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A Guide to Finding the Ideal Golf Impact Position

Golf impact position: golf ball and a golf club

One of the things that amateur golfers struggle with the most is making consistent contact with the golf ball. This can be driven by many different factors. They may not have a repeatable swing. Maybe they are not setting the ball up in their stance correctly. Or, perhaps they are not reaching the right position at impact.

This article will specifically address the last point: the golf impact position. The golf impact position includes the components of your swing that should be in alignment when you’re hitting your shot. We’ll discuss what the golf impact position is, how to find the ideal position, and some drills that you can do to improve your position at impact.

Golf Impact Position — The Basics

During a golf swing, impact occurs when the clubface makes contact with the ball. This happens near the bottom of your downswing, before you begin your follow-through.

If you’re a golfer looking to improve your game, you may want to take a closer look at the impact position. Golfers who are not able to routinely repeat their impact position typically struggle with inconsistent ball striking and errant golf shots. Being able to repeat a solid impact position can help you hit straighter shots and ultimately play some of your best golf. 

If you need an idea of what consistent impact looks like, take a look at your club head. If there are ball marks all across the head, you likely are not making consistent impact. If you are making consistent impact, there should be a worn-in spot on the center of the club face. 

Typically, there are a few key characteristics indicative of an ideal golf impact position. Let’s take a closer look at the things you need to strive for at impact.

Finding the Ideal Golf Impact Position

Below are a few of the fundamentals that typically go into the golf impact position. 

If you receive golf instruction, your coach may implement a few personal preferences that better fit your swing. At the end of the day, the ideal golf impact position is one that you can repeat and make solid contact with.

Having said that, let’s explore some of the things your coach may look for when helping you find the ideal golf impact position.

Hands in a Forward Position

When you make contact with the ball, your hands should be in front of the club head. PGA Tour professional Tiger Woods demonstrates this perfectly in his swing. Essentially, the club head should lag behind your hands. If not, you may either scoop the club or cast the club. 

You can implement a slight shaft lean at setup, which will push your hands forward, out in front of your ball position. However, when doing this, it’s important to keep in mind that you want to maintain a square clubface. Both your hands and your clubface should be pointing at your target line when making contact.

Consistent Spine Angle

In a proper golf swing, a lot of the upper-body rotation occurs at the hips. Your spine angle should remain consistent through the swing. This includes the:

  • Takeaway
  • Backswing
  • Top of the backswing
  • Downswing
  • Impact
  • Follow-through

Too often, golfers try to “stand up” at impact. This often results in them scooping the ball and can create inconsistencies including fat shots, thin shots and other poor shots. 

Understand the Club You Are Using

The club you are hitting will also determine the type of impact you make. First and foremost, your club will determine your ball position during setup. 

Iron shots will likely put the ball more in the middle of your stance, but the ball will be more forward when using drivers and woods. The ball will be further back in your stance when using wedges and chipping.

Additionally, the type of club you are using will determine your swing path. Your goal when hitting an iron shot is to take a divot. To do so, you’ll need to make impact before you are at the bottom of your swing arc.

Your goal when hitting a driver is to hit up on the ball. You achieve this not by standing up at impact but by changing where in your swing you make contact with the ball. When hitting a driver, you should aim to make contact just after the bottom of your swing arc.

Drills to Help With Golf Impact Positioning

Golf impact position: golfer playing golf

If you are looking for ways to improve your impact position, you may want to work with a coach to find a training method that works for you. Below are some of the golf tips and drills your coach may implement into your practice routine to help you improve your impact position.

Impact Bag

An impact bag is an affordable training aid that you can purchase to help promote a better shaft lean with the golf club. The impact bag will also help you learn how you should be clearing your hips to make way for the club at impact.

To use an impact bag, you’ll put the bag just in front of where you would normally place your golf ball. Then, you will complete your swing. However, your swing will stop when you make contact with the bag so that you won’t have a follow-through. 

Your coach will analyze your hips, hands, and front side (the left side for golfers who are right-hand dominant; the right side for lefty golfers). You’ll then reset the bag and swing again.

Wyndham Clark’s Impact Drill

Another impact drill is one introduced by PGA player Wyndham Clark. Clark has someone hold a club parallel to the ground about an inch over the bottom end of the grip.

Wyndham finds that this drill forces him to shallow the golf club and keep his hands lower at impact. Though Wyndham uses a club for his drill, you can use something like a dowel, alignment stick, or pool noodle to achieve the same result.

Hip Press Drill

Another drill that your coach may have you try is known as the hip press drill. This drill may be particularly helpful if you typically slice or fade the ball. You’ll start by setting up with a ball as you normally would. However, you will not have a club in your hand. Then, perform your swing, ensuring that you keep your head over the ball.

Keep driving your hips as far as they will go toward the target. Your back leg should naturally straighten, subsequently causing your back heel to come off the ground. This drill helps ensure the proper hip drive and angle of attack through impact.

Work to Find the Ideal Golf Impact Position and Improve Your Game

Golfer that just took her swing

When it comes to improving your golf game, one component that you’ll want to hone in on is your golf impact position. The golf impact position is the position you are in at the point of contact. Finding a repetitive impact position will allow you to hit straighter, more consistent shots on the golf course.

If you’re looking for help finding the ideal golf impact position, be sure to consider Skillest. Skillest offers virtual access to golf coaches, allowing you to take live lessons or upload videos for feedback. Not only can Skillest coaches help you find the perfect impact position that best fits your golf swing, but they can also help with things like your short game as well.