Video Series

Video Transcript

So if we’ve understood now about how we should be striking down onto the golf ball, we’ve understood that the ball is on the ground we can’t hit up into that ball unless it’s on a tee, we’ve got to bring the club down into the back of the ball and then may be take a little pivot afterwards particularly with the irons. We can now look at the characteristics that make up a golf club that can also affect this impact position and how the ball will fly off the club face and why it doesn’t always fly off the club face with every club. So one of the first considerations about how the club strikes the ball is going to be the speed that the club is traveling. Now as a golfer we are going to try and hit most of our shots, certainly our full distance shots, pretty hard. But that doesn’t mean the swing speed with the wedge and swing speed with the driver are going to be the same, because our pretty hard can vary, but also the golf club will make a big difference.

With a pitching wedge, because the shaft is relatively short and relatively heavy, the swing speed won’t be that fast. But obviously with the driver it’s the opposite end of the scale, the driver is a lot longer shaft and it’s a lot lighter shaft. Therefore, the club head will be swinging a lot quicker. So the ball doesn’t know necessarily what club you are actually swinging or who you are, the ball only knows about what it feels at impact, how fast that club is traveling. So swing speed is going to be one of the biggest differences between hitting down on the wedge and hitting a level with the driver. Now the next consideration again that the ball knows about, that the ball feels is the loft on the face. The ball will see that it has got a lot of loft on the face with the pitching wedge; it’s going to fly a lot more higher with a lot more backspin. If we strike on the ball with a driver, it’s got a lot less loft on the face and it’s going to get a lot less backspin. It’s going to fly therefore, hopefully, a little bit further.

The ball also knows about the angle of the club, so whether it’s aiming left or right. But one last thing the ball knows about in terms of how we strike down on the ball is the angle of attack. So this is not necessarily the loft on the face, but this is actually how that loft is presented to the back of the ball. So a pitching wedge where the ball is more in the center of the feet and we are hitting down on the ball, that’s quite a steep angle of attack. So the club is in the air, we move forwards, we hit down, the club goes down into the back of the ball may be by seven, eight, nine degrees that’s quite a steep angle of attack. The angle of attack effectively comes off the loft on the golf club and produces a relatively low but high spinning ball flight. So when we get steep on the ball, we might see a lower ball flight initially that then climbs up into the sky. With a driver the angle of attack could be a lot closer to zero or actually a plus figure.

So because the ball is more forwards with the driver, the club will shallow out earlier and actually start to rise up as it strikes the ball. So it might actually be on it’s rising, a plus figure that hits the ball. So therefore, that ball flight might start a bit higher, but will therefore, have less spin. So we can see how the nature of the golf club and the makeup of how we actually implement the strike position can affect how we see the ball fly in the air and how we get this concept of hitting down on the ball or not hitting on a golf ball quite so much.