Colorado Golf News
Go Forward to Impact!
By Scotty Hofer
DIVOT Contributing Writer
One of the major problems golfers have at impact is not being forward with either their weight or hands or both. At impact I like to see weight forward on the front leg with the upper body not “hanging back” and a forward leaning club shaft. Many golfers are trying to “lift” the golf ball into the air by letting the clubhead pass their hands too soon and/or having their weight moving away from the target instead of towards it.
Many times I can watch a student’s chipping motion and be able to tell what is going to happen in their full swing. I love to teach chipping, because if a student can learn to setup properly, half the battle is already won. We get to preset our body and club in a good impact position and then try not to mess it up. See the image for a proper chipping setup: narrow open stance, ball positioned back in stance, sternum pointing in front of ball, weight slightly leaning forward (lower and upper body), hands at bottom of grip, hands positioned inside front thigh. From this setup position, all one has to do is move the shoulders, hands and arms together in the backswing and return them to the original setup position for a good impact. In the forward motion, allow the body to pivot slightly and support the swinging of the arms, hands and club.
The second image illustrates what I see all the time – a shaft leaning away from the target at impact and/or the body moving away from the target. To combat these two problems and feel a good impact, I have my students setup as shown in the third picture – rear foot is pulled away from ball and rests on the toe. This forces the weight to be on the front leg and makes it difficult for the student to move away from the target during the chipping motion. Try this practice drill and you will soon be hitting crisp chip shots. In the beginning, you will probably hit better shots from this setup. After some success, return your rear foot to its original position and duplicate the feeling. Alternate back and forth between the two setups.
Now transfer that good chipping impact (weight moving forward towards target and a forward leaning shaft) to your full swing. I suggest you try the “Annika move” to get the weight and body moving and rotating forward through the shot. Annika Sorenstam is one of the greatest women golfers, and it is my understanding that as a practice drill, she would let her head rotate early prior to impact to assist her in getting forward and fully rotating through impact. It worked so well that it became her signature move. The key to this move is to maintain your spine angle through impact and feel your body moving forward and continue rotating onto your front leg. See the picture below.
For more information contact Scotty Hofer at 303-995-3329 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.