Assistant Golf Professional, Country Club of Jackson
Control The Ball With Your Palm
“What is the secret to golf?” This
is a question that is frequently asked in the golf world. Is there a universal
answer to this question? Can one tip transform golfers of all skill levels and
abilities into PGA Tour players? The answer unfortunately is no, but there is a
form of understanding the golf swing that can help make players more aware of
why the ball reacts the way it does. This is termed understanding your impact
position (see photo 1). Impact position is the position in which the club meets
the ball at impact. No matter your golf swing philosophy or physical build,
there is one thing that is common in all good ball strikers, which is the
position of the right palm at impact compared to the club face.
is a very simple concept to comprehend as long as you understand how the right
palm affects the club. First, grip
the club with your left hand, as doing so place your right hand in an open palm
position alongside the left (see photo 2). Make sure that your right hand is
pointing straight down. This is putting your hand in a neutral position on the
club. Now think of your right palm as a controller to the club face. If you
rotate your right palm up towards the sky then the club face will also look up
(see photo 3). This position of the right hand at impact will cause the ball to
leave the club right of your intended target. In contrast, if the right palm is
looking down at impact the ball will leave left of your target. The key is to
have the feeling that the right palm hits flat into the ball facing the target.
With your right hand still in an open palm position pointing at the ground,
take your grip. If your grip is correct, the “V” made between your right thumb
and index finger should be pointing between your right eye and right ear. If the “V” is pointing towards your
left eye then your grip is to week (palm is facing down). If the “V” is
pointing up your right arm then the grip may be to strong (palm is facing
up). It is very important that the
grip begins in the correct position, so once we are at impact we can trust that
where the palm is looking so is the club face.
The position of the right hand not
only dictates the direction of the ball, but also the trajectory of the shot.
Using the right hand as the controller again, make the palm face up at impact.
Not only does this aim the club right but also adds loft to the club (see photo
4). This will allow you to hit a higher trajectory shot if the situation calls
for it. Now, take the controller (palm) and face it downward, this de-lofts the
club and causes the ball to come off the face much lower than its intended
trajectory. The placement of the
right palm at impact also affects the spin of the ball once it hits the green.
A palm that is looking downward at impact is prone to have less backspin on the
ball which means that it will roll out further onto the green. With the palm in an upward position at
impact the ball will have more backspin which means less roll and more stop.
The placement of the right hand may
seem like a very minor piece in this massive puzzle called the golf swing, but
if the palm and club face are aligned at address then the positioning of the
palm at impact should also be the position of the club face. Now that you understand
the importance of the impact position take this lesson to range and test it.
Hit different shots while only concentrating on the right hand at impact and
how it affects the ball. Before you know it your impression of the golf swing
will no longer be a secret but an ability that can be practiced and improved