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Thread: Ball striking

  1. #1
    Follow me: @bahester bahester's Avatar
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    Ball striking

    One thing I struggle with is being a consistent ball striker. Are there any tips, tricks, or drills to think about when trying to produce a repeatable swing and become a better ball striker? One thing that has helped me a bit is trying to slow down my tempo a bit and focus more on a smooth swing instead of trying to rip through every shot which is my natural tendency. However I still struggle quite a bit, mostly with longer irons.

    Any books that address this issue I'm open to reading as well
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    Fairway Finder Damaikis's Avatar
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    To be honest, I just focus hard on keeping my head still. My transition is very agressive and I can tend to move my head during it which leads to bad strikes. If I focus on keeping it still and stable throughout my swing, I generally see better results.
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    I share your struggles man. My instructor tells me that the biggest contributor to inconsistent ball striking in amateurs is swaying or sliding rather that turning during the swing. During a round, if I start having trouble making decent contact, I remember what he said and concentrate on turning. Sometimes, not always, I can save the round.
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    Ball first contact should be a priority. Even with the long irons. I have to focus of driving the butt end of the club towards the ball from the top. That helps me hit down on the ball.
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    Beginner Cole's Avatar
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    Excess movement like everyone is saying is usually the culprit.

    When I get away from good ball first contact I spend a day at the range just hitting 1/4-1/2 shots with a 7 iron and keep my head still while making sure every time I hit the ball first. I swing very easily during this and just want to get used to the feeling of where I'm at when I'm hitting the ball crisply like I do in those drills. It has done wonders for me. I also focus on keeping a flat left wrist during the drill as I have a tendency to get handsy.

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    Follow me: @bahester bahester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by v.man View Post
    I share your struggles man. My instructor tells me that the biggest contributor to inconsistent ball striking in amateurs is swaying or sliding rather that turning during the swing. During a round, if I start having trouble making decent contact, I remember what he said and concentrate on turning. Sometimes, not always, I can save the round.
    Great point, which I've also heard from the few lessons I've taken. Glad you brought that up, thanks!
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    Major Champion WMac19's Avatar
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    Sounds silly, but the biggest mistake we all make is that we actually try to hit the ball.

    What we should be focusing on is performing a smooth, controlled swing while keying on tempo. There should be no "hit" in the swing, the ball should simply react to a smooth pass through the impact zone.

    In order to avoid being results-oriented and instead more execution-based, I like to tell myself, "I can't control where the ball ends up but I can control my swing."

    When I believe that, I shoot my best scores.
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    With a small caveat, I'll say that my best and most consistent stretches are when I keep to the exact same routine pre-shot. I stand behind the ball, visualize my line and trajectory, then step up, take a little half swing (think Mike Weir; I take the clubhead back to waist height then do a slow mini-swing to hip height followthrough), then step forward, tilt my body away from my target a bit, then do a slow and low takeaway. My caveat is that when I have a bad shot, I tend to swing too hard and that throws me off; it invariably takes me a few holes to cool down and remember to swing easy. I'm seriously considering a sign to tape to my driver head cover that says 'don't try to kill it'.
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    describes me to a T,if I turn correctly and don't sway I'm much better

    oops meant to quote v.man
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    I tend to slide behind the ball instead of turn and I move my head away from the ball which leads to some inconsistent ball striking. One thing that I did that has improved my striking is to reduce my backswing and quiet my legs during the backswing.
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    One little technique I've stumbled upon that works for myself most of the time to ensure better ball contact and not "hitting" at the ball is to actually focus my eyes on the bottom of my swing arc, as opposed to focusing my eyes on the ball. So in reality I'm not even looking at the ball with my short irons, I'm looking a couple inches in front of the ball and swinging to make contact through that point. The ball just gets in the way.

    Try it, let me know if it works for you.

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    Think 'sweep' with the club instead of 'hit'. Also make sure you aren't picking the club up too sharply going back from the ball on your takeaway. Make a few practice swings with just one hand - either one or alternate with both - putting a sweep on the club and ball instead of a hit makes this easier to do one handed. Try hitting some balls one handed - nearly impossible hitting at the ball, easier with a sweeping motion.

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    pjcedog-

    I agree with a sweeping motion, but I would caution that you don't want to sweep the ball. You want to compress the ball at impact, with a downward attack from the clubhead. If you "sweep" the ball, what that means is you're basically hitting the ball at the bottom of your swing arc which isn't idea. Pros typically de-loft their clubs at impact a few degrees. Amateurs tend to add loft to their club at impact.

  14. #14
    Ball Go Far. InHartWeTrust's Avatar
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    Give the Tour Striker Pro 7 iron a good look, bahester. You won't regret it...I love mine, and know plenty of others who feel the same about theirs.

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    Ball Go Far. InHartWeTrust's Avatar
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    Also, I would never think "sweep the ball", as that is the quickest way to not becoming a good ball striker. Hitting "through" instead of "at" the ball? Yes. Sweep the ball? No. Never.

    You should hit down and through the ball. Put a broken tee 2 inches ahead of the ball on the range. With a 7 iron, your divot should take the tee out of the ground, or at least hit it. You need to have a descending blow on the ball with your hands ahead of the ball to be a good ball striker...something the Tour Striker Pro FORCES you to learn to do. Start with it on the grass, the work with it off the mats (it makes it harder to do).

    Good luck, bud.

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