Sergio Garcia hit a driver off the deck this week, and the internet went wild.
While the ball ended up in an ok position, he mis-hit the shot. The slow motion replay revealed something which almost every golf teacher knows, but apparently many amateurs weren’t aware of – watch the slow motion replay at 45 seconds.
Driver off the deck for @TheSergioGarcia…
…but wait for the replay 😲 pic.twitter.com/rsWLjBHowr
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) March 22, 2017
I often use my high-speed camera in lessons, as it can help a player visualize what just happened at impact.
In the vast majority of cases with amateur golfers, we see something similar to what we saw in Sergio Garcia’s shot – a massive twisting of the clubhead at impact. Check out the short video below.
I will often ask my pupil;
What do you think caused the twisting?
In most cases, the pupil guesses that they flipped their hands over or twisted the clubhead themselves. But this is not true – in fact, there is no way your hands could apply that much twist to the clubhead; our muscles are simply not that fast. So what IS happening here?
We all know the sweet spot – it feels great when we hit it, and the ball flies a long distance with a buttery feel.
However, when we miss the sweet-spot, the club will twist around its center of mass. This is exactly what happened in the case of our amateurs and Sergio Garcia’s driver.
Sergio hit low and on the heel of the club, which caused the club to twist rapidly down towards the ground, as well as closing (or flipping over) at a rapid rate.
Club twists around the center of mass (green). Strikes low on the face will twist down (left picture) and on the heel will twist the clubface closed (right picture). Sergio Garcia’s driver shot did both.
You will report this to me as
hey coach, the club keeps twisting in my hands
And your normal response it to grip it tighter to try and stop the twisting – which is the equivalent of trying to dig your heels into the ground when a car is coming at you 100mph.
The reality is, you need to get better at striking that sweet spot, the point where minimal clubhead twisting occurs. This will maximize the energy transference into the ball (smash factor – more distance) and also greatly increase consistency of accuracy, as off-center hits can get wildly chaotic.
To greatly improve your ability to hit the sweet spot, check out The Strike Plan by clicking the image below. It includes a whole host of drills to improve your sweet spot strike, as well as quality of ground contact – two vital pieces to consistent and better play.