How to Shallow the Attack Angle

I teach far more golfers that hit down on the ball too much more than those that don't hit down enough. If you are one of those golfers that typically takes big divots and hits a low ball flight then stay with me....

I have found this sequence to work nicely with all golfers looking to shallow their attack angle and improve the crispness of the strike. Try the following (with either irons or driver):

  • PHASE 1 - 5 drags over the top of the ball
  • PHASE 2 - 5 low to high pitch style shots, keeping clubhead low in the backswing
  • PHASE 3 - 5 half speed and half size swings sensing an ascending strike (even with irons)

(all shots are struck with the ball on a tee)

Another drill I like to use to help golfers learn to deliver an ascending strike with the driver is what I call the Box Drill pictured below...

Place an empty sleeve box between a teed golf ball and the target as indicated. The box should be approximately a grip length ahead of the ball. On a windy day it might be necessary to use tees to anchor the box in place. This is a costly addition to this drill!

If you can hit shots without running the clubhead into the box then chances are that you're no longer hitting down on the ball and you should see an increase in both distance and the altitude of your tee shots. Keep in mind that as you "upgrade" your attack angle, should you have an adjustable driver, you might need to alter the loft.

Thanks for reading and I hope these ideas are going to help your game. Cheers!

A Push for Power

The more I use the SwingCatalyst pressure plate system the better I have begun to understand how a player generates power effectively. There seems to be a clear difference between "power" swings and "control" swings. Quite similar to the difference between a player hitting a controlled short iron and a player smashing a driver. The difference is all in how the player uses the ground. What does that mean or look like?

Jamie Sadlowski (Golf Digest)

Jamie Sadlowski (Golf Digest)

In the above swing sequence notice how much lower long drive champion, Jamie Sadlowski's belt is in frame 4 than it is in frame 3. This is due to the fact that he is lowering  his body - essentially lightening himself - in order to jump/explode off the ground coming into impact. Think about if you were to jump - the first thing you do is to go down towards the ground in order to push upward. With faster clubhead speeds I often see a more pronounced jump. Sometimes to the point of the player leaving the ground through impact.

Below you will see the pressure trace from two proven Tour power hitters at impact while smashing the driver. This SwingCatalyst technology tracks where the golfer's center of pressure is located throughout the swing.

These are classic power traces! You will notice that both of these power hitters have more pressure (not necessarily weight) on their back foot at impact. I would expect to see this due to the player pushing so aggressively off the front foot that they have not only pushed their bodies up and just about off the ground, but slightly backwards as well. The interesting thing is that when each of these golfers hits a controlled 8 iron shot their pressure traces don't work onto the back foot at impact - a clear difference.

Bubba Watson

Bubba Watson

The golf swing is made up of three primary elements: movement, the forces that lead to the movement and the timing of those forces. Clubhead speed can be greatly enhanced by increasing the magnitude of the force and improving the timing of the force. Note: This article is not so much to encourage you to get off the ground through impact with a driver as it is to put your mind at ease should you be doing so. It's okay! I always encourage junior golfers to smash it first and then work towards finding it later. As they learn to smash it I see them:

  • lowering down into the front foot early in the downswing 
  • exploding/jumping/pushing off the ground as they approach, but prior to, impact
  • release the wrists freely through the hit

There is a direct correlation between how far or high a person can jump and how far they can hit a golf ball. No wonder Dustin Johnson can dunk a basketball....

A bigger push means bigger power!