The Problem: Poor Impact Position
If you want to be a good golfer, being able to strike the ball solidly in the correct impact position is top priority. The majority of golfers are inconsistent because they have a difficult time finding it without coaching.
So, what is the correct impact position? You should be able to make contact with the ball close to the sweet spot (center of the club face) with the club face angle and path going in the desired direction if you want the ball to fly to your intended target. If this can’t be accomplished first, every golf shot will be a guessing game, especially with your longer clubs.
The three factors you must do to achieve a solid impact position:
1. Correct Forward Shaft Lean – Especially with irons, the golf club was designed to lean slightly toward the target at impact (not exaggerated). In order to achieve this position at impact the back of the lead hand must be flat to slightly bowed. Scooping (cupped lead wrist) is the #1 killer that leads to poor impact position and contact.
2. Angle of Approach – The angle can’t be too steep or shallow if you want to make solid contact with the center of the club face and make a divot like the pros. The golf swing is on an arc so the club needs to come from an inside path to square at impact and then back to inside after impact. Many golfers struggle with finding a good impact position from too much lateral movement or they make a steep (over the top) move on the downswing because they use their upper body and arms instead of their lower body (pelvis) first. The lead hip must move toward the target first in order to achieve the correct angle of approach. The downswing starts from the ground up. The club should also make contact with the ball first before the ground. This cannot be accomplished without the correct forward shaft lean and angle of approach.
3. Club Face Angle & Path – The club face controls 75% of where the ball starts after impact based on results from the top launch monitors (TrackMan). The path of the club predicts the other 25% so it is important to first experiment with grip and hand movements through impact to help improve club face angle position before correcting path by making changes to aim, ball position, or movement patterns.
Many of SWS Golf Academy clients complain of lead hip tightness / soreness when finding the correct impact position. This is why golf fitness (exercise & stretching) is important to keep the body from compensating and not being able to consistently find a solid impact position. The golf swing can look different (Jim Furyk’s) as long as it is somewhat efficient and produces the desired results during impact. It takes a good swing coach that understands the ball flight laws and body – swing connection to help you understand what YOU need to be successful at impact. I use a couple of these drills below with our clients to help them feel the correct impact position. It takes correct repetitions and swings to feel comfortable with the new movements. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix solution to achieving a consistently good impact position. You are not going to find it in a magazine, swing tip, or from your golfing buddy unless they are a scratch golfer and understand the principles above. Like all your past accomplishment in life that you are proud of, it takes quality practice time and commitment to the process.