Common causes of Impact Errors

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  • Common causes of Impact Errors
  • #243930

    I have a question to better my understanding of the body, arm and impact movements. The errors are hitting it Fat, Shanks, and an open club face at impact. I want to understand these errors in relation to the impact movements – specifically the surfing motion and the pelvic move back and up into the glutes.

    I ask this because in practice, many of my shots, as I work on the movements, are excellent. However, some result in shanks, slices, and shots that indicate the club face was open. Here are my thoughts on these errors and what could be wrong. Would appreciate any feedback. For purposes of this, let’s assume the stance and backswing are ideal and the only issues are surfing and the pelvic move back and up. Also, I do not believe I have an issue with the position of my knees, hips, shoulders in relation to the target line during the motion. I think my motion torwards the target can sometimes be short and especially my thrust back and up into the glutes can be weak sometimes. I often find myself on my toes at the end which is a no-no.

    Hitting it fat – surfing motion may not be enough toward the target

    Shanks – the pelvic thrust not enough. It seems that if I do not move my body back into the front glute the shaft will not pull on to the body resulting in the hosel too close to the ball

    Open club face – Same as above, not enough movement back and up into the front glute.

    Is this correct? Maybe all of these are the exact same thing. It seems with the shorter clubs, I feel I am doing the movement better. The longer the club I feel the movement is not as good. Overall, I feel I do the movements perfectly in front of the TV but as the swing speed increases, the accuracy goes down.

    As always, thanks for your efforts


    I am having some of the same issues with the club face open (I assume because I am striking the ball firm but to the right and slicing) am seem to be on my toes on the front foot.



    Great observations and I’m happy to share that although probably frustrating, your issues are somewhat common. It is typically the case that the movements work themselves into the shorter clubs easier/quicker than the longer clubs. As swing speed increases, the chances of reverting back to old motions seems to increase as well. To address this as you train, begin performing the movements at a speed very similar to what you would use on the course. Doing the movements at full speed can help to further recognize where your movements breakdown and can help the transition between the movements to your longer clubs.

    Shank/slice/fat are likely all caused by the same couple of faults. We have to imagine that your club head is coming too far over the top in the downswing. This can cause the heel to get in the way causing a shank and force the club face to stay open to avoid a shot going way to the left. As swing speed increases, you may find these misses harder and harder to avoid as well. Although you may feel that you are doing the “Snap to Level” movements correctly, we would continue to encourage you to finish this movement with your knees, hips and shoulders parallel to the target line if not 5-10 degrees closed. Be sure as you finish this movement, your front knee, hip, shoulder and hand are further from the ground than the back knee, hip, shoulder and hand. The more slant you have in these body parts and the more closed they all are at the finish of this movement to the target line, the more you will be sure to come down “on-line” or even slightly from “the inside” helping you to avoid shanks and shots curving to the right. Making sure your front knee is significantly closer to the target than your front foot at the end of this movement will help this too while also helping to avoid hitting the ball fat.

    With your downswing coming down on a better path, it will be imperative that you also learn to square the club face up. To you, this may feel like the club face is in a more “closed” position than normal. To train there, try these 2 movements and check points. At the end of “Moving Energy” with the club upside down in your hands just before impact, let’s see where the club face would actually be if you had the club right side up. The club shaft would be roughly 45 degrees between straight up and down at impact and parallel to the ground and target line on the downswing. The club face should be roughly 45 degrees between looking straight at the ball and directly away from the target line at where the face-on camera would be. Feel free while training to flip the club right side up and check this. We would encourage you to have the club face facing more at the ball than away from it at this point while training your movements to help with an open face. Look at the movement check points of Hand and Arm Movement “Moving Energy” in chapter 2 chapter support for further clarity of checkpoints on this movement.

    We would also encourage you to turn the club right side up while performing the Hand and Arm Movement “Club Through Impact” as well. At the end of this movement the club shaft is parallel to the ground and parallel to the target line while the leading edge of the club face should be straight up and down. Be sure the face isn’t facing up to the sky at this point. Again, the leading edge should be straight up and down here. Notice what this feels like in the hands to get the club face here. You may find you have to simply rotate both hands counterclockwise to get the club face in this position compared to what you are used to.

    Finally, as you go to the range or the course we would encourage you for a while to hit “push-draws.” At the range, see what it takes in your body, hands and arms to start the ball well right of your aim line and make it draw back (with a closed club face) to your target or even left of it. To help, we would also encourage you to begin noticing the “blur” of the club head during your practice swings. While looking at where the ball would normally be placed while you take a practice swing, can you see the blur of the club head as you swing the club through impact? What does it take in your body, hands and arms to shift this blur so it comes more from left to right through the ball than right to left (if you were standing directly behind the ball in line with the target and the ball). Do you see how you can change the shape of this blur by moving your body, hands and arms slightly differently? Do you see how much you can change this by moving your body, hands and arms differently? This would be a great practice tool to help translate the movements to the range/course for you while helping to avoid the misses that you mention.

    Great questions David. Are you familiar with our additional training and support opportunities? For further support, we recommend that you look into the Online Live Video Chapter Follow-Ups and Swing Submittals we offer. With these options we will be able to actually see your movements and better assist you with feedback.



    We would encourage you to work on the Hand and Arm Movement “Club Through Impact” as mentioned above and that alignment.


    David – How is your progress coming along after several months? Have you been able fix your impact errors and have you figured out the surfing motion and the pelvic move back and up into the glutes? I ask because I’m on a similar journey with my daughter.

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