Why Impact Doesn’t Matter
Advancement in technology has given us unprecedented insight into what happens at impact during a golf shot.
On the one hand that’s awesome and amazing. BUT there’s always another hand :-).
Lately I’ve been seeing a few products popping up that are teaching golfers how to improve what they do at impact.
If you think logically about the golf swing it makes total sense to try to improve what you’re doing at impact, because that’s basically all that matters. You can have the funkiest looking swing and if you have it all together at impact it doesn’t matter what your swing looks like.
But if you look at it in another way it doesn’t make any sense to focus on impact at all, and here’s why.
Golf is a target game, right?
You want to hit your ball to a finish at a target you select. Let’s call this the FINAL target.
And the more consistently you can do that the lower you’ll score.
However to hit your FINAL target you first need to hit the golf ball.
So the ball is the INTERMEDIATE target.
Now the problem with just focusing on what is happening at impact (the INTERMEDIATE Target) is you can become ball bound. And I believe if this type of coaching is overdone you’ll see more and more golfers developing the full swing yips.
In a good golf swing the golf ball should just get in the way. You should not be thinking about what is happening at impact.
Just think when you played your best golf, you weren’t thinking about what happens the moment you contact the golf ball, you were seeing your target and hitting the ball to that target. Very little thought going on. And if there was a thought it was probably just one.
So I think focusing exclusively on impact is dangerous.
I also think focusing exclusively on swing positions is dangerous.
I also think focusing exclusively just on the FINAL target can be dangerous.
You may have wondered why I included focusing on a FINAL target as being dangerous.
The reason I did that is because exclusivity on any one aspect can be dangerous. I believe to improve at golf you sometimes need to work on impact. You sometimes need to work on swing positions. You sometimes need to work on targets.
On the golf course, you need to find one focus. All the research I’ve read suggests having one thing to focus on as you’re swinging gives the best results. That one thing could be the FINAL target. It could be one technical thing. It could even be a feeling at impact.
BUT for every shot out on the golf course YOU must pick a final target of where you want your ball to finish.
You just don’t need to focus on that as you’re swing. You can, but there’s no research I’ve seen that suggests that works for everyone. It may work for you one day and not another.
However, I’ve seen research that found that golfers perform better when they have one focal point as they’re swing.
No matter what you find works best for you, plotting your way around the golf course and being able to hit your targets consistently has a huge affect on your golf scores. So to help you with that, here is a good article to help you manage the course better.