How to Practice Impact – How does it Feel??

One of my students wrote me asking how the body looks and feels at impact. This is what I wrote back:

Here is the best way to know exactly how impact feels:

With a club (7 iron) setup to the leg of a couch just inside your front foot (not in the middle)… now push on the leg of the couch by unwinding your body from ground up (knees & hips slightly lead the chest & shoulders). At this point your hips are slightly opened and your shoulders are even less open but EVERYTHING IS PUSHING (against the couch) EVENLY. All the body is helping at impact. This is how powerful turn players (most of the Ryder Cup team) hit the ball. They are turning all the way to the finish. Their swings are very committed and uninterrupted and the ball just gets in the way and is trapped by the turn. No throwing or flipping with the hands. The hands are PASSIVE during the swing. Then the big muscles take over for a powerful repeatable swing. Hope this helps… Ross

Like Throwing a Frisbee left Handed

I was teaching yesterday and describing how the body unwinds like throwing a ball (the knees lead and unwind the hips then the torso, shoulders and arms, club) and it dawned on me, that a more accurate way to explain this natural, athletic move is to say … “Its like throwing a Frisbee with your left hand as far as you can. No one, throwing a frisbee as hard as they can, would stop their body half way and the let their arm pass their body (weak, no power)… they would subconsciously get their hips unwinding, and firing all the way to sling their arm through.

This is one of the missing elements in traditional golf instruction. The idea to release the club into or pass the ball. That “release” move, guarantees your body to stop rotating at impact (not good). Then the arms get out in front of the body turn and pull the body around. Or another way to state this bad position, “The arms and club now lead and pull the body to the finish (NOT GOOD)!. That means you stopped all the potential power the body turn had and let the weak hands and arms take over. THIS MAKES THE BALL GO LEFT AND IF YOU FLIP TOO, IT WILL PULL HOOK!!

None of these problems happen in a “Powerful, Athletic, Repeatable” golf swing, that has a complete uninterrupted rotation, keeping the hands quiet and passive. Once you learn to use the large muscles (mainly, hips and shoulders) to control the arms and club, you will feel a complete body rotation all the way to the finish like throwing a Frisbee. You will also hit the ball straight, trap the ball, make a divot naturally (without any of the “You gotta hit down on it bologna.”) By the way … you don’t hit down on a ball to make a divot, it happens naturally if you setup correctly, keep your hands quiet through impact and KEEP TURNING.