How and why - hit the inside of the golf ball (Video)
How and why - hit the inside of the golf ball (Video)

If you're ever watching golf on the TV, you often hear its commentators, the announcers talking about coming at the golf ball from the inside and hitting the inside of the golf ball, and why that’s so important. And then the bad golfer that comes from the outside and why that’s a bit of a problem. So here's an understanding of exactly what we're talking about there. And I think the easiest thing to think about when you're talking about this is to imagine that the target is down this way. We're going to say the target is at 12 o'clock. So here's my clock face , here's the hands of the clock face and straight forward there is 12 o'clock, so the back of the clock here would be at 6 o'clock, and therefore as we move around the clock face, we've got one 1 o'clock and then we've got 7 o'clock. So if we set that hand up there, so that’s 7 o'clock and that’s 1 o'clock. Now a good golf swing that hits the ball from the inside part of the ball, the nearest part to me, is swinging through the target line on a 7 to 1 angle.

So next time you're out playing, take the maker's name on the ball, the red line as I've got it here, and just twist it so it points on the 7 o'clock to 1 o'clock line. Often you can do that when you're teeing off for in practice. You can't twist your golf ball around when you're playing on the course. But I've aimed my line now, my maker's name, from 7 o'clock to 1 o'clock. I then have the feeling I'm going to hit the ball right in the back of the 7 o'clock position from an inside approach which should give me a ball that draws slightly from right to the left, or if I do it too much, it could hook the golf ball but that’s better I would feel than coming up over the top, hitting the ball on the outside, hitting the ball on the sort of 5 o'clock position.

So it's a really nice way of understanding what the inside of the golf ball is, why it's important to try and hit it, and a good way of visualizing hitting it from there is to swing from 7 o'clock through 1 o'clock, 6 to 12 but not from 5 o'clock through 11 o'clock. That would be the outside of the golf ball, that would be the slice or the fadest kind of position. So think about hitting the inside of the golf ball for stronger and better flying shots.

2013-01-15

When you make a golf swing, which part of the ball do you try to hit?

How and Why Hit the Inside of the Golf Ball

If you are like most players, you may not have given this topic much – if any – thought previously. Most golfers just pick out a target, select a club, and make a swing. You might have a little bit of success that way, but your growth as a player will be limited. In order to reach new heights on the links, you need to be as specific as possible with your plan for each shot. With that in mind, it is a good idea to aim your swing at a specific part of the ball, rather than just the ball itself.

In this article, we are going to discuss the virtues of hitting the inside of the golf ball. By the inside, we mean the half of the ball closest to your body as you make the swing. Of course, you are still going to be making contact on the back of the ball, as that is the only way to cause the ball to move forward. So, the point of this article is to discuss the how and why behind striking the inside-back portion of the golf ball with your full swing. When you can accomplish this goal, it’s likely that your ball striking will take a big step in the right direction.

If you have any experience in golf to this point, you’ll already know that it is going to take some time and effort to make progress on this task. It’s not as easy as simply deciding that you are going to hit the inside of the ball and then going from there. It’s going to require some meaningful changes to your technique in order to make this happen, and those changes almost certainly won’t come easy. Take your time, be patient with yourself, and look forward to seeing the results come through in the long run.

All of the content below is based on a right-handed golfer. If you happen to play left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.

The Benefits of Hitting the Inside of the Ball

The Benefits of Hitting the Inside of the Ball

As a golfer, you have a limited amount of time available to work on your game. Every time you head to the driving range to practice your skills, you should have a specific plan in mind for what you are going to work on and why. After all, if you are just out there making mindless swings one after the next, it’s highly unlikely that you will make much progress.

With this concept in mind, we think it is important to explain why it is helpful to strike the inside of the golf ball at impact. Rather than just taking our word for it, you’ll be better served to have a specific list of ways in which your game can improve as a result of making this change. Let’s get on with the list!

