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Know Your Swing – It’s All About Impact

Posted by on Dec 27, 2013

There aren’t two identical golf swings. It’s pretty much an impossibility if you think about it. Even Tiger has trouble reproducing his own swing on a consistent basis. All kidding aside we each have our own unique swing based on a number of factors – flexibility, co-ordination, height, mental and physical strength…and the list goes on.

This topic is one that is pretty real for me as I’m often asked by friends I’m golfing with how they can improve their swing. Now don’t get me wrong, no one will mistake me for Butch Harmon or Hank Haney but as a 3.5 handicap my friends think I have all the answers for what’s ailing their golf game.  Well I don’t. But there is one common thing I talk about: Position at impact.

The bottom line is that everyone needs to understand ‘their’ own swing and go from there. Sounds vague? Too simplistic? Here’s what I mean…

Tiger Woods is one of the greatest golfers ever. Hard for me to declare him the best ever because I wasn’t lucky enough to witness the greats of past generations. But stats don’t lie and overall he is among the legends, if not at the very top of the list.  I digress, back to my point. Tiger is a master of his own swing. How else does someone go through teachers and caddies like they’re disposable contact lenses, ‘transform’ his swing repeatedly…and continue to be at the top of his sport?  The answer is that he is in control of his swing. He knows what his body can do. He knows his strengths and weaknesses and how to bring the best out of himself. So he is controlling the ship. Heck he should probably win coach of the year.

Have a look at these three pics snapped by friends.  Now they are not at the exact same position nor were they taken in the same year.  The interesting thing is that the swings all look different. But the results (if memory serves correct) were all pretty similar – in the short stuff.  My focus is about getting the club in the right position as I’m about to strike the ball.

G1

G2

G3

When Tiger hits the range pre-round he’s actually performing a ‘self-evaluation’ of sorts to determine what his swing is like that day. If required, he picks a swing thought to ‘adjust’ for what he needs to correct. The reality is that he is swinging 100+ miles an hour and will swing generally the way his body wants and typically swings. So a new swing thought, while as dramatic as it might seem, will only create a slight adjustment. In Tiger’s case probably just enough to split the fairway or knock down a flagstick from 180 yards with a 7 iron. The bottom line is that the ‘adjustment’ is to get him square at impact so he can flush it.

So what does this all mean for the average golfer?  First off the golf swing is only as good as your ability to strike the ball consistently. No one would use Jim Furyk’s swing as a model but at the same time not everyone has a US Open, FedEx Cup and PGA Player of the Year under their belt.  How you strike the ball will determine the flight, distance and accuracy. So learn how to strike the ball!  Focus on where your hands and shaft should be at impact. This is the same for everyone. From Tiger to the 30 handicap!  Hands slightly ahead of the ball, shaft angled at 45 degrees (back to the same position as at address) and pow! Straight down the pipe! Simple.

Forget all the other ‘rules’ for takeaway, position at the top, downswing. Do what feels right, but focus on your position at impact. This will get you the best results.

Knowing your own swing will help you get to position A1 at impact…and keep it there.  You may need to make a slight adjustment every now and then.  We’re not robots. Knowing your swing will also help you make this adjustment pre-round so you can pure the golf ball all day.  But remember, one swing thought per round, we’re not robots and we’re not super computers either.

Happy holidays and happy ball striking everyone (especially those of you who are lucky enough to be striking golf balls in December)!

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Cig_R

Rob is an entrepreneur to the core, spending the last 10 years growing and selling a successful communications firm. The skills he honed over the years will be instrumental in helping guide the ship and making sure Bodega is operationally and financially sound.

10 Comments

  1. Excellent read. Man I love to just get out there and swing. Over the years my swing has been pretty consistent but I find that I am sloppy in my feet setup a lot of times. Not sure if I rush those shots or just plain stupid. Hit’em straight!!!

    • Ya sloppy feet will have a negative effect for sure since it will change ur address position. Obviously my take is a bit simplistic but there’s no doubt being stable and firm on your feet is very important.

      • Off the tee is where I have the most difficult time. Especially when the tee box is sending you one way but the fairway is the other.

        • So true. Alignment is so important. Amazing sometimes how you think you’re square to the target but really 20 yards left or right of it.

          • Agreed. I believe it’s something like for each degree off straight alignment the ball will go (left or right) 10′ at a 200 yard shot.

  2. I got pretty decent in college when I was working at a country club and playing 18 holes 4 times a week. But then I thought I was better than what I was and started trying to shape my shots and everything went to hell. I need to get out to the range more and practice.

    • That’s too funny. I have a buddy who always told me you know you’ve arrived when you can work the ball both ways and call your shot BEFORE it happens!

      • I can call mine…. Hey boys here comes the slice!!!

        • Funny. But on a serious note try the one thought adjustment. To square up the face when you’re slicing either think of taking it back less steep (more around your body) or turning your left wrist over as you strike it. Your swing won’t change all that much but using one of those thoughts might just make enough of an adjustment to flush it.

          • I will certainly keep that in mind when I’m swing next time. Thanks!!

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