If the senior golfer wishes to achieve consistent shots with the driver, creating the correct amount of shaft angle at address and impact are crucial.
Shaft angle is created by pushing the hands ahead, level or behind the ball at address or impact.
1. When viewed face on, if the hands are ahead of the ball at address or impact and the shaft leans toward the target, the swing will have a steep angle of attack and send the ball lower.
2. When viewed face on, if the hands are level with the ball at address or impact and the shaft is perpendicular with the ground, the swing will have a ‘neutral’ angle of attack reaching the bottom of its arc at impact.
3. When viewed face on, if the hands are behind the ball at address or impact and the shaft leans away from the target, the swing will have a shallow angle of attack and send the ball higher.
For a truly solid iron strike, the senior golfer should have their hands slightly ahead of the ball at impact with the shaft leaning towards the target. However, with the driver the golfer wants the club shaft level with, or even slightly leaning away from the target to encourage a sweeping motion through the ball.
Pre-setting the position
An easy way to help encourage the correct amount of shaft angle at impact is to ‘pre-set’ the position at address. When setting up to a standard driver shot with the ball positioned just inside the left heel (for right handed golfers), the club shaft should be perpendicular to the ground with the butt of the grip pointing towards the left hip. If the shaft angle becomes steeper (leaning more towards the target), the initial trajectory of a shot will become lower. Conversely the shallower the angle of approach, when the club shaft leans away from the target at impact, the higher the ball flight will become.
When hitting the driver, allowing the shaft angle to become too steep will encouraged a downward strike on to the ball.
This is something the senior golfer should look to avoid as it will de-loft the club face sending the ball lower and minimizing the amount of distance achievable.