  • Added distance. For the vast majority of players, striking the inside of the ball is going to lead to longer shots, as compared to hitting the outside of the ball. There are a few reasons for this to be the case. First, hitting from the inside is simply going to allow you to be in a stronger position. You’ll be swinging from the inside out, meaning you’ll have access to most of the power that your body can create. Instead of making an arms-only swing, which is always going to be limited in its ability to produce distance, you will be making a swing that incorporates most of the parts of your body. For a golfer who has always swung across the ball from outside-in, swinging from inside-out for the first time is an eye-opening experience.
  • Produce a draw. Have you always looked on with envy as some of your playing partners sent the ball into the distance with a nice little draw shape? While it is certainly possible to play quality golf with a fade, many amateurs dream of being able to hit a powerful draw swing after swing. If that is one of your goals in this game, swinging with the intention of hitting the inside of the ball is for you. Simply put, you aren’t going to hit a quality draw if you strike the outside of the ball. Sure, you could make the ball turn from right to left if you hit the outside of the ball, but the shot you hit will not fit into the category of a nice draw. Rather, it will look something like a pull hook – and that’s no one’s idea of a good pattern. By striking the inside of the ball, you will have a chance to start the ball just to the right of the target line before swinging it back to the left (assuming the face is closed slightly at impact). You shouldn’t feel compelled to learn how to hit a draw if you are currently happy with your fade. However, if you do want to play a draw for one reason or another, striking the inside of the ball is a necessary step.
  • Attack on a shallow plane. Another nice thing about hitting from the inside of the ball is that you should be able to swing in comfortably on a shallow plane. That is not always the case when hitting the outside of the ball. Swings which move from outside-in tend to be rather steep, and that is usually not a good thing. Steep swings lead to ballooning ball flights and excessively high spin rates. While there is a time and a place for a steeper swing, you’ll probably want to hit the majority of your shots using a shallower path. With that in mind, swinging down from the inside is the right way to go. You can more easily trace a shallow path when coming from the inside, leading to a nice launch angle and an appropriate spin rate.
  • Add diversity to your game. When you swing down from the inside, there are plenty of different shots available to you as a golfer. Given some time and plenty of practice, you should be able to develop a wide range of shots which all stem from your standard inside-out swing path. The same thing really can’t be said for players who swing from outside-in. It’s hard to have diversity in your game when you hit the outside of the ball, as there are only so many shots which can be produced from that position. If you have dreams of raising your game to a high level and producing impressive scores, you’ll need to have more than one or two shots in your repertoire. With that in mind, consider learning how to hit from the inside as soon as possible.

It's likely that there are more potential benefits associated with hitting the inside of the ball than just the four points listed above. However, we should have more than enough here to motivate you to give this a try. It’s common for professional golfers to aim for the inside of the ball with their swings, and that is no coincidence – this is a great way to play the game.

Are You Already Succeeding?

Are You Already Succeeding?

Before you run out and attempt to change the way you swing the golf club in order to hit the inside of the ball, you need to make sure you aren’t already doing so. It would be pretty silly – and potentially counterproductive – to work on learning how to do something that you are already doing effectively. Take a little bit of time to analyze your current swing and figure out where you are striking the ball on most of your shots. From there, you’ll be able to decide if any changes will be needed.

How do you know if you are already hitting the inside of the ball? The first step is to think about your ball flight. If you regularly fight a slice on the course, chances are good that you are hitting somewhere on the outside half of the golf ball. However, if you play a fade – a controlled left to right shot with only a minor curve – you may still be hitting the inside of the ball with an open club face. More information will be needed in order to determine where you are contacting the ball, if you are a fade player. As you might imagine, those who repeatedly hit a nice draw can be rather confident that they are striking the inside of the ball. Unless you are hitting pull hooks, any other shot which curves from right to left is a strong indication of a swing moving from the inside-out.

