Looking back at my 2021 golf season, I found that I had rounds where I struggled to control my ball flight. This error was generally traced back to the position of my clubface during impact. I know this because my misses are generally left (or way left sometimes) and when I look at my clubface afterwards, I found that it was closed. This challenge would come and go during my rounds and I often wondered what was the cause. Well, I think I found out my error and I thought it was worth sharing.
As a rule, I do not try to shape the ball. I can, sometimes, but my normal ball flight is straight. When I do not hit it straight, the error is traced to the position of my clubface through impact. I often wondered why this was the case and after watching this video by Chris Ryan, I think I have found my solution.
After some analyses, I have pinpointed my challenge to my grip position. I play with a neutral grip, but for some reason my grip position shifts from slightly strong to weak. I realize this seems like a crazy statement, but after watching the video, I am confident that this the source of my poor shot making.
When I strike the all, I can feel where the ball makes contact on the clubface. More importantly, I can feel if the toe or heel of the club is leading during contact. This is very valuable feedback and is developed over years of hitting golf balls. You are probably wondering why a single digit handicap player would have trouble with such a basic skill. Well, this is simple; my grip error is the result of not paying enough attention to my setup.
Probably not the answer you were expecting. It is true that from time to time I become so complacent with my setup that I fail to focus on all several aspects that are key to producing the straight shots I expect.
I am not making excuses, this setup error is purely mental. Sometimes I rush, other times I am thinking of non-golf things, and other times I am just lazy. I guess I could make a list as long as my arm, but I think you get the point. Staying mentally focused during my setup would eliminate many of my misdirection errors during contact. I am not suggesting I will never make this error in the future, but I have a solution that is easily adopted to my current play. Stay focused on my shot setup; specially when gripping the golf club.
Making errors when playing golf is all part of the game. In my case, making mental errors on something I have done hundreds of thousands of times is really just poor golf. Now that I realize the error my ways, I hope that I can reduce them next year and shoot a few more subpar rounds.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
4 thoughts on “Controlling The Clubface Through Impact”
It’s all about the timing.
My wildest shots are usually way left. In a strong headwind I occasionally try to slow the swing down but seem unable to slow down my hands. With a strong grip this leads to a serious pull/hook.
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Great points. Sometimes I unconsciously set up with a strong grip and that is disastrous for me. The way of golf I guess.
I’m curious. Which hand do you put on the grip first, right or left? I’ve always taken hold of the club first with my left hand and added the right hand over it but I notice the pro’s almost always put their right hand on first and slide the left under. Not sure if that is just because most are right handed or if it’s a matter of controlling the face more consistently.
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That is a great question. I have walked through the steps I take to position the golf club and I think that my left (top) had is the one I place first on the club. Then my lower hand. I do keep a lose grip and adjust as required, but I think that is how I do it. This is something I will have to think about more because I do this action automatically most of the time.