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Born with Clubface Control


iacas

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The next time you're on the range, try this:

  • Get out your 8-iron.
  • Select a target about 80-90% of your normal 8I distance away.
  • Grip the club with an excessive, extreme strong grip. Take one swing with the sole goal of hitting the ball to the target, without much curve.
  • Grip the club with an excessive, extreme weak grip. Take one swing with the sole goal of hitting the ball to the target, without much curve.

That's it. Two swings. No practice…

How'd you do?

If you can hit the ball toward the target with both grips, you likely have an innate, natural sense of clubface control. Congratulations… at least one part of golf is probably fairly simple for you.

If you cannot, you can work on developing clubface control. There are a bunch of ways to do this, and listing them or detailing them is too much for this short post here, but I am curious to hear about not only the results of the brief test above, but how you think you might go about learning clubface control.

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I gave it a go today with the club face closed 45º and open 45º.     Closed for me was pretty easy but open took a couple times.   i eventually was successful but it wasn't easy.

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41 minutes ago, dennyjones said:

I gave it a go today with the club face closed 45º and open 45º.

Why? That's not the challenge. You get to leave it square at setup.

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Will try it but guessing weak will go right and strong will go left, but pretty sure I can dial it in somewhat after a couple of tries, but one go right off the street, nuh-uh.

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17 minutes ago, nevets88 said:

Will try it but guessing weak will go right and strong will go left, but pretty sure I can dial it in somewhat after a couple of tries, but one go right off the street, nuh-uh.

One go. That's all you get. :-)

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Nope, killer hook and killer slice. The ball surprisingly went roughly the same distance?!?

Pretty much established that I have no natural talent in this game at all, none. . .

In any case, this was a very well timed blog indeed!

Although I only had time to test up to 7i, my terrible hook disappeared up through 7i when I weakened my grip. I also tried opening the face about the same amount keeping my original grip with similar results. Nice! Hope it works on the course. :-)

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This sounds like one of the drills in the currently running Ball Striking Master Class from Clay Ballard's site.  I believe the drill was to pick out a largish target area and alternate shots with extreme strong grip to extreme weak until you got 4 in the target area with each grip.  I was surprised at how good the strong grip shots felt and I think I have slightly strengthened my grip as a result. 

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A little advantage for folks with a stronger grip, they've got 50% of this down, no? I would think neutral grip players have an advantage they're halfway between each extreme. Interesting feel and thought experiment though. 

If you're used to a strong grip going super weak really feels like your turning your lead hand down/palm up. It'll look normal but feel crazy palm up. That's assuming the grip change won't radically alter your backswing motion. 

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5 minutes ago, nevets88 said:

A little advantage for folks with a stronger grip, they've got 50% of this down, no? I would think neutral grip players have an advantage they're halfway between each extreme.

Not really. I'm asking for an extremely strong or weak grip.

When I did this:

  • Strong: The entire back of my left hand was facing away from me. My left thumb was at about 3:30 on the grip.
  • Weak: My right thumb was at 8:30, the "V" on my right hand pointed outside my left shoulder, and the back of my right hand faced away from me.

That's extreme.

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Failed miserably... no practice swings, similar exaggerated grips with what's described in Erik's post above.

(Kept trying just to see and took video. Took me three tries just to get good contact on both and even then, I could only could get one or the other to hit the target.)

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On 9/14/2017 at 9:55 AM, CarlSpackler said:

I will have to try this. 

Of course they don't have too many targets at 185 yards. :-P

He said 80-90% of your normal 8 iron distance ... not 50%.  Come on now.

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On 9/14/2017 at 12:55 PM, CarlSpackler said:

I will have to try this. 

Of course they don't have too many targets at 185 yards. :-P

That's not how you spell "feet" :-P

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1 hour ago, nevets88 said:

I did exactly what I said, left strong, right weak but straightened out on the next try. Those are severe positions, it hurt a little.

After my two shots, the extreme weak position kind of hurt.  My wrists aren't that flexible and don't bend like that.  Thus the weak grip shot sucked.  The strong gripped one was actually solid.  Sure it hooked maybe 20yds, but I had good contact.

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29 minutes ago, phillyk said:

After my two shots, the extreme weak position kind of hurt.  My wrists aren't that flexible and don't bend like that.  Thus the weak grip shot sucked.  The strong gripped one was actually solid.  Sure it hooked maybe 20yds, but I had good contact.

It's not about the contact. If it hooked 20 yards, you probably failed. Key #5 is about clubface control, not solidness of contact.

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In a good swing you don't CONTROL the face.  Face angle consistency at impact is exactly that.  It stems from consistency of all aspects and swingpath really affects this.

Anyone selling the idea that you CONTROL the face to me is being semantically inaccurate.

In a good swing the face absolutely does rotate relative to its starting position.  Physics dictates that it will tend to open in the change of direction a bit given minimal torque on the shaft.

Really,  I have a bit of a problem with looking at the number of folks following 5sk who are absurdly shut at the top.

This is not a fundamental.

Again I like most of 5sk but shut at the top is weird and then adding inside path is a strong recipe for a hook miss or rattlesnake in ones pocket.

fwiw I am not saying I advocate 'releasing' the club at some point during the ds.  To me that's throwing the head.

Its just that in coming downward there's nothing wrong with the face looking a bit open at hip high.  This goes against those like ggswingtips who advocate a somewhat shut position at last parallel.  IMO the toe needs to come through while the clubhead is being swung.  At impact and past there should still be an intent of clubhead acceleration combined with whatever sensation it takes to get the toe coming through.

At this late point in the swing it's all feels that you have that you REMEMBER after making correct strikes not a sense of holding on going through.  It's not that I am saying there's an easy answer here.  Imo there's many ways to practice to learn this and it's all hitting balls at slow speed.

its quite easy to get force on the clubhead itself but without correct impact it's all moot.  IMO the sequence of learning should be first build a neutral path and then work on finding what it means to combine neutral path and square face by low voltage or less than full power swings.

CHEERS TO ALL IVE BEEN OFFLINE FOR A BIT!

 

Edited by Jack Watson
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4 minutes ago, Jack Watson said:

In a good swing you don't CONTROL the face.

Yeah you do. You control it by gripping the club properly. By moving your body parts properly. Etc. You're defining "control" differently. You're taking it as "manipulate." That's not what it is.

4 minutes ago, Jack Watson said:

Anyone selling the idea that you CONTROL the face to me is being semantically inaccurate.

I would argue that you're the one being semantically inaccurate. Great players return the clubface to the proper orientation at impact, not pointing left or right. They do this a number of ways, and it's possible to have the other four Keys but be lacking in #5.

4 minutes ago, Jack Watson said:

In a good swing the face absolutely does rotate relative to its starting position.

I've never said otherwise.

4 minutes ago, Jack Watson said:

Really,  I have a bit of a problem with looking at the number of folks following 5sk who are absurdly shut at the top.

I don't see it.

4 minutes ago, Jack Watson said:

This is not a fundamental.

What isn't, Clubface Control? I never said it was. It is, however, a commonality.

4 minutes ago, Jack Watson said:

Again I like most of 5sk but shut at the top is weird and then adding inside path is a strong recipe for a hook miss or rattlesnake in ones pocket.

That's not 5SK.

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