The Impact Press is a golf training aid that’s designed to teach you how to get proper impact alignments in your golf swing. Many golfers struggle with a flip or a roll through impact and often simply do not know what a proper impact position feels like. The Impact Press is designed specifically to train them to feel the correct mechanics through the hitting zone.
We like to say around here that “feel ain’t real.” Often a golfer will try to achieve something like shaft lean in their swing by simply feeling more shaft lean through impact and they’ll say they had the best range session ever, but when they look at a video of their swing, it looks exactly the same as it always has. The better ballstriking was merely the result of spending more time practicing and timing their compensations better. The Impact Press, when used properly, gives immediate feedback on whether or not they performed the swing correctly. Does it work? Read on to find out.
The Impact Press is a training aid invented by PGA Professional Bill Schmedes III. It is designed as a reactionary training aid to help golfers naturally improve how they use the ground, pivot the body, and use their forearms and wrists to improve the impact position.
On its surface, it looks like an iron with a red line on the hosel and a green line on the topline. But if you look carefully, you can see subtle differences in the sole and toe of the club that differentiate it from a standard iron. The basic premise is to line up with the red line pointed to the center of your body at address with the green line and clubface closed to your target and to return the club to impact with the green line square to your target. The Impact Press also has a special grip installed with an alignment aid lined up with the red line to help facilitate this address position, although mine appears to be a few degrees offline.
The Impact Press is available at impactpressgolf.com in both right-handed and left-handed versions for $99.
While the concept is simple, the execution is far from it, especially if you are a golfer who typically flips or adds shaft lean at impact. Feeling the hands leading the club along with the proper body pivot at impact will likely be very different for many golfers. Fortunately, there are a series of instructional videos on the Impact Press website that help you use the club. As with any good golf instruction, the drills shown in the videos start with shorter, slower swings and gradually build up to longer swings to allow people to learn the motion and make the changes. I can attest that the drills are not easy to do at first and I don’t flip.
The premise of the Impact Press is not new. The drill of closing the clubface at address and trying to hit straight shots to teach a golfer the proper mechanics of impact has been around for decades. What makes the Impact Press stand out are the design changes to the clubhead I alluded to earlier that allow for better turf interaction than a simple closed iron, as well as other elements that allow a golfer to strike the ball better during the drill and have a more consistent setup. These design changes were so important, it took them several attempts to get correct.
The Impact Press is a simple training aid, which is a good thing. A training aid that takes a lot of time to set up or has complicated instructions is generally not an effective one. This is both easy and intuitive to use. Set up with the red line pointing towards your sternum and try to swing with the green line square to the target line at impact. If an instructor were to hand me this club and say those exact words to me, I’d be able to figure out fairly quickly exactly what he or she was trying to get me to do. It’s a lot simpler than asking me to take an iron and rotate it closed 20°, then making sure I was setting up correctly each time I made a swing.
That’s kind of where the beauty of the simplicity lies. The Impact Press allowed me to have the same consistent setup every single time. It’s not something that’s easily achieved by twisting a regular iron closed at address and then doing the drills. Believe me, I tried. With my 8I, I wasn’t able to tell if I was a few degrees off at address from drill swing to drill swing. As we know in golf, a few degrees of difference can have a significant impact (cheap pun clearly intentional) on the resulting shot. I did not, however, observe any difference in turf interaction between the two in testing, on grass or off of a mat. The Impact Press is simply easier to launch than the MP4 8I I used in comparison, but that may just be a function of the deep cavity design of the clubhead.
The one thing that I didn’t understand was that if I gotten used to hitting straight shots with the Impact Press from the extreme setup position, which is the goal, what would prevent me from switching back to my regular irons and coming into impact with the face wide open? Unfortunately, I found the answer from Bill Schmedes lacking:
The design of the golf club does a number of really important things for golfers to provide that tour caliber looking impact position. The three big ones are getting the golfer to use the ground more efficiently in the transition. This provides the golfer to have a version of linear, followed by rotation, and then some verticals prior to impact. It improves the pivot of the body and sequencing of the body segments as well we’ve discovered which is huge for the majority of golfers. Finally, it improves how the golfers forearms and wrists work getting the lead wrist to go into flexion (bowed) with eventual ulnar deviation (this should answer your open club face question).
I bring all this up as it helps the golfer improve/change their current pattern to allow for transfer training so that once they grab their own club, and hopefully follow our training program on our website, they’ll begin to improve how their body and club work to allow for a much improved impact position.Bill Schmedes III
It just seems like I’m just supposed to “get it” once I worked into a better impact position with the drills, which still didn’t make much sense to me, so I tried it out for myself. After spending a good amount of time with the Impact Press and hitting the drill shots straight with some speed, I switched back to a regular setup with my 8I. Using the same impact feels as I was previously using just seconds before, I immediately hit all of my shots way right. I could hit the ball straighter by adding some more ulnar deviation, but that wasn’t the feel I was using during the drills. More ulnar deviation during the drills would have had me hitting massive hooks with the Impact Press. The drill feels don’t directly translate to a real swing, so there’s a disconnect there. Maybe that’s supposed to be like that and I’m misinterpreting things. It could just be me. I’m not going to rule out user error.
There are plenty of merits for the Impact Press. It is simple and easy to use, and it teaches a golfer how to feel for themselves what the mechanics of the swing leading into impact should be. It is a useful device for golf instructors who can save precious time on the lesson tee from not having to explain a drill or having to correct a student from improperly setting it up. It’s not a particularly expensive training aid, either. That being said, it’s still a unitasker for something that can be done with another club that’s already in everyone’s golf bag. I have a hard time recommending it based on that. I guess if you’re a golfer that struggles with impact and flipping, the Impact Press is worth trying.