If you have already thought about your ball flight patterns and you still aren’t sure whether or not you are hitting from the inside of the ball, there is another way you can make this judgement. When hitting an iron shot from a fairway lie, use the divot that you take out of the ground as visual evidence of the path that your club took through the ball. After the shot is complete, stand back and look at the divot hole. What direction is the divot pointing? This will tell you effectively everything you need to know about your swing path. If the divot is pointed to the right of the target, you swung from the inside-out, and you must have contacted the inside of the ball. Of course, if the divot is pointed to the left, you swung across the ball on the way through and hit the outside of the ball. This is a simple method of evaluating swing path, but it is extremely useful.

Don’t make the mistake of altering your swing technique before you even know if anything is wrong. Start by thinking about your ball flight and then move on to evaluating your divots, if necessary. Pretty soon, you’ll have a good understanding of your swing path and how your club is approaching the ball each time. If it does turn out that changes need to be made, you can use the information in the next section to get started on that process.

Making Changes

Making Changes

Once you’ve decided to make changes to your swing in order to hit from the inside more effectively, you need to make sure you are completely committed to those changes. If you are on the fence about whether or not to even bother with this idea, you shouldn’t even start. It’s going to be a challenge, and there are going to be struggles along the way. If you aren’t committed enough to see it through during those tough times, you’ll never make it successfully to the other side.

With that warning out of the way, we are going to provide you with a list of tips to keep in mind as you try to change to hitting from the inside of the golf ball. As is always the case with golf instruction, you need to keep your own swing in mind while reading these points. Some tips will apply more directly to certain golfers than others, so it’s always your responsibility to decide which tips to use and which to ignore.

  • Make a big turn going back. Perhaps the best thing you can do to position yourself for success during the downswing is to make a big turn during the backswing. Turn your shoulders fully away from the target so you are in a great position from swing to attack the ball. Players who struggle with their shoulder turn often wind up swinging across the ball just because they aren’t in a position to do anything else. Give yourself the time to make a big shoulder turn and only start down when you are sure the backswing is complete. Rushing through the backswing is a common error which leads to an outside-in path, so do your best to get away from this habit. Take your time, turn your shoulders slowly and smoothly, and start down with confidence once that turn is complete.
  • Take the club back slightly to the outside. This is a point which will surprise many golfers. To the average player, it seems like swinging back on an inside path is the logical option, since that is the path that they hope to use when swinging down into the ball. Unfortunately, that isn’t really how it works out in this game. If you swing back to the inside, you are going to be crowded at the top of the backswing, and you’ll likely move the club away from you before starting the downswing. With the club now away from your body and your hands high, an outside-in swing path is the only outcome on the table. Give yourself more room by taking the club back just slightly to the outside of the target line. This will promote a wider backswing and you’ll feel like you have plenty of space to drop to the inside and attack the ball aggressively.
  • Avoid sliding to the left on the way down. One of the biggest keys to understand as a golfer is the fact that this is a rotational game. In fact, if you wish to repeat something to yourself over and over again on the range as you practice, make it this – ‘golf is a rotational game’. To hit good shots, you need to rotate. That’s just how it works. Sadly, some amateur golfers feel like they need to move from side to side in order to hit good shots. The lateral slides that these players make create plenty of trouble, as weak and inaccurate swings are the usual result. In this case, we are talking about players who slide laterally to the left in the downswing. Rather than turning toward the target using the lower body to rotate to the left, a golfer with a lateral slide will simply slide his or her hips toward the target without making much turn at all. Not only is this kind of swing going to make it difficult to produce any speed, but you’ll also be likely to strike the outside of the ball with a steep swing path. Work on improving your lower body rotation right from the start of the downswing and your slide should quickly go away.
  • Watch the inside part of the ball. It’s hard to hit something that you can’t see. With that in mind, when you want to hit the inside of the ball with your golf club, it only makes sense that you should actually watch that part of the ball as your swing develops. At address, pick out a very specific spot on the inside of the golf ball, near the back. Watch that spot intently throughout the swing until the ball leaves the club face and shoots off into the distance. It may take some practice to train yourself to watch one single spot like that but doing so can have a surprisingly powerful effect on the quality of your ball striking.

