Hit the Golf Ball Where You Want
By Brendon Elliott, PGA
You CAN hit the golf ball where you want! This may sound too good to be true for many of you, but you can indeed start hitting the golf ball where you want, and more frequently, provided you have an understanding of what controls where the ball goes, and then continue to work on these points in practice.
The hands control the face, so, with that said, it is very important to first make sure your grip is in a good neutral position to help deliver the face into the ball as close to square as possible at impact.
Next, it is important to be aware of what your forearms are doing as you approach impact; where they are at impact, and where they are post impact. Some golfers tend to rotate the forearms too soon, causing the face to become closed to the target line at impact, and others tend to either rotate the forearms too late or not at all, causing the face to be open to the target line at impact.
A good drill to help you get the feeling of having a square clubface coming into the ball at impact is simply to set up two tees on either side of your ball at address, a little wider than the width of a golf ball, and then two tees a few inches ahead of the ball in the same manor.
The tees next to the ball will obviously help you visualize having the heel and toe come into the ball together, creating a square face at impact. The tees set a little ahead of that will help you visualize keeping that face square a little longer, post impact, as it heads down the target line just prior to exiting left (for right handers) and on its way up to the finish. In doing this, I suggest starting off with smaller swings, maybe hip-to-hip first and then working your way up to fuller swings…the most important thing is getting a better feeling of what a square face feels like at impact.
According to Trackman's blog, the definition of Club Path is:
"The in-to-out or out-to-in movement of the club head’s geometric center at the time of maximum compression. Club Path is the direction the club head is moving (right or left) at impact and is measured relative to the target line."
Many things affect how close a golfer’s swing is to being able to deliver the face squarely into the ball at impact. I strongly feel that one of the biggest culprits that leads to golfers struggling to get the clubface into the ball squarely, is not having a clear understanding of the basic factors and processes required to do so.
A great drill or diagnostic to see where your club path is and ultimately, to see where your swing plane is currently is to record several swings from the down the line view and review them. In your review, isolate the point on the downswing where your shaft is parallel with the ground. If the club head “covers” or is in line with the hands, you are in a pretty good position…if the club head is right or outside of the hands, you are “over” your plane and if the club head is inside or left of the hands, you are “under” your plane.
I highly recommend to all golfers to try and become a student of the game and gain an understanding of how basic swing concepts work.
Don’t just rely on a PGA Coach to tell you how things are supposed to work and then have them fix your faults for you…instead, I encourage you to become an active part of the interaction and discussion with them by being informed ahead of time. By being more informed you will overwhelmingly speed up your ability to physically manifest core concepts into your own game and in the case of today’s discussion, hit that ball straighter!