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Impact is the one position in which all of the great players are decidedly similar.
Impact is the one position in which all of the great players are decidedly similar. (Michael Zito/Eclipse Sportswire)

Looking to improve your golf swing? Remember: It's all about impact

Andrew RiceBy Andrew Rice,

I have come to believe that the majority of modern day golf instruction is based primarily around instructor style preference. Jim Hardy has his own swing "style" with the One-Plane Swing, as do Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett with their Stack and Tilt.

These golf teachers and others have studied the swing and come up with their own interpretation of how it should look. Too much of the information being peddled today is "form" based versus being "function" based.

In studying the top golfers of all time, no two swings are alike. Who is to say Ben Hogan's flat plane is better than Jack Nicklaus' vertical arm move? Who is to say Sam Snead's slight over-the-top move was better than Nick Price's drop-down transition?

Impact is the moment of truth in the golf swing

At the end of the day it all comes down to impact! The moment of truth; the split second when the ball is "told" what to do and where to go. It is the one position in which all of the great players are decidedly similar. From Patty Berg to Nancy Lopez and Tom Watson to Bobby Locke - all these players are almost identical at impact. If this is the case - which, trust me, it is - then the look of the swing should play less of a role in a golfer's improvement and the focus should be more on impact.

Here are the elements of a great impact position:

• The weight is noticeably on the front foot; 80 percent or more.

• The handle always leads the clubhead.

• The head remains over the ball, while the hips have shifted to the target; this creates what I refer to as body "curve."

• The clubhead travels down (downswing!) into the ball; this includes fairway woods and the driver!

The next time you take a golf lesson make sure your teacher works towards getting you into a better position at impact. It is the only way you will start to hit better golf shots and to make the ball "sizzle" off the face!

Prior to accepting his current position as Director of Instruction at Berkeley Hall in Bluffton, S.C., Andrew Rice spent six years working for David Leadbetter as a senior instructor at the Junior Golf Academy in Florida. He has coached PGA, LPGA and Champions Tour golfers along with multiple USGA champions. His first book - "It's All About Impact - The Winners of 165 Majors Prove It!" - was published in the fall of 2009.

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