Angles of impact
By T.J. TOMASI
Don’t make the mistake of trying to return to your address position at impact. If you do, energy stockpiled by coiling on the backswing will be dissipated by the time you get back to the ball.
Even today, some antiquated instruction preaches that the impact position mirrors your address position, but this is obviously not correct. The vast difference between impact and address is illustrated in the accompanying photos. There are three areas of major importance: knees, hips and shoulders.
At address, in the first photo, the knees are parallel to the left of her intended line of flight. At impact, in photo two, her back knee has moved so her knees are now lined up 25 degrees to the left of her original line. Notice how her right heel is off the ground at impact as a consequence of this “opening up,” coupled with the transfer of weight to her left foot.
At address, the hips are parallel to the left of her intended line of flight, but at impact, her hips are 25 degrees open. As evidence, notice that only one belt loop is clearly visible at address, while at impact we can see two. This is proof of a good release of hips that were coiled at the top then snapped open — and that spells power.
At address, the shoulders are parallel to her intended line of flight, but at impact, her shoulders are only slightly open, about 10 degrees — not nearly as rotated as her knees or hips. This is a sure sign that she has saved some of the coil she built up on her backswing for release when it counts — through impact.
Further evidence of this can be seen by observing the wrinkles in her shirt. The muscles in her torso are wound the same way as these wrinkles are. Her shoulders will not catch up to her hips and knees until she is almost at the finish of her swing.
To get the feel of the correct impact position and how it differs from address, sole your clubhead behind a ball and go directly from address to impact without moving the clubhead. Then hold the position and, using a mirror, compare it to the model. If you see and feel the correct position, your chances of getting there are greatly improved.