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Impact: A Slow Motion, High Speed Analysis


Over years of teaching golf I have spent quite a bit of time figuring and re-figuring how to explain to students what happens at the moment a golf club hits the ball.  I would talk about the clubface hitting the ball before it hits the ground (when the ball is on the ground), about the need to hit the ground after hitting the ball, the need to descend onto the ball with the club traveling in an arc somewhere near the original shaft plane, the need to exit the impact area continuing to travel on the arc inscribed on the plane, and the need for the clubface to constantly close through the impact area.  Now, with the advent of high speed photography used by the networks on their PGA Tour telecasts, I have compiled some really cool shots of the club striking the ball.  Thus I can now punctuate my explanations with online golf video, which of course makes it far more likely that the student will get the idea.


For someone who has flipped or scooped the club through impact all their playing lives there is nothing more important than understanding the how and why of forward shaft lean when playing iron shots and pitch shots.  The sight of the ball leaving the clubface while the club continues to descend and arc around is definitely a picture worth a thousand words.

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