How to Practice Impact

Golf is hard. You have to swing a club back behind your head, then around in front of you again so that the clubface has perfect geometry when it meets the ball while travelling at at least 80 mph. For some you, 100 mph or more.

Since the only part of the swing that really counts is when the clubface meets the ball, you get good at that by practicing just that. Here’s how I do it.

With a 7-iron in my hand, I’ll take the club not even halfway back. The shaft is still short of being parallel to the ground.

The important thing is for the sole of the clubhead, as you turn your head to look at it, to be pointing a bit up and to the left (not straight up and down!). This is the sign that the clubface is still square to the clubpath.

Now swing the club gently forward and through the ball, making sure of two key points. The hands lead the clubhead by just a bit. Don’t overdo it.

And, the sole of the clubhead strikes the ground for the first time about an inch in front of, that is, to the target side, of the ball. Look at that spot before you take away the club, and keep looking at it throughout the swing.

And this swing is slow. No rushing, no trying to “hit” the ball. Just swing the club with good rhythm and hit the ground in front of the ball.

I think once you have this figured out you will be very pleased with the way the ball launches off the clubface and into the air, and flies straight away from you.

Do this again, and again. You are practicing the feel of how the club moves through the impact zone. Note: not “how you move the club,” but “how the club moves.” That’s a big distinction.

After a couple dozen successful shots, try a longer swing, at the same speed, with that same rhythm, taking the club back the same way, and aiming for the ground one inch in front of the ball, hands ahead of the clubhead.

Good shot? Good! Now do the drill a couple dozen more times before you take another full swing. Etc.

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