How To Improve Your Impact Position

Golf Monthly Top 25 Coach Ged Walters offers some great tips and drills to improve your impact position and striking, and avoid the dreaded 'scoop'

How To Improve Your Impact Position
This is how your leading leg should move on the downswing

Golf Monthly Top 25 Coach Ged Walters offers some great tips and drills to improve your impact position and striking, and avoid the dreaded 'scoop'

How To Improve Your Impact Position

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 clubface. 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.

Watch GM Top 25 coach Peter Finch's pre-set drill to improve your ball-striking

2) Avoid the scoop Holding the club out in front of you as in the photo below highlights where the dreaded scooping action at impact stems from. The photo shows me holding the club with my wrist extended rather than flexed, creating a cupping effect, which generates the scooping action that leads to poor contact and all sorts of misfires.

A cupped wrist will lead to a scooping action

What we actually want is to keep the wrist flexed, because that way we get shaft lean at impact; we get ball then turf; 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.

Watch our tops tips to avoid striking it heavy with Top 25 coach Keith Wood

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.

Try to feel you're crushing a tennis ball under your right heel rather than your weight moving to far towards the outside of the foot

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.

Watch Rickie Fowler's swing to learn 4 great ball-striking tips

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 impact position.

Jeremy Ellwood
Contributing Editor

Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly. He is an expert on the Rules of Golf having qualified through an R&A course to become a golf referee. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 91 of the Next 100, making him well-qualified when it comes to assessing and comparing our premier golf courses. He has now played 1,000 golf courses worldwide in 35 countries, from the humblest of nine-holers in the Scottish Highlands to the very grandest of international golf resorts. He reached the 1,000 mark on his 60th birthday in October 2023 on Vale do Lobo's Ocean course. Put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content.

Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf

Jeremy is currently playing...

Driver: Ping G425 LST 10.5˚ (draw setting), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55 S shaft

3 wood: Ping G425 Max 15˚ (set to flat +1), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65 S shaft

Hybrid: Ping G425 17˚, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 S shaft

Irons 3-PW: Ping i525, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 50˚ and 54˚, 12˚ bounce, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Putter: Ping Fetch 2021 model, 33in shaft (set flat 2)

Ball: Varies but mostly now TaylorMade Tour Response