Again, we want to reiterate that you are going to need to decide for yourself exactly which changes you should be making, based on the current state of your golf swing. We have never seen you swing the club before, so we can’t tell you exactly what needs to be changed. Take some time to develop a plan and then be diligent about implementing that plan during practice.

Ball Striking in the Short Game

Ball Striking in the Short Game

Virtually every discussion of golf technique should include at least one section on the short game. Hitting quality short game shots is essential if you are going to raise your level of play in this game. The short game accounts for more than half of all the shots you’ll hit while on the course, yet most players don’t give it half of their practice time – or anything even close to that number. Make yourself one of the few amateur golfers who takes the short game as seriously as the long game and your performance may jump up dramatically.

So, does our conversation on striking the inside of the ball translate to the short game? No, it does not. When playing short game shots, you should be trying to place the club directly on the back of the ball as frequently as you can. Since the ball is not going to be airborne long enough to curve, you don’t want to be striking it anywhere but perfectly in the center. If you were to hit the inside of the ball, all you would be doing is creating a pushed shot that misses your target to the right. While this is going to happen from time to time, it should not be intentional.

The one piece of advice we would like to offer with regard to hitting the back of the ball accurately is the same tips as above in the previous section – watch the spot that you want to hit. This is even more useful in the short game, since the swings are slower and smaller. You should be able to control your putting stroke and chipping motion well enough to hit the back of the ball correctly with significant regularity. Keep your eyes steady, watch the back of the ball as the swing proceeds, and don’t let your head move up until the shot has been sent on its way.

It is a good idea to hit the inside of the golf ball, for a number of reasons. With that said, is it required in order to play this game successfully? Not at all. You can play good golf by hitting the outside of the ball, as long as the rest of your technique lines up with that plan. Whatever the case, if you decide to move forward with trying to play your shots by striking the inside of the ball, we hope the contents of this article have been helpful. Good luck!

If you're ever watching golf on the TV, you often hear its commentators, the announcers talking about coming at the golf ball from the inside and hitting the inside of the golf ball, and why that’s so important. And then the bad golfer that comes from the outside and why that’s a bit of a problem. So here's an understanding of exactly what we're talking about there. And I think the easiest thing to think about when you're talking about this is to imagine that the target is down this way. We're going to say the target is at 12 o'clock. So here's my clock face , here's the hands of the clock face and straight forward there is 12 o'clock, so the back of the clock here would be at 6 o'clock, and therefore as we move around the clock face, we've got one 1 o'clock and then we've got 7 o'clock. So if we set that hand up there, so that’s 7 o'clock and that’s 1 o'clock. Now a good golf swing that hits the ball from the inside part of the ball, the nearest part to me, is swinging through the target line on a 7 to 1 angle.

So next time you're out playing, take the maker's name on the ball, the red line as I've got it here, and just twist it so it points on the 7 o'clock to 1 o'clock line. Often you can do that when you're teeing off for in practice. You can't twist your golf ball around when you're playing on the course. But I've aimed my line now, my maker's name, from 7 o'clock to 1 o'clock. I then have the feeling I'm going to hit the ball right in the back of the 7 o'clock position from an inside approach which should give me a ball that draws slightly from right to the left, or if I do it too much, it could hook the golf ball but that’s better I would feel than coming up over the top, hitting the ball on the outside, hitting the ball on the sort of 5 o'clock position.

So it's a really nice way of understanding what the inside of the golf ball is, why it's important to try and hit it, and a good way of visualizing hitting it from there is to swing from 7 o'clock through 1 o'clock, 6 to 12 but not from 5 o'clock through 11 o'clock. That would be the outside of the golf ball, that would be the slice or the fadest kind of position. So think about hitting the inside of the golf ball for stronger and better flying shots.