Jim Suttie

Golf’s biggest myth — having original address position at impact

Golf’s biggest myth — having original address position at impact

NAPLES — We are all told to just try to get back to our original address position at impact, and we will hit it great. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The golf swing is a dynamic motion where the impact is entirely different from your address position. The clubface, the shaft, and the body are all in a different position at impact than they were at address.

Unfortunately, most amateurs are arm swingers and never get this feeling of a dynamic impact position. There is a certain amount of rotational movement in a good golf swing, which we call the body pivot or turn. There is also a certain amount of lateral (toward the target) movement in the golf swing that creates this difference in the address position and the impact position.

Believe it or not, the ball doesn’t care if you swing like Jim Furyk or Lee Trevino as long as three things are created: (1) Clubhead speed, (2) A square clubface; and (3) Center-face impact.

So, what is the difference between the address position and impact? At impact, everything is more forward (toward the target) than it was at address. For example, the grip end of the club and the hands are some three to five inches forward of where they started. Sometimes, this impact position is referred to as a leaning shaft.

The hips are also forward from where they started. In addition to this, they are rotated open some 40 degrees. The shoulders at impact have tilted downward slightly, and are open about 20 degrees. The right elbow is close to the side, and the left arm is in a straight line from the left shoulder socket downward. The head is the only part of the body that is not forward of where it started. It either stays in place at impact or goes down and backward slightly in response to the forward driving legs.

So, as you see, there is no similarity between the address position and the impact position. Unfortunately, most seniors, women’s players and the golf public in general do not have enough forward motion in their swings. They tend to use the arms and wrists and leave out the body movement. Look at a baseball player and how he steps toward the pitcher when he swing the bat. The golf swing is no different, except we don’t use a step.

To get the feeling of this dynamic impact do the following drill: Tee a ball up with your feet together. Just step forward toward the target, letting your arms follow your body. This Baseball Step Drill will give you a feeling of the dynamic impact position and improve your impact 100 percent.