Golf enthusiasts devote long summer nights to the driving range perfecting their grip, backswing, rotation, etc. Perhaps one of the most important yet least visited issues in golf however, is making solid contact with the ball. Every fundamental technique works towards greater contact. If any of these skills are lacking–especially the setup, transition, and the swing path–you’ll consistently make sloppy hits. In this article we’ll talk about some drills and principles that will help you dial in your ball striking.
It might sound too simple, but for many players, more mindfulness is the key to a better game. Think about the points of your form and your swing that you want to focus on – be intentional and mindful about every single hit.
Also, stop and take a minute to analyze your swing. Where is the ball making contact with the club face? Is it right, left, or center? Do you suspect it’s being affected by your setup? Transition? Swing path? Understanding what is causing the issue is crucial to improvement!
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How to Strike the Ball Like a Boss
Drill #1: The Swing Path Fix
Your swing path is crucial to hitting the ball effectively and largely determines the consistency of your swing. Hitting the top of the ball or the corner of it can plague your game if you’re not careful. Here are some steps to help correct your swing path:
- Place a club on the ground in front of your left foot
- The club should point down your your target line
- Have a friend step on the clubhead so the shaft comes up
- Make some swings without hitting the shaft
- If you feel you are coming too far from the inside and not from the top, try this drill but with the club near the right foot
Drill #2: Pressure Drill
If you watch Tiger Woods, Rory Mcllory, Phil Mickelson, or virtually anyone on the Tour, their top hand is almost always slightly ahead of the ball at contact. To help create the same effect in your own sing, try this drill here:
- Take an alignment stick and set it on the ground
- Align your club in the middle of it
- Do your backswing
- As you begin your downswing, slow it down
- At contact, position your body so that your top hand is ahead of the clubface
Drill #3 Flex Turn, Push Turn
Your rotation and swing sequence are also critical to making good ball contact. Your hips lead your hands. Creating sufficient right-side bend will not only help you make better contact, it will add more power to your shot. Rule of Thumb: Your belt buckle should reach your target before your hands do. Once you’re ready, take a shot at the drill below:
Note: Flexion is one of the most important parts of your golf swing. You want to feel like your body is being compressed as you progress from the backswing, to the downswing, and then to impact. This rotation drill works to create optimal per stroke power and efficiency.
- Stand shoulder width the part with a club across your shoulders
- With the right side bend intact, rotate your shoulders as if doing a backswing
- Notice how your weight is being pressed to the ground
- Now rotate your shoulders forward as if you’re beginning your downsizing
- Focus on pushing through the ball
- Follow through with your feet
- Do 150-300 reps a day
Drill #4: The Transition Step
Step drills are used to promote earlier leg and body motion throughout the transition. This helps to create muscle memory and reinforce the hips before arms method. Take a look at the drill below:
- Set up the golf ball and stand with your feet together
- Put your lead leg back about a foot
- At the apex of the backswing, step with your front foot, push down and swing all the way through
- Notice the shift from your back foot to your front foot in weight
Consider Club Size for Better Ball Striking
If you’ve been playing on the same clubs you’ve had since Middle School(it sounds crazy but you’d be surprised), then you might want to consider an upgrade. Ill fitting clubs can affect your swing path, alter your rotation, and make a clean hit unnecessarily difficult.
While it’s one of the most fundamental aspects of golf, striking the ball with great contact can be difficult for the new golfer. Try the drills above to instill correct habits and develop muscle memory that will lead a more consistent, powerful swing.