Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 5

all secondary Cr e d its

100/90/80/70
Master the impact zone
BY Bobby Clampett
with Ron Kaspriske
Currently a golf analyst for CBS and TBS, Clampett played the PGA Tour from 1980-95 winning the 1982 Southern Open. His new book is The Impact Zone ($25, with Andy Brumer).

breaking

The average swing bottom of a PGA Tours club is four inches in front of the ball. The average swing bottom of a high-handicapper is an inch or so behind the ball. Considering the difference, its no wonder there are so many golfers who cant meet their scoring goals. I wouldnt want to play if I couldnt hit the ball solidly. I believe a high-handicap golfer will reduce his or her average score by four strokes for every forward inch of improvement made on the swing bottom. In other words, if you want to break a scoring barrier, focus on improving your clubs position through the impact zone. This also applies to the short game.

HIGH HANDICApPer

MEDIUM HANDICAPper

scratch golfer

tour pro

XX

G O L F D I G E S T. C O M

m o n th 2 0 0 7

P H OTO G R A P H S B Y

NAME HERE

P H OTO G R A P H S B Y

dom f u rore

november 2007

G O L F D I G E S T. C O M

XX

100
Use a wall to hit solid putts
For a player trying to break 100, I cant stress enough the importance of hitting crisp, accurate chip shots. Its the ultimate stroke saver. During the Hawaiian Open in 1981, I was practicing chip shots with Hubert Green, who I think is the best chipper in the history of the game. Hubert took me to the cleaners that afternoon, but he also gave me one of the best chipping tips that I ever received. Hubert suggested I use a more-lofted club for chips, such as a sand wedge instead of the 8- or 9-iron I had been using. With the higherlofted club, I could then play the ball farther back in my stance and still get the ball airborne enough. This new ball position would create an even more pronounced forward lean of the shaft at address and an even more downward angle of attack through impactboth crucial to hitting crisp chips. As he explained to me, increasing the angle of descent into the ball allowed for greater consistency in chipping from all kinds of different lies because I would strike the ball higher on the clubface. This tip can help you, too.
all secondary Cre d its

/ breaking /

In many ways, the flat left wrist at impact qualifies as golfs master dynamiceven when putting. Heres a little exercise that will let you sense what a flat left wrist at impact feels like. Take the back of your left hand and lay it flush against a wall. Notice how the back of the hand and forearm create a straight line? Now remove your arm from the wall and take your normal putting grip, keeping this straight line between your left arm, the back of your left wrist and the puttershaft. Extend your arm directly in front of you so that the clubshaft is parallel to the ground and you will see a straight-line configuration.

try Chipping cross-handed


Another way to hit solid chip shots is to focus on the left wrists position through impact. PGA Tour pro Chris Couch chips cross-handed, with his left hand gripping the club lower than his right hand. The reason he does this is to help ensure the left wrist remains flat through impact. Chris even chipped in on the final hole to win the 2006 Zurich Classic of New Orleans using this technique. Essentially, most highhandicap players have the tendency to try and scoop a chip into the air. The left wrist cups and the right wrist bows. They actually should be in the opposite position through impact.

Try left-hand low


This left-hand-low chip grip will help keep your left wrist flat through impact. It makes it harder to scoop.

Dont fear the ground


I went to the range the other day with a friend of mine and I began taking practice swings, complete with divots. What are you doing? my friend asked. I want to take a divot on my real swing, dont I? So, why wouldnt I take one with my practice swing? I told him. You should, too. To get used to hitting down through the ball, rehearse your real swing by taking a divotin front of the ball with your practice swing. Dont forget to replace the divot.

Take a divot
Address an imaginary ball next to yours and make a full swing and take a divot.

XX

G O L F D I G E S T. C O M

november 2007

P H OTO i l l u strat i o n s B Y

j im l u ft

90
To shoot in the 80s, you not only need a good short game, but you need to hit full shots with authority. Club lagmeaning the club lags behind the hands through impactplays a huge part in hitting solid shots. At the ripe age of 22, I led during the first three rounds of the 1982 British Open. But then I drove the ball into the pot bunker on the sixth hole at Royal Troon and took three to get out. This led to my precipitous slide off the leader board. What I remember is that the reason I found myself in the sand in the first place is that lag eluded me on my tee shot. I didnt load the club well on the backswing and the result was a pull hook into the bunker. That painful phrase, He threw away the British Open had a double meaning for me. I literally threw away my club lag. My advice is that when you set your left wrist in the backswing, never let it unhinge on the way down even the smallest amount. If you do, you will literally throw away your lag and your impact with the ball will be weak.

/ breaking /

Load up on pitch shots


You might have heard the old golf cliche You dont hit the ball with the backswing, but I disagree. Only when the club is properly loaded can we swing it more dynamically on the down- and through-swings and improve impact.

You can learn this by first mastering the pitch shot. Grab a wedge and load the swing by hinging your left wrist as you start the club back. Once the wrist is set, forget about it. You do not have to let it unhinge as you swing down. The swings force will do that naturally and you will make better contact.

