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Impact Position

No matter what happens during your golf swing, the most critical moment is the split-second of impact. The ball is connected to the club face for a mere 1/200th of a second, during which the energy is transferred with instructions for distance, direction, trajectory, spin rate and curvature.

While many variations exist between the swings of the best players in the world, the features of their impact position are shared, and this has been a common theme for the entire history of the game.

Each of the above players are virtually identical at impact, and they are also four of the greatest players who ever lived: Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, and Tiger Woods.

They did not necessarily set out to copy each other. Rather, this position is required for consistently striking the ball well. The critical features of the impact position are as follows:

  • Weight shifted to the front foot. For maximum power, you must transfer your weight into the shot. This is accomplished through a circular rotation of the body before impact. Notice that each player's belt buckle is facing about 45 degrees past the ball. Most beginners will not have this much rotation of the hips at impact.

  • A straight line from the club head to the leading shoulder. This gives the player more directional control by keeping a consistent "spot" of impact. Before this moment, the club head lags behind the hands, catching up to contact the ball just as the leading arm reaches the point of "straight down."

  • Eyes focused on the ball with little to no head movement. The ball is a stationary target, so any movement of the head makes the ball a moving target from your perspective. Great players keep the head very still and rotate the body around it. Note that this does not mean you should "keep your head down" longer than absolutely necessary, as doing so will prevent your body from completing its full rotation.
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The impact position is shared not only among great golfers, but also great baseball players. Barry Bonds had a similar impact position, utilizing his entire body to produce the most effective hitting career of any player in history.

To improve your impact position, start with the lower body and work your way up.

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Life Skills

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Dealing With Conflicts

Whether you are on or off the golf course, at some point you will inevitably deal with conflict. A conflict is a situation in which there are differences of opinion or opposing interests, needs, or demands. The ability to deal with interpersonal conflicts – a conflict or problem that arises between two or more people – is a critical life skill, and it is important to help you effectively collaborate and work with others.

It is challenging to master because it involves good communication skills, self-control, objectivity, analytical thinking, and the ability to positively assert yourself while balancing that with the interests and feelings of others. When properly handled, conflict can help you respect differences of opinion, learn to share and work cooperatively, and appreciate diversity. On the other hand, when not properly addressed, conflict can create negative situations that spawn bullying, teasing, put-downs, exclusion, violence, and threaten the well-being of body, mind, and heart.

First Tee’s approach to conflict resolution aims to prevent or peacefully resolve conflict. One way to do that is to help all parties involved to see themselves as partners searching for a fair solution, instead of adversaries where only one person can win, and one must lose. Ideally, the solution is one that benefits both sides, or at least results in better mutual understanding and acceptance. This resolve is often referred to as seeking a “win-win” solution. 

To help you deal with conflict, First Tee practices the CARE approach:

• Communicate

• Actively Listen

• Review Options

• End with a win-win solution

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The Finish Position

w/ Rick Shiels