Home » Golf Instruction

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.
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)

Want to create distance on your golf swing? Improve clubface control

Mike MalaskaBy Mike Malaska,
Special Contributor

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.

Other factors

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.

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.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • Left arm rotation

    Tom wrote on: Jul 16, 2015

    Your drill/tip was very helpful for me in my pursuit of eliminating my over active hands/flip. I could implement it immediately and it produced increased accuracy and distance with all clubs!


  • clubface at target

    Archer L. Dabney wrote on: Jul 18, 2013

    The drill is very helpful. Who knew about hand rotation being that important thanks.


  • swing

    pleasanton golf courses wrote on: Jun 15, 2011

    My main problem is swing. In fact I am digging the net to get best advises to overcome from this problem. Siddikur rahman Asia's 2nd popular golfer I talked with him most recently and he advised me to do some exercise. I hope in one article I will be able to discuss about these tips.
    Pleasanton Golf Courses


  • distance

    fusami wrote on: Jun 4, 2011

    do ademonstration makes no scense


  • Clubface Control Drill

    Matt Cavanaugh wrote on: May 26, 2011

    I found this tip to be completely useless. Seems like a gadget drill that doesn't even make sense. Use a ball flight monitor to determine your smash factor? Right, doesn't everybody have one of those?



    JOHN JORDAN wrote on: Oct 10, 2010




        Wilbur K Smith wrote on: Dec 17, 2010


  • Club Control

    Justin Johnson wrote on: Jun 30, 2010

    Club control is extremely important. These instructions are extremely helpful in the process of perfecting the golf swing. I also use a grip enhancer called Quick Grip to improve my grip. This also aids in making better contact.


Comments Leave a comment