Point of contact vital to keeping drives straight

Picture 1
Picture 1

Where do you consistently hit the ball on your driver face? And how important is it to have a consistent strike point?

The answer to the second question is very probably “much more so than you have ever thought”.

Picture 2

Picture 2

In terms of direction/power, the very worst possible place to strike the ball is from the “heel end”. This normally produces a weak slice, with 10-20 yards being given away.

Conversely a strike from the “toe end” normally produces a draw shape that can quickly turn into a snap hook if you are not careful.

Take a look at the first picture. Having sprayed some foot powder onto the face I then hit three shots, all reasonably well centered, but a fraction low on the club face.

My driver has 9.5 degrees of loft on it (not nearly enough) which is measured from the exact centre on the face, but down where these balls were struck the loft is probably more like 8 degrees.

Naturally at this point the launch angle is going to be very low (about 10 degrees) so the ball will tend to drop out of the sky, as there is not enough spin loft to keep it up there.

If the golfer suffers from the dreaded “chicken wing” that also causes the ball to be struck from a very low point on the face.

Now have a look at the second picture. This time I am pointing to the ideal spot that I would like to hit the ball from. Slightly above the centre on the face, as that is where the “sweet spot” is and a fraction right of centre is where the “maximum power spot” lies.

At this strike point there will be a slight “trampoline effect”, allowing the ball to come off the face much quicker and travel potentially slightly further.

Golfers consistently striking the ball from the heel end, are hitting it on average around 10 yards shorter than they should.

Watching Henrik and Phil battling it out for the claret jug recently was probably the finest display of golf that I have ever seen. This is mainly due to coach Pete Cowen, who has worked with Stenson for many years. Very rarely do the coaches receive a mention. So very well done to both.