Bobby Clampett is a PGA Tour Winner, long-time CBS Sports golf broadcaster, and founder of Impact Zone Golf, a revolutionary teaching system centered on a player’s impact position rather than their “style” of swing. In this guest post, he explains why shifting your focus away from the upper body is the secret to lowering your golf score.
All golfers need two things: consistency and power. Without both, you’ll never drive the ball where it needs to go.
What makes a consistent golfer? First, it’s your ability to hit the ball with the sweet spot on the club head—over and over again. Second, it’s being able to simultaneously control the angle of the club face at the moment of impact.
In contrast, power mainly comes down to one thing: clubhead speed. Every additional mile per hour you can add will gain you about three extra yards of distance. But how you increase speed is everything. Get it wrong, and power will come at the expense of consistency.
A common mistake
Most golfers are what we call “upper-body centric,” meaning that they’re used to relying on their arms, shoulders, and torsos for power. This is especially true of men, who tend to concentrate on their upper bodies when playing other sports, such as football or wrestling, and when they’re working out at the gym.
In golf, this emphasis on the upper body will work against you. For example, when golfers try to increase clubhead speed by accelerating their arms, there’s a good chance they’ll flip the club with their wrists at the bottom of the swing. Or they might develop what we call “early extension,” which is a change in the spine angle that can alter the club face angle.
The problem is obvious: swinging your arms harder might gain you a bit of speed, but accuracy and consistency will decrease. That’s why the best way to power up is by turning your attention to the lower body.
Shifting the focus
As this blog has discussed previously, learning to harness ground force reaction is critical to gaining swing speed. The harder you can push from the ground, the more force you’ll generate, and faster the clubhead will travel.
My Impact-Based® Teaching system offers students four ways to generate more energy from the ground. Using current technologies, we examine and optimize the degree of horizontal push from the trail foot to the lead foot. We can improve torque—that is, the pressure that creates a twisting force through the hips. We may increase the amount of force that comes up from the ground vertically. Finally, we’ll analyze—and might change—the pressure points in the feet.
For most players, this attention to the lower body and ground isn’t intuitive. That’s why engaging a qualified instructor is so important when it comes to identifying problems, such as shifting weight to the lead leg too early. Without this guidance, I’ve seen players literally fall backwards just trying to swing the club a little faster.
Don’t forget balance
No two golfers are exactly the same, which is why I believe that training should always be customized to the individual. Ultimately, though, every golfer needs balance in order to achieve consistency and power. Balance supports a stable connection with the ground. It helps you sustain momentum and a more consistent club path. And it will give you a more consistent strike on the club base.
The wide foot base, heel stabilizer, and other unique features of SQAIRZ shoes ensure you’ll maintain balance throughout your swing. Combine them with Impact-Based® Teaching to see the maximum impact on your game.