The #1 Reason You Are Bad At Golf

The #1 Reason You Are Bad At Golf

In this short article, I’m going to show you the number 1 cause of poor golf.

It’s the issue that EVERY golfer with a handicap suffers with, and one that all pro golfers have managed to master.


Poor Golfer

I coach for a living, and have done for 12 years full-time. In many different countries.

During that time, I have seen the same fault pop up consistently across the board, and across the World.

Ground contact.

Take a look at the below 20 second video

Here, we see Rory McIlroy striking the ball first, then the club enters the ground. I repeat

Ball first, then ground.


What An Amateur Does

Without doubt, amateur golfers are NOT doing this.

Well, perhaps the low single figure/scratch golfers are much better at this skill, but even they can improve ground contact.

In fact, it’s so predictable that you can accurately gauge a player’s handicap based on their quality of turf strike alone.


If you are striking the red zones, you are not going to be a good/consistent player.


How Bad Is It?

A study I recently conducted (using Doppler radar technology to measure) showed that;

  • Hitting just 1 inch behind the ball lost on average 10 yards with an 8 iron
  • Hitting 2 inches behind the ball lost an average of 36 yards
  • Hitting 3 inches behind created many unplayable shots (complete duffs). Out of the few which were did fly, they lost an average of 45 yards.

Not only this, but accuracy declined, distance consistency declined, and overall warm fuzzy feelings of hitting flushed shots which spin back to the pin were eliminated.

Not good!



The Biggest Issue

The biggest problem I see for golfers is that many know that poor ground contact is their fault, but they have no idea how to fix it.

Most golfers are working on things which are completely unrelated to (or even detrimental to) their quality of strike.


Does this look like your mental checklist? I’ll bet you still struggle with ground contact.


The Solution

The quality of turf strike of a professional golfer is ridiculously good. We’re talking incredibly refined.

Ground strike controls the majority of distance and distance control with irons/hybrids/fairway woods.

Distance control determines whether you hit a green or not.

How many greens you hit in a round is the biggest correlator to handicap.

As a golf coach, I made it my mission to learn as much as I could about improving strike quality. I then put it into practice every day for over 12K hours worth of coaching and refined the processes and drills with my pupils.

As a result, I learned how to get golfers to improve their strike quality not only beyond where they thought possible, but in rapid time.

And, as the drills and concepts that I use to achieve this all fit in with the science of motor learning (external focuses, self-organizing theory), the improvements are long lasting.

I put it all into a program called The Strike Plan. Click the image below to find out more about it.

Strike plan enter



  • Liam Tomkins

    Brilliant… thank you

  • Brian R. Nielsen

    Sure correct and can’t be addressed enough.. I surely forget, on rush on, rater than prepare the shot carefully.. Thanks for the highligt and the mantra.. Ball first 🙂

  • Noel Cullen

    Good stuff,but In my own case I find (this may sound nuts after playing 25 yrs.) when ever I am not playing well I know I am not SEEing the damn ball.Club face striking the back of the ball that is.Soon as I see it my whole game falls into place and I play well (for a 75 year old) It is oblivious if you don’t “see” it you can’t hit it and you are moving your head.Thanks for great tips

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