Home » Golf Instruction

The key to hitting solid golf shots is to keep your weight centered over the ball during the backswing and through impact.
The key to hitting solid golf shots is to keep your weight centered over the ball during the backswing and through impact. (Scott Stuart/EclipseSportsWire.com)

Want to improve your golf swing? Square up before impact

Les MillerBy Les Miller,

There's one basic certainty in golf: to produce good, solid golf shots, the club face needs to be square at impact!

Every good player - even Tiger Woods - knows that the face needs to be square to the target at the moment of impact. Unfortunately, most average golfers don't make high quality contact because they do not understand how to achieve this key element in the golf swing.

Knowing and practicing the basic key elements of a golf swing is critical to producing solid, consistent golf shots.

A better golf swing starts with the takeaway

The takeaway is the first key to a consistent, powerful golf swing. Most average golfers take the club far too inside as they swing the club back. This causes them to have to reroute the club to an over-the-top move on the downswing, causing all sorts of miss-hit shots.

As you swing the club back away from the ball, the swing path "must" be straight away from the ball. (An easy drill to practice this move is to place a tee approximately 2 to 3 inches behind the ball on the target line, and hit the tee with your club head as you start your backswing.) This will help you develop the proper club head path on the takeaway.

Impact and follow through

As the club face strikes the ball, the club face needs to remain square to the target for a few inches after contact. This is critical to create solid consistent golf shots.

Most average golfers stop the right shoulder from moving through the impact zone (right-handed golfers), which causes the club face to either open or close upon impact.

If you watched this year's U.S. Open on TV, did you notice how players kept turning their right shoulder through the ball after impact? (Their right shoulder turned well past their left foot on the follow through). This move allows them to keep the club face online through the hitting zone.

Finally, during the telecast, Johnny Miller repeatedly told the viewing audience that the area a few inches behind the ball and after the ball is where the club face needed to be square to hit straight, solid shots. He remarked that tour players had many different swings, but when they hit good shots, their club face was always square to the target in this area of their swing.

So remember to start the club straight back away from the ball on the backswing, and keep the club face square through the impact zone for consistent, solid ball striking.

Les Miller was a longtime Golf Writers of America member who covered golf instruction for several newspapers and golf publications. His many years of experience as a golf professional, director of product development and tour relations for several major golf companies gave him a unique background and ability to help golfers increase their enjoyment of the game.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • Impact

    David wrote on: Sep 4, 2009

    The club face is not square at impact! It needs to be square at separation. Be cautious of this authors tips.


      • RE: Impact

        ronald wrote on: Oct 9, 2009

        how do I contact the ball first and take a divot about the size of a dollar bill. Thanks


          • RE: RE: Impact

            Ron Bennewate wrote on: Aug 17, 2011

            How do I hit the ball first with a divot after. Thanks. Your infor is great.