|A simple drill can help you ensure that you're combining a square clubface at impact with a proper swing path and controlled clubhead speed. (Courtesy of Nicklaus Academies)|
In an earlier story, we discussed the importance of proper clubface control as it relates to creating distance.
Without being able to "catch the ball squarely" on the clubface, one has little chance of maximizing distance. A key to controlling the clubface and generating efficient power is found in rotating the lead forearm properly.
Extend the thumb on the hand of your lead arm and point it toward the top of your chest just below your Adam's apple. Next, drop your hand until it is waist high allowing your hand to rotate outward so your thumb is pointing down the target line.
Extend your other arm to form a golfer's grip, bend at the waist and extend your hands down the target line as if you were just past impact. This is a simple demonstration of proper forearm rotation - nothing more, nothing less.
To confirm you are rotating your forearm properly, put your watch on so that the face is visible from the underside of your wrist. Now, take a normal swing.
When you complete your swing, you should be able to read the time on your watch.
The use of a ball flight monitor, or launch monitor, will confirm you are maximizing impact. By tracking clubhead speed, ball speed, launch angle and spin rates, the monitor will calculate a "smash factor" for each shot.
A smash factor of 1.5 is considered the industry standard for solid impact or the maximization of a square face at impact with a proper swing path and controlled clubhead speed - all essential components required to generate the maximum distance possible.
In addition to a square face at impact and proper forearm rotation, the combination of clubhead design, loft, shaft flex and kick-point, and golf ball play a substantial role in the delivery of distance.
Better instruction facilities and golf shops that employ launch monitors as part of their teaching and equipment evaluation process can help match your swing style, clubhead speed and path, and impact tendencies with the ideal equipment combination that will add yards (and consistency) to your shots.
April 16, 2010
Mike Malaska is the worldwide director of instruction for Nicklaus Academies. Before his current position, he was a lead instructor working alongside Jim Flick from 1991-2002 at the Nicklaus/Flick Golf Schools and during 2003 with the TaylorMade/ESPN and Jim Flick Golf Schools. He is currently listed among Golf Digest's America's 50 Greatest Teachers (No. 24) and Golf Magazine's Top 100 Teachers in America.