Where Is Your Impact Point?

John Stahlschmidt
PGA Director of Instruction
JW Marriott Camelback Golf Club
Scottsdale, AZ

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Trackman has done it again. For those of you that do not know, Trackman is the industry leader in launch monitor radar technology. While some shy away from it, I couldn’t imagine not using it during my lessons out at Camelback Golf Club. Trackman provides 30 different data parameters during each shot truly defining what the club and the ball are doing. Until recently, golf instruction was taught primarily from opinion and not fact. Why guess when you can measure? We now know exactly what is going on with the club and the ball enabling us in providing the correct swing changes that will produce the ball flight you desire.

A new data parameter that Trackman has just released deals with impact point. I believe the location in which the ball impacts that face is one of the most important ingredients in producing a long and straight golf shot. I have included two pictures of two very different impact points with the driver. In picture #1 the ball impacted the face 18 millimeters above the sweet spot and 5 millimeters towards the toe. In the second picture the ball impacted the face 1 millimeter above the sweet spot and 1 millimeter towards the toe. So how much different were the golf shots? With the exact same club head speed of 95 MPH the ball that impacted the middle of the face went 265 total yards compared to 238 total yards. In addition to the staggering difference in distance, the toe hit produced a shot that curved to the left and missed the target by 73 feet, while the center hit went straight. Impacting the ball on the toe or heel will make it very difficult to hit straight shots.

So the million dollar question is…how are you supposed to hit the center of the face more consistently? The answer is simple but difficult. It takes practice time at the range ingraining good sound swing techniques. If you need help with that, give me a call and let’s go to work. Just remember it is so important to impact the ball as close to the center of your clubface as possible for consistent results.

John Stahlschmidt, PGA is the Director of Instruction at the JW Marriot Camelback Golf Club in Paradise Valley, Arizona. To comment or to schedule a lesson, email John at john-j1@msn.com or visit his website at johnstahlschmidt.com.