Impact for Consistency
By Tim Mahoney
As you watch golf on TV across all the different
professional tours, you will see different grips, postures, swing shapes and
ball flights. Regardless of the differences in all the unique swings, there is
one constant in all good ball strikers – they look identical at impact. Perfect
impact and your ball striking will improve.
Impact position consists of: a forward leaning shaft, hips
open to the target line, shoulders square to the target line, left wrist flat
and right wrist bent. Establish the
angles and plane during the backswing and maintain these angles at impact. Anticipation of the strike or an in-correct
mind-set will create impact misery and inconsistenctcy. Simply rehearsing impact or an isometric
exercise will assist you with your impact goals. Start at address and move into impact
A drill that will assist you with the motion of impact and
correct alignments is making small swings into an impact bag. Allow the power sources to accumulate on the
back swing and turn into impact. As the
club strikes the bag, note: a forward
leaned shaft, flat lead wrist, hips open and shoulders square.
All golf swings are different: upright, flat, close faced or
opened face. But all great ball strikers
are perfect at impact. Work on impact
and your scores will lower.
Consistency is the number one goal of all players from Jordan
Spieth to Jack Nicklaus. Distance,
Direction and Trajectory make up the elements of the ball-flight. Golfers need all three elements for
consistent ball striking. I believe that
the sequence of learning is: trajectory,
distance and direction. The three
components are interrelated and we cannot have one with out the other.
Trajectory is controlled by:
Selection- the club is designed to provide loft. Allow the manufacturer to get the ball
of Approach- the correct angle of approach provides solid impact and the proper
consistency starts here. Grip, posture,
ball-position, aim, mind-set and tension level are the fundamentals of the
plane- a vertical swing shape will produce high shots and a flat swing shape
will produce lower shots.
speed- without swing speed the golfer has a difficult time producing loft. Golfers with a limited swing speed will
produce the same trajectory for all clubs.
Distance is controlled by:
Selection- longer clubs longer shots.
of motion- increased range of motion will assist in distance.
of contact- hitting the ball in the center of the racket. Path and plane are significant
influences. Vertical plane produces toe
hits and a flat plane produces heel hits.
speed at impact. Body rotation, arm
speed and wrist movement are the biggest influences. Overall swing speed is a goal not club head
Direction is controlled by:
parallel lines of the eyes, shoulders, forearms, hips, knees and heels.
alignment at impact. Clubface at right
angle to your swing path at impact.
path at impact. A swing path that is
from the inside to along the target line to the inside.
Every golf lesson and group activity I participate in every
golfer is in search of consistency. Ball
flight has three elements: trajectory, distance and direction. You master all three in order to gain
Golf Ball curvature is the effect of a misaligned club face
at impact. Your club face is controlled
by wrist cock, arm rotation and release.
All three of these aspects is directly controlled by the hold or
individual grip of the club. The
quickest and simply the easiest means of improving your game is by perfecting
your grip. A perfect grip will improve
an imperfect swing plane, an imperfect swing path and imperfect impact.
Utilizing a gripping procedure will allow you to position
your hands on the club consistently every time you swing the golf club.
Step 1- allow your arms to hang freely by your sides as you
position the club under the heel pad of your left hand with the club planed and
the club face square.
Step 2-elevate the club and establish the width of the swing.
With the club in front of you position your right hand on the club. Connecting the hands by placing your life
line on top of the thumb.
Grip check points include with the left hand include: heel pad on top, thumb to the right of center
and no gap between the thumb and the base of the hand. Right hand check points include: life line covers the thumbs, trigger finger
to the side of the grip and no gap. The golfer has three options to connect the
hands: overlap grips allows for more
wrist cock, an interlocking allows for more direction control and a baseball
grip allows for a higher trajectory.
Perfect your grip and perfect your game. The only contact you have with the club is
your grip. A perfect hold will perfect
your ball flight.