My Golf Instructor

Impact: Getting To Perfect Impact
Impact Lasts only a Moment, but is Crucial

Impact is so crucial yet lasts only a fraction of a secondImpact Lasts a Fraction of a Second

What is impact and how do you get there? Most golfers start the game, play the game for years and don't ever ponder that question. Lack of knowledge about impact is the biggest travesty in golf instruction in my opinion. A description of impact, what it is, how to get there and what it means to the golf ball is the very first thing that should be taught to a first time beginner.

Impact is what we call the moment that your club face comes in contact with the ball. Impact happens so fast that your ball and club face are in contact with each other for less than 1/2 second in every round you play. So why does it matter so much? Again, it's the moment that your club face and the ball are in contact. In other words, your club face is telling the golf ball exactly what to do and where to go. There are many creative ways to get there. Some not so pretty, but how your body and club are aligned at that precise moment is really all that matters. Obviously what you do leading up to impact can and will influence how you align at the moment of contact, but I've seen some crazy moves and then some great manipulations to make up for them on the way to the ball!

The first thing to understand is that "address" and "impact" are two completely different positions. At address your hips and shoulders are square to or parallel to your target line. Your club shaft is mostly vertical or straight up and down from the ground to your hands. Your hands are over the ball with most clubs, maybe slightly forward with some irons. Both feet are flat on the ground.

Impact is totally different however. At impact your hips are open to the target, your hands are forward of the ball, your club shaft is leaning towards the target and your rear heel is lifting off of the ground.

The Situation:

You don't know what impact is or how it is different from address.

The Solution:

Try the impact pre-set drill. Simply set up to the ball with a normal address position and then forward press your hands so the shaft leans forward, open your hips to the target and lift your rear heel off of the ground. Make sure to keep your head behind the ball. A common mistake is for golfers to lunge forward with their head passed the ball as they try to turn their hips and shift their weight. Start your golf swing from this impact position. Be sure to plant your rear heel on the way up to make a normal backswing and then turn your body back into proper impact alignments as fast as you can. Practice this with all of your clubs to learn correct impact alignments.

The benefits of practicing perfect impact alignments is to get your club face squarely on the back of the ball. Having the proper wieght shift and body alignments will bring your hands to the ball before the club head with a forward leaning shaft. This will result in a de-lofted club face and pressure going down into the golf ball adding an increase in distance, spin and control.

Maria Palozola

Maria Palozola is a member of the LPGA and has participated in multiple LPGA Tour events. She has provided instruction to thousands of students in the past 20+ years and has won multiple teaching awards from the LPGA, Golf Digest, and Golf Magazine including being ranked as one of the top 50 female instructors in the world.

Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
- More about Maria
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