► Watch this video with Golf Monthly Top25 Coach Ged Walters to learn some tips and drills that will help turn the dreaded scoop into a powerful impact position for more distance, accuracy and consistency.
1) Think pinch
A poor impact position results in poor contact, and whether fat or thin, poor contact means less distance and control. To achieve good impact you need to get the club to pinch the ball and turf at the lowest point of the swing arc, so think about pinching the turf rather than hitting the ball. Spraying a line on the ground will help to highlight where impact is actually taking place. My dry shampoo drill is a great way to hone this. Spray a line on the ground with some dry shampoo, place your ball on top of the line and try to pinch the line with the leading edge of the face. Check to see if your divot starts on the line moving towards the target. Remember, you want ball then turf at impact. Master this and your impact position will improve no end.
2) Avoid the scoop
Holding the club out in front of you highlights where the dreaded scooping action at impact stems from. If your wrist is extended rather than flexed, it creates a cupping effect that generates the scooping action that leads to poor contact and all sorts of misfires. What we actually want is to keep the wrist flexed, because that way we get shaft lean at impact, then we get ball then turf and we get a crisp strike. All of this leads to more distance. Try to get the feeling of the butt of the grip pointing to the front trouser pocket of your lead leg at impact – if you can achieve this, there’s no way you’ll ever scoop it.
3) Squash the ball
Too much sideways movement in the backswing makes it hard to achieve any consistency in the quality of your strike, so learning how to make a stable turn is key. A good feeling or image to have on your backswing it that you’re almost crushing a tennis ball under your right heel as you turn into it, rather than letting the pressure go too far to the outside of the foot. Then on the downswing, remember, “butt of grip to lead pocket” as you swing through.
4) Hips move first
Keeping your body weight too much on your right side makes it impossible to achieve good impact. Make sure you start your downswing with a shift of your lead side towards the target. A good way to practise this is to stand your golf bag by your left foot at address, then start your downswing by moving your left side towards the target, making contact with the bag through impact. Continue the movement by thrusting your belt buckle towards the target as you turn. This will really help with your impact position.
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