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Publication: Today's Golf
It's All About Impact

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          GOLF TIPS - Thursday, May 29, 2008
 "Tips... News... And More... All For The Love Of The Game"

Fellow Duffers,

Swing thoughts don't typically last very long. They work for a
while, but then you tend to over-cook the thought and exagerate
the move it reminds you to perform.

My latest swing thought has been: 
"Slow back and keep your eye on the back of the ball." Right now
that's what's working. Who knows what will be the next thing that
works when this one stops?


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Impact Bag Drills
By Gary Wiren

There are a lot of details that you can get involved in to
make a good golf swing. How you grip, aim, set up, take it
away, position at the top, come down, release, all those
things, weight transfer. But you know, there is only one
moment of truth, the moment of truth when the clubhead
strikes the ball. Is the face square? Are you hitting it in
the center? Is the path coming in the correct position?
Are you getting enough clubhead speed? Is the angle of
approach correct? Those are the five laws of ballflight.

One of the most important tools that has ever been created
to help you with that is the Impact Bag. I am sure you have
seen this yellow bag at golf ranges all around the world.
In your practice areas, you have seen it on television on
the Golf Channel. It is something that I created 20 years
ago. The impact bag is an idea that I got from Henry Cotton,
five time British Open Champion and great, great player.

He wanted to have people hit into a tire, which is much
harsher in the feeling, but to get the idea of where the
club and the body should be you must be able to feel
resistance. That probably sent some people to orthopedic
surgeons with elbow, wrist and shoulder problems, but we
took a different tact. We have a soft product here where
you can feel the same type of resistance but now sense
where you body is for the correct golf shot. 

This is the way every good player looks at impact. Left arm
from the shoulder to the club is a straight line. Coming off
the right side, rolling to the left, and head still behind
the ball. So you can practice hitting into the bag to impact.
The swing does not have to be hard, just practice hitting the
bag. Then you get away from the bag and you swing to that
impact position to feel it. Then you swing through to finish
because the moment of truth is what you want to practice and
this is the best device ever made to do it.

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Crisp Iron Impacts
By Christopher Toulson

Hello, my name is Christopher Toulsen and I am the Director
of Instruction for the Jim McLean Golf Schools. I am going to
give you a swing tip here on hitting crisper iron shots. What
we see from most of the players coming to our golf schools is
that at the moment of contact, or what is commonly called
impact, they have too much of their weight on their right leg.
Whereas the top ballstrikers at impact, about 80 percent of
their weight is on their left leg. And their right knee is not
passive, but it is actually active and kicked up to where the
golf ball is.

The higher the handicap, the more we will see the right knee 
staying back. A good swing cue would be to make sure that on
the downswing, your first move you initiate your downswing by
having your right knee fire at the target. I will demonstrate 
here. So for crisper iron shots, on the downswing fire your
right knee at the target.


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Learning Impact Position
By Mike McGetrick

The purpose of the golf swing is to consistently hit the golf
ball a certain distance, a certain direction and a certain
height every time. That is what we are trying to achieve in 
golf. To do that we have to be able to put our body and the
golf club in the right position at impact to hit the desired
ball fight that we are trying to achieve.

A great way to warm up in the morning is learning impact. As
I set up to the golf ball I am just doing some swings back and
then into the ball. Getting my body in the right position at
impact. If you look at where I am, my hands are forward, my
hips are open, my right knee is inward, my right heel is off
the ground and my right shoulder is back. I am just trying to
learn to put the golf club, hands and arms, my upper body and
my lower body in the right position.

Now when I warm up I want to start hitting little shots and
progressively getting longer. I will start out hitting 10 yards,
then 20 yards, then 30 yards, trying to hit solid golf shots
and putting my body and the golf club in the right position.
I have an 8-iron, I am going to grip down and just hit a shot
of 10 yards, putting myself in the right position. After I have
hit 10 balls, now I am going to go to 20 yards. Setting up,
hitting it a little further, putting my body and the golf club
in the right position.

Then I am just going to keep increasing my distance until I am
warmed up and ready to start my practice session for the day.
So remember, impact is one of the most important positions in
the golf swing. Learn it first without hitting a golf ball,
just putting yourself in the right position. Then warm up with
little shots so that you will really be ready to start your
practice session.

You can discuss this issue or any other topic in the new
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