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It's all about impact. Yeah, not so much.

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nevets88

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I used to believe impact is king. Lots of pros, announcers and good players say this, but it's more nuanced than that. Impact is important. Your shaft should have some forward lean, your hands should be ahead of the ball, you should hit the ball first, divot should be in front of the ball. These are musts.

But it's not the whole picture. How you arrive at impact and where your path and face are headed just after it are just as important. You could be coming into the ball way "dumped under" and have a path that's like +8. That's hard to control and subject to blocks and hooks. I might have seen myself on video face on, with perfect impact conditions, with a driver, bowed wrist, forward leaning shaft, hands ahead of ball, a look I used to die for, but I've hit a low bullet that would just barely clear an NBA center.

This is just one of so many common cliches to "simplify" learning the game. It's all about impact, hit it to right field, keep your head down, hit down on the ball, etc... Have they really helped golfers learn the swing, or have golfers learned in spite of them? Imho, it's time to dispense with these one liners along with that mystical golf pro that charges $30/hour and will fix you in 5 minutes.

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In my opinion, it really IS all about impact.  Impact is only clubhead and ball.  It doesn't matter how it looks in still photos or on video.  If you get a centered strike, with the clubhead going the right direction, and oriented the right way, and moving at the right speed, its all good.  Of course, the problem is that impact is the end result of a swing, with a million variables on the way, not a magical thing all on its own.   Its nearly impossible to achieve good impact consistently without all of the rest of the stuff being reasonably correct as well.  

I guess to me, the idea that impact is everything doesn't simplify the game at all.  You still have to get all the other stuff right in order to make impact happen.

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What I really have a problem with when "they", announcers, magazine articles, etc... talk about impact is they always take a face on point of view, which is a more speed/power centric bias. They rarely talk in context of both face on and down the line perspectives. You need to have forward shaft lean, bowed/flat wrist and show the face on view but from the down the line view, you have to be on plane, trail elbow and left shoulder should be within a certain range, hips and shoulders open within a certain range relative to target. They don't talk about that. There's a certain "one and done" nature to the analysis that loses a lot of nuance but sounds great as a sound bite.

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It is all about impact though, there is now way you would be able to play golf with any sort of consistency hitting hosel rockets or off the toe all day. I think most of the time it's mentioned in the way you stated is because they don't have a lot of time to go into depth about swing mechanics and is used to point you in the direction of where to do some research/study to become better. I'd say it's similar to someone who is looking to be healthier the first thing people will say is look at your nutrition.

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I agree, but the way they frame it, or at least the way I read it, is if you get impact right, you've "solved" the swing. Not so much. I don't agree that trying to look a certain way at impact may be the best way to go about it either. Impact is important, but the framing of it, that's the problem I have with it. I think people are capable of going a little beyond it's all about impact.

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2 minutes ago, nevets88 said:

I agree, but the way they frame it, or at least the way I read it, is if you get impact right, you've "solved" the swing.

I understand your dislike of the phrase as an oversimplification, especially in the way you understand their meaning.  I actually think the reality is the complete reverse.  Once you "solve" the swing, you'll get the impact correct most of the time.  Everything we do with the swing is done with the intention of improving impact.

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10 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

I understand your dislike of the phrase as an oversimplification, especially in the way you understand their meaning.  I actually think the reality is the complete reverse.  Once you "solve" the swing, you'll get the impact correct most of the time.  Everything we do with the swing is done with the intention of improving impact.

That's true. The framing of it is what I don't like. It's kind of like lag. You get that lag, boy, you're good to go. The same way I'm interpreting it for impact, maybe most people don't see it that way, I guess it all depends on the person.

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I understand the frustration in the comment, but I see it more about dynamics than a position. Yes P7, A7 are all impact "positions" as seen by freezing a video, but they are much more dynamic than just a position.

Take my swing for example. My hands are 10 degrees ahead of the ball, which is pretty good, but my hips are not open enough, my right knee has kicked in and I have no extension (probably other things but you get the point). One parameter is good, but so many others are necessary to do it ideally. This is because impact cannot be defined as a position but rather a dynamic set of movements and the actual clubhead meeting the ball is an after effect. 

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On 8/15/2016 at 2:37 PM, DaveP043 said:

 I guess to me, the idea that impact is everything doesn't simplify the game at all.  You still have to get all the other stuff right in order to make impact happen.

Isn't that the point of the OP?

When I hear "it's all about impact" as a means to sell instructional video for example, I think it is an oversimplification and suggests anything happening before or after impact it will work. 

The differences between the swings of low handicappers are not all that vast. I'm not talking about how they look from a distance. Sure, there are different tempos, body types, follow-throughs, grip pressures... but most are doing so many things in generally the same way.

If it was just all about impact, you'd have more Happy Gilmore or baseball-like swings working to produce consistently low scores. In other words, it would be easy to get great impact with an array of dramatically different mechanics... anything that would get the club head moving faster would work for a solid swing. I just don't believe that's the case.

Obviously, I don't know what it takes to get good at this game. So my opinion is likely based on a lack of understanding.

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