GOLF DIGEST SCHOOLS

The Facts of Impact

1  of  4

Lesson 1: Putting Impact

video breakdown

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OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS DRILLS

OVERVIEW

When it comes to putting, most golfers worry about line and speed. But those are results, so they’re somewhat out of your control. The best you can do to putt better is control how you impact the ball, specifically where on the ball the putterface makes contact. Once you learn how to create proper impact and get the ball rolling with forward spin, your command of line and speed will come. In this video, Michael Breed discusses perfect putting strikes and how to produce them.

SWING THOUGHTS

For proper impact on putts, play the ball in line with the buttons of your shirt
In the putting setup, push the grip ahead of the ball—the back edge of the grip over the front edge of the ball—to pre-set a pure strike
To keep the putterface aimed at the target, rotate the knuckles of your lead hand under as you go back
For an upward strike with the putter, keep your lead shoulder high as you stroke through

DRILLS

Face Control

  • Get a sleeve of balls, and set it down lengthwise on your target line.
  • Set up to the first ball in the sleeve, and make a stroke, hitting the box.
  • If you strike with a square putterface, the box will slide straight down the line.
  • If the face is open at impact, the box will spin toward the toe of the putter; if it’s closed, it’ll spin toward the heel.

Rise Angle

  • Get a sleeve of balls, and set the long side flush to your putterface at address.
  • Set up to the sleeve, and make a stroke, hitting the box.
  • If the hosel of your putter doesn’t rise enough to clear the sleeve, the box will spin open—that means the putterface was swinging too level, even downward, at impact.
  • On an upward strike, the top of the putterface will line up with the top of the box at impact. Do that, and you’ll miss the hosel and make the box tumble forward.
Lesson 2: Short-Game Impact
2 Lesson 2: Short-Game Impact
  • The right way to produce loft and backspin
  • Simple adjustments to get to any pin
  • An easy technique for high, soft shots
  • Developing touch around the greens

The Facts of Impact

2  of  4

Lesson 2: Short-Game Impact

video breakdown

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OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS DRILLS

OVERVIEW

As we move from the green out to the fairway, the characteristics of impact change dramatically. The attack angle goes from upward to downward; the ball rotation goes from forward spin to backspin; the shots go from the ground to the air. What remains the same is, the dynamics you create at impact determine where the ball goes. On shots inside 100 yards—the subject of this video—that means trajectory, distance and roll. Here, Michael Breed takes you through the details.

SWING THOUGHTS

From inside 100 yards, pick a club with a launch angle that matches the shot: high launch for a quick-stopping shot; lower launch for a running shot
Consider hole location when deciding on trajectory and club selection
Increase swing speed to increase backspin
Grip down to lower the launch on greenside shots; grip full for a higher launch
On short-game shots, swing your hands through so they finish close to your lead hip. Swing your hands out more for a lower shot; swing them closer to the hip for a higher shot

DRILLS

One-Handed Swings

  • Set up with a wedge in your dominant hand only.
  • Hold your other hand off your lead side, palm open.
  • Practice swinging the grip into your open hand in the follow-through.
  • Don’t hit balls right away. Focus on that feeling of swinging the grip to the lead hip.
  • Once you have this down, use your normal grip, and imagine you’re swinging into the hand.
Lesson 3: Iron-Play Impact
3 Lesson 3: Iron-Play Impact
  • Eliminating fat and thin shots
  • What amateurs do that pros never do
  • A 3-step practice drill for solid strikes
  • How to produce consistent distances

The Facts of Impact

3  of  4

Lesson 3: Iron-Play Impact

video breakdown

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OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS DRILLS

OVERVIEW

For many golfers, the hardest clubs to find consistency with are the irons. If you battle fat shots, thin shots and wild variations in distance, understanding a few keys to good iron impact can improve your approach play. In this video, Michael Breed explains creating a downward hit versus simply trying to hit down on the ball—it’s a dramatic difference. He also discusses how to produce a penetrating ball flight and predictable distances with your irons.

