The moment the golf club strikes the ball is the moment of truth in the golf swing. Every fundamental and mechanic of the golf swing revolves around getting you into the proper impact position. Here are six drills and tips to help you master golf's moment of truth, impact.
Ben Hogan had several great drills in his famous book Five Lessons. My favorite one was where he hooked his arms into his body and did mini swings. This is done with the arms staying connected to the body. He said the arms swing the club like the pendulum of a clock. Elbows remained glued to the sides. Now when you watch him demonstrate the drill in the pictures the elbows slightly come off of the body but the feeling is that they stick in close to you. So it looks like this at address and then what you are going to do here is to allow the club to swing when the body swings the club. That is very different from the arms swinging the body, it is the body moving the club.
I would like to give you two real simple drills that will help you understand how the arms and body swing and how the body swings the arms and how they work together.
- Hands Apart Swing Drill: One of Curtis Strange's favorite drills during the 80's is he used to take every practice swings with his hands apart. By practicing with his hands apart he always felt his left arm on the inner force and his right arm on the outer force; therefore, he always maintained centrifugal force.
Sternum Position: Another drill that we like to have our students do in order to understand how the body works is to set up to the golf ball and just pretend that there is an extension from the butt of the club to the sternum. Then they take the club back and then swing to their sternum and then forward to the finish.
This simple drill consists of dragging the club through the impact area. This will help you to get better connection and a better impact position.
- The drill consists of trying to put the club right in front of your right toe.
- From that position the only thing that we need to do is turn the hips through, keeping the club against the ground and dragging it through to that three-quarters or halfway through position.
- What this is doing is really helping us to keep connections between the hands, arms and body.
As you can see at that checkpoint position, the toe of the club is pointing at the sky, my left arm is underneath my right arm, the shaft is pointing to my chest and my body is forward with the weight on the left foot.
I have an 8-iron, I am going to grip down and just hit a shot of 10 yards, putting myself in the right position. After I have hit 10 balls, now I am going to go to 20 yards. Setting up, hitting it a little further, putting my body and the golf club in the right position. Then I am just going to keep increasing my distance until I am warmed up and ready to start my practice session for the day.
There are a lot of details that you can get involved in to make a good golf swing. How you grip, aim, set up, take it away, position at the top, come down, release, all those things, weight transfer. But you know, there is only one moment of truth, the moment of truth when the clubhead strikes the ball.
- Is the face square?
- Are you hitting it in the center?
- Is the path coming in the correct position?
- Are you getting enough clubhead speed?
- Is the angle of approach correct?
Today we are going to talk about impact and a couple of good drills you can do to achieve a good impact position.
- One would be to use an impact bag, or a canvas bag filled with old towels will also do. What you should do is set up the edge of the bag in the center of your stance and hit it slowly on your downswing with about 30 percent of your power.
- Another drill that you can do at home is to use a door frame or door jam in your house. Put the clubhead against the door frame and slightly push and exert pressure against the door frame, feeling the shaft bending forward with a little bit of tension. The hands should be ahead of the door frame, right knee kicking in and right heel off of the ground.
These are two simple drills that you can do at home to help you achieve the different feel between impact and setup.