Here are some common themes I encounter whilst coaching:
What I want to give you today is an easy drill that gives instant feedback and leads to great improvements. The golfers I have used it with leave with increased awareness of impact and contact between club and ball and where the ground is struck, if at all. Then, when they hit golf balls during practice or on course, they can check the effectiveness of impact, get feedback and start to use practice time more efficiently. As a result, they start to hit the golf ball straighter, further and more consistently, as well as reducing excess movement, which keeps injury risk low.
Each week, at the top level, golfers of all different shape and sizes, manoeuvre a golf club in vastly different ways, yet with a similar outcome of getting the golf ball in the hole in the fewest possible shots.
If we look at modern golf swings, it is impossible to say that there is one visual look of swing that is the ONLY way. Just look at Matt Kuchar, Jim Furyk, Tiger Woods, Eamonn Darcy and Ben Hogan, very different swings, yet all effective in controlling impact.
The Towel Drill
Place a towel down on the ground and then a golf ball 3-4 inches in front of it.
Hit 5 shots as normal and record out of these attempts where the contact with the ground was and if this was ever on the towel.
If the towel was touched or the contact was thin:
Watch any of the top ball-strikers and you will see their lead hip forward at impact position
Replicate this position at address with the hip forward and hands forward too
Hit 5 more shots from this start position but with a smaller version of the swing. Chip the ball until the ground and ball are contacted at the same time before building up into fuller swings.
Try to transfer this contact with your own concept with what has happened. For some that may be feeling as if you are trying to hit the ball low or pushing the hip a long way forward or picking a spot on the ground where you want to make contact. The most important part is that YOU own the process and that you develop your very own individual feeling of how you have made this work.
Repeat the test and remember what position is most successful for you.
So often there is not enough of the golfers’ weight forward at impact, which therefore makes the contact with the towel more likely. Impact is the most important part of the swing. Practice this drill, record your scores and watch your ball-striking become more like that of the best golfers in the world.