SWING THOUGHTS

For proper iron impact, the low point of your swing should be past the ball
On iron shots, hit with the shaft leaning toward the target to control low point and launch angle
On the downswing with an iron, don’t release the angle in your lead wrist early—no flipping
To hit your irons solid, the clubhead should be moving downward when it strikes the ball
Practice with irons you aren’t comfortable with; don’t just grab your favorite club

DRILLS

The 3-Step Low Point Drill

  • First, set up to the ball and start your backswing, hinging the club up and stopping when your hands are in front of your back thigh.
  • Then, without changing your wrist hinge, rotate your body through so your hands move in front of your lead thigh.
  • Finally, snap the clubhead down and through by releasing your wrists.
  • After a few reps, you’ll see that the low point of the swing is in front of the ball.
Lesson 4: Driving Impact
4 Lesson 4: Driving Impact
  • The No. 1 key to success with the driver
  • Making a bigger turn for more speed
  • Creating a predictable ball flight off the tee
  • How to avoid the biggest distance drains

The Facts of Impact

4  of  4

Lesson 4: Driving Impact

video breakdown

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OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS DRILLS

OVERVIEW

The driver is the most unique club in the bag, but there are principles you can take from both putting and iron play to improve your impact off the tee. The dynamics of the swing are in full bloom with the driver, yet the angle of attack should be slightly upward, like in putting. With distance as your primary goal, you need to maximize your turn behind the ball and swing into impact on an inside path. Here, Michael Breed demonstrates how to optimize your driver strikes.

SWING THOUGHTS

To pre-set an upward angle of attack with the driver, tilt your shoulders away from the target
In the driver setup, don’t open your shoulders by reaching for a forward ball position; stay square
For a bigger turn with the driver, focus on rotating your trail shoulder behind you
On driver swings, let the club approach from the inside to launch the ball at the proper angle
With the driver, keep your spine angled away from the target to put the low point behind the ball

DRILLS

Shoulder Rotations

  • Hold your driver horizontally across your chest with the grip pointing at the target.
  • Take your setup, and tilt your shoulders away from the target so the grip end tips upward.
  • With your lead hand on your trail shoulder, push the shoulder back as you make a backswing until the clubshaft points past 90 degrees.
  • Strive for this full “sternum turn” when you go back to hitting normal drives.

The Facts of Impact

Lesson
1 / 4
Lesson 1: Putting Impact
2 / 4
Lesson 2: Short-Game Impact
3 / 4
Lesson 3: Iron-Play Impact
4 / 4
Lesson 4: Driving Impact
The Facts of Impact INDEX
Lesson 1: Putting Impact
1/4
Lesson 1: Putting Impact
  • Learn to start all your putts on line
  • Grooving a reliable putting routine
  • The secret move for perfect rolls
  • Fun practice drills that really work
  • Learn to start all your putts on line
  • Grooving a reliable putting routine
  • The secret move for perfect rolls
  • Fun practice drills that really work
Lesson 2: Short-Game Impact
2/4
Lesson 2: Short-Game Impact
  • The right way to produce loft and backspin
  • Simple adjustments to get to any pin
  • An easy technique for high, soft shots
  • Developing touch around the greens
  • The right way to produce loft and backspin
  • Simple adjustments to get to any pin
  • An easy technique for high, soft shots
  • Developing touch around the greens
Lesson 3: Iron-Play Impact
3/4
Lesson 3: Iron-Play Impact
  • Eliminating fat and thin shots
  • What amateurs do that pros never do
  • A 3-step practice drill for solid strikes
  • How to produce consistent distances
  • Eliminating fat and thin shots
  • What amateurs do that pros never do
  • A 3-step practice drill for solid strikes
  • How to produce consistent distances
Lesson 4: Driving Impact
4/4
Lesson 4: Driving Impact
  • The No. 1 key to success with the driver
  • Making a bigger turn for more speed
  • Creating a predictable ball flight off the tee
  • How to avoid the biggest distance drains
  • The No. 1 key to success with the driver
  • Making a bigger turn for more speed
  • Creating a predictable ball flight off the tee
  • How to avoid the biggest distance drains