It's all about Impact

This is an often used refrain that carries a lot of truth. Even though impact with the golf ball lasts only 1/2000 of a second, it will determine in large part what happens to your shot. The club’s direction of travel, where the face points and the speed at which the club travels are all important, but none more so than where on the club face you make contact. When the strike point is off centre then all bets are off.

Did you know that if you strike the ball towards the heel of the club this causes the ball to fade or draw less and if you hit the ball towards the toe of the club it causes the ball to draw or fade less? This is especially the case with the driver and is why they are not built with a flat surface.

Did you know that if you hit the ball towards the bottom of your driver face then your ball speed will go down by almost as much as 10 miles per hour and the spin rate will increase by almost 800rpm?

All this is caused by a phenomenon called gear effect and it happens on virtually every single golf shot that is hit. This is because even the best golfers miss the sweet spot more often than they find it. With that being said, it is also true that most golfers tend to have a specific pattern of where they hit the ball on the club face.

If you would like to find out where your contact point is I recommend you bring to the course a bottle of dry shampoo or any spray that doesn’t leave a permanent mark, spray it on your club face, hit some shots and see where the marks are left.


If you create an awareness of what your strike pattern is you will then be able to embark on the journey towards improving it.

Remember, if you are after more distance, it is more important to learn to hit the ball on the middle of the club face than it is to learn to swing the club faster.

Note of Caution: For those of you who have access to a Trackman when you practice, quality of strike is sometimes correlated to the Smash Factor number. Please be aware that there are instances when you cannot reach the elusive 1.5 smash factor number with a driver even with a perfect strike. This would happen, for example, when you hit down on the driver and your spin loft needs to be high enough for the ball to stay in the air longer.

Avoid Fat Shots and Control Your Low Point

Are you tired and frustrated of not being able to hit the ball solidly when it rests on the ground?

Are you unable to take a divot and when you do take one it happens to be the big ball (earth) before the little one?

Learning to hit the ball before the ground and learning to hit the same spot on the ground every time with your club are invaluable skills if you wish to bring your handicap down. Thankfully, there is a simple observation that can help you in this regard.

When measuring how the best players move it is noticeable they move their hips towards the target at impact more compared to the less skilled golfers who have their hips further back.

What does this mean for you? It means that if you tend to hit fat shots, there is a good chance you can work on this by having your hips more forwards (towards the target) as you hit the ball.

To work on this, setup with an alignment stick on the ground between your ball and your feet that you put parallel to your intended line. When you make your downswing, focus on trying to slide your hips towards the target along the stick you have placed on the ground. This is a lateral move and not a rotary one. You should feel like you are trying to get your right hip pocket in front of the ball at impact

Expert Golfer Demonstration:
Notice the hips slide progressively more towards the target throughout the swing.


Novice Golfer Demonstration:
This golfer has the hips further back than the expert golfer and this has negative consequences on their ball striking ability