Radar Chronicles Episode 3: Adding 20 Yards by Changing Impact Dynamics
In this video we review the changes players made to their swing path, angle of attack, and face angle – what we are calling Impact Dynamics – to go from hitting a slice to hitting a draw and picking up 20 to 25 yards off the tee.
The first two weeks of the Radar Study were about collecting baseline data. We had our golfers hit 10-ball sets with their Driver, a 190-yard Long Approach Shot, a 150-yard Mid Approach Shot, and a 100-yard Wedge Shot. There was no instruction or advice provided in the first two sessions because we wanted raw results to use for comparison purposes once we started to provide Coaching.
Week Three marked the big change. Watch the video for our recap.
Week 3: Changing Impact Dynamics
We focused on the driver for the entire two hour session. We provided all the golfers with their initial baseline results as well as the ideal impact dynamics to hit a high draw and maximize their distance.
Four of the six golfers had the exact opposite impact dynamics you’d want for maximum distance. Specifically, to hit a high draw you need a slightly inside-out swing path (2 to 4 degrees is ideal), with an upward angle of attack (4 to 5 degrees is ideal), and a slightly closed club face (-1 or -2 degrees is ideal, or half the path number).
Our four golfers all had an outside-in path, downward angle of attack, and open club face. Those impact dynamics produce a weak pull-fade that doesn’t go anywhere. That’s the shot we all hate to see.
Sequential Teaching Methodology
We showed our four slicers their numbers, and then had them go to work to change their impact dynamics. We started by focusing on changing the swing path – from outside-in to inside-out. One of the theories we are testing is the best sequential order to follow to optimize driver results. teaching methodology to follow is to teach the sequence of Path, then Attack Angle, then Face Angle.
From a teaching process standpoint we had our slicers hit 10-ball sets with the sole focus of changing their Swing Path from outside-in to inside-out. We established a target at the far end of the range and asked them to line up square to the target, but hit every drive to the right of the target.
They received swing path feedback on every shot. Almost to a person our slicers immediately felt uncomfortable trying to hit drives to the right. But they also realized (thankfully) that being uncomfortable comes with change. If they weren’t uncomfortable that meant nothing was changing.
The good news is that all four slicers made substantial progress in just one session. In the case of Ace it was dramatic. He started the session with an average path of 18 degrees outside-in with an average drive length of 135 yards. By the end of the session he had changed to 5 degrees outside-in, moved from a banana slice to a soft fade, and picked up 25 yards on his drives.