Tom’s Tip of the week: The Impact Drill

by Dan M | Posted on Friday, August 30th, 2019


As we say goodbye to August and head into September most people
are all looking for the temperatures to start cooling off. However,
when it comes to your golf game keep the heat on to reaching your

When working with golfer’s I attempt to make the learning
experience enjoyable like incorporating drills specific to the areas
of their game that needs attention.

This exercise was designed specifically to help deal with golfers
who are battling too much hand or wrist action causing sprayed shots
off line and losing power in the process.

One of my adult students is demonstrating the drill. He is a
solid player who occasionally, like all golfers, struggles with
getting too wristy or handsy in his swing. Most golfers, regardless of
their age, get way too loose with their swings and the majority of the
time this problem resonates with the hands getting to actively
involved at the most inappropriate times. The hands are the only
contact you have with the club and when we get anxious or tense it’s
easy to start gripping the club a little tighter creating undo amounts
of unnecessary pressure. When the hands start to get involved (instead
of just holding onto the club which is their main purpose and going
for the ride) serious issues are going to arise. So this particular
drill will help to counteract that tendency.

Notice in the photograph. The golfer has placed his left foot
outside of the bunker and has taken his stance. This stance will
really help you get the sensation of staying behind the ball at impact
while at the same time keeping your wrists from breaking down during
the critical moment of impact. You can do this drill with both feet
inside the bunker as well. By the way, you won’t need a golf ball to
do this exercise.

The photo shows only the moment of impact (I didn’t have enough
space in my column to do his entire backswing.) Regardless of how he
looks on the takeaway and backswing it’s what he looks like at impact
that really counts. Take a close inspection of his hands, which I’ve
drawn a circle around, while his clubface is buried underneath the lip
of the bunker. There is no wrist breaking going on here. Whacking your
club into the side of a sand trap will automatically keep you from
becoming to wristy, I promise