Think of address at impact

September 20, 2009

Address: Sam Snead's weight is evenly balanced with the driver. His head is behind the ball, his hands in line with the clubhead.

Impact: Snead's body is remarkably similar to its address position: chest facing the ball, feet flat on the ground.

Great players know how to make adjustments on the course when their swings desert them. We've all been there. One shot goes to the right, the next one to the left. Usually the hips and legs are outracing the hands and arms, and it's difficult to square the clubface at impact. Then panic sets in, and everything we try just makes it worse.

One of the best pieces of advice I've ever heard was from Sam Snead, winner of 82 PGA Tour titles. Sam said that when he found himself struggling during a round, he would visualize one key image: Return the club to its address position at impact.

The beauty of this thought, first of all, is it's simple. Second, it works. Why? Because it helps quiet your lower body -- your chest facing the ball at impact -- so your hands and arms have time to swing the club into the ball on the original shaft plane. It also keeps your spine angle stable, so you make consistently solid contact.

A final point: Notice how Sam's right heel is still down at impact (above, right). That's proof he practiced what he preached.