line but I was not able to find enough quality footage on were Sam Snead and Moe Norman (I found these images on Moe HERE and it looks pretty close). Certainly no slouches in the ball striking department either!

So, the next time you are reviewing your swing, pay particular attention to your impact position, but more specifically where your shaft is at impact relative to where you had it at address. There's a good chance you'll be above the line (and zero chance you'll be below it!) but do what you can to lower the shaft angle at impact in order to dramatically improve your ball striking and accuracy. Plase check back soon as I will be filming a few drills soon to help you get closer to a truly great impact.

Read Part II of this article HERE

Any thoughts? Any other golfers who you think might get the club to the line? Evidence? Please chime in.

To learn more about better ball striking check out THIS

What a Pretty Golf Swing You Have!

I find it interesting that there are so many instructors and golfers who are striving for what merely amounts to a good looking, pretty swing. Learn to impact the ball correctly, and it will go straighter and further more frequently--something every golfer wants in their golf game. I spoke with Ian Woosnam on the phone the other day for about 15 minutes discussing the importance of getting the club on the back of the ball correctly ( a long way to say: impact!) and here is what he had to say:

“Even as a youngster I focused on the strike. In fact I would go down to the beach and practice hitting the ball first and the ground second."

This is a quote from Conrad Ray, the Stanford University Golf Coach and one of the few people to ever win an NCAA Team title as a player and a coach:

"Understanding that the most important detail is "how the ball flies" not "how your swing looks" is essential at the collegiate level and for all golfers. Impact is the determining factor...." In looking at the three swings above notice how the club, arms and lower bodies are all in completely different positions. Why then are we all chasing our own tails by trying to get our swings to fit into this text-book "perfect" picture?

Forget form in the name of function; put substance over style; and start hitting the golf ball like never before!

I really do believe that “It’s All About Impact” is a book that will teach you how to strike the ball like never before without completely revamping your swing. Keep what you have, just make it work better.

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