REHEARSE IMPACT
I know a lot of golfers who hit it great on the range and then struggle on the course. One of the reasons is that on the range, you get feedback from one shot and can immediately try it again with an adjustment. On the course, you dont have that luxury. So one way to remind yourself of what youre trying to achieve is to rehearse the proper impact position. During your next round, address the ball like normal, but before you swing, get into the proper impact position (weight on the front foot, shaft leaning forward, head behind the ball). Once you do this, go back to address and then hit your shot, trying to get back to that same impact position.

yes
The more your hinge your left wrist, the more power you store for the downswing.

no
If you dont hinge your left wrist on the way back, you cant hit a pitch shot with any power.

Learn lag in the rough


My childhood teacher Ben Doyle was once asked by a writer if my swing had too much lag. He countered, Can you have too much love? Amateurs woefully suffer from releasing the club too soon in their downswing. At impact, the hands should be in front of the ball and the shaft should be leaning forward. One way to reinforce this feeling is to hit shots in the deep rough. As soon as the club contacts the grass, it will provide resistence while the hands and body continue turning. This is the impact feeling you want.

XX

G O L F D I G E S T. C O M

november 2007

november 2007

G O L F D I G E S T. C O M

XX

80
Driver down

/ breaking /

Feel it on the trigger finger


One of the most overlooked fundamentals of the golf swing is the point of
all secondary Cre d its

I covered the 2005 Shell Houston Open at Redstone Golf Club for CBS sports. Vijay Singh was in the final group the last two days (what else is new?) and I spent some time with him on the driving range. I watched Vijay practice hiting drivers off the deck. At the time, he played a large 425-cc driver and as he positioned the club behind the ball, the center of the ball lined up with the second groove from the bottom on his clubface. The sweet spot on his club was the fourth groove, yet Vijay was still hitting high-flying shots about 280 yards. He could do this only because he had good dynamics and a forward swing bottom. If his swing bottom was any farther back, he wouldnt have been able to hit this shot. Vijay uses this drill specifically because it hones a swing that bottoms in front of the ball. I recommend that you give this practice drill a try. It will take some time to get used to, but its a great drill for a golfer trying to break 80.

Just like with your irons, the drivers swing arc should bottom out four inches ahead of the ball.

pressure created by the club resting against and across the middle joint of the right hands forefinger. This pressure point transforms that finger into the trigger finger, meaning it plays a major role in the loading of the club on the backswing and the lagging of it on the downswing. Where the grip falls across that finger is where we feel the lag of the club. To use this effectively, lay the handle diagonally across the middle joint of the trigger finger. During the swing, you want to feel the clubs weight in that spot the entire time.

Hit your drives on the downswing


Im blown away that so many reputable golf teachers instruct their students to strike the driver on the upswing. Regardless of whether a ball is on a tee or on the ground, the swing bottom must consistenly be four inches in front of the ball. And swinging slightly down on the ball with the driver goes a long way toward ensuring that. It also helps keep the left wrist flat at impact, because as soon as the club begins to swing up, there is a tendency for the left wrist to break down and cup.

try Homers AIMing-POINT concept


Homer Kelleys The Golfing Machine was the book that most influenced my own game and my teacher Ben Doyle taught me the books aimingpoint concept. It works like this: Draw an imaginary line from your hands at the top of the backswing to a point a foot or so in front of the ball along the target line. As the backswing transitions to the downswing, the goal is to have your hands pass over that mark in front off the ball before the club does. Just a swing or two using the technique and your divots will move forward, your impact will be more solid.

hANDS-on APPROACH
Allow your hands to pass over a mark in front of the ball before the club does.

XX

G O L F D I G E S T. C O M

november 2007

70
Perfecting pitches
At the Memorial Tournament one year, I was paired with Jack Nicklaus and fellow tour player Greg Powers. There was a rain delay and when we all got back to the ninth tee to resume play, Greg was hitting old balls into the woods. I asked him what he was doing and he said, You see that V in the tree? Im trying to hit balls through the branches. So far Im 0-for-5. Seeking a challenge, I joined him but also went 0-for-5. Then Jack walked up. He asked what we were doing and when we told him, he yelled to his caddie, Angelo, give me a ball. His first shot went right through the middle and we all laughed! Jack said that game reminded him of a drill he once discoverd. In looking at a spot in front of the ball for alignment, Jack found he was getting more accurate because he also was starting his ball flight on the same line. Its a great drill to try.

/ breaking /

Theres a difference between the finish and follow-through positions and should end at the follow-through position, defined as the point past impact the moment before either the left or both elbows bend. The finish occurs when the clubs through-swing momentum ends naturally. On most pitches, you shouldnt swing to a finish position because the ball will fly too far. You also cannot decelerate to reduce the distance because you will likely hit it fat or thin. But by swinging to the follow-through position, you can still accelerate through impact and regulate distance.
all secondary Cre d its

understanding that will make you hit better pitch shots. A pitch swing

ON THE BALL
Your address position can determine the balls flight path.

ball Position improves impact and flight


To improve impact and straighten your shots, heres how to use the intermediatetargets drill Jack talked about. Pick a spot about 10 yards in front of the ball thats on your target line. Have someone watch to see if your ball passes over that line. If it goes right of it, your ball position might be too far back in your stance. If it goes left off the intermediate target, then your ball position might be too far forward. Theres only one position in the swing where the clubface is square to the target line.

XX

G O L F D I G E S T. C O M

november 2007

P H OTO G R A P H S B Y

NAME HERE

m o n th 2 0 0 7

G O L F D I G E S T. C O M

XX