This question addresses probably what is the number 1 problem for recreational golfers.

This question addresses probably what is the number 1 problem for recreational golfers. 90% of golfers at impact add loft and present the shaft to the ball with negative shaft lean. This produces a low point a couple of inches behind the ball. Everyday in my teaching I introduce the “punch drill.” For new students that routinely hit fat or thin shots I will suggest they hit nothing but punch shots for the first couple of lessons.

The first thing that most recreational golfers have to realize is that elite golfers reach low point after impact. Most Tour players reach low point as much as 4 inches after impact. In others words the club is still traveling downward even after contact with the ball. I want to be clear, when I say downward, I do not mean steep, the club should be traveling on a shallow, sweeping descending path to the ball. Students are encouraged to picture hitting shots from underneath trees or into a strong headwind. We are trying to reduce dynamic loft which will produce positive shaft lean.

The goal is to feel that the clubhead never gets above the handle throughout the follow thru. A punch shot is simply a finish position in which the shaft is parallel to the ground and the clubhead and grip are at the same height at waist high. They are advised to go no farther than that. I have them focus on the sound of impact. Once they start to groove that punchy finish and experience the sound of compression they are amazed how far the ball travels with such a short finish. In most cases recreational golfers actually hit their irons farther with this drill than they do with their standard full swing.

I do not think its a coincidence that the two greatest ball strikers of all time, Ben Hogan and Lee Trevino were both from Texas. Due to the wind in Texas and hard, crusty soil they had to develop a swing that would keep the clubhead low thru impact and flight the ball down. Thus Hogan and Trevino had a tremendous sound of compression with a ball that made a “sizzling” sound as it rocketed off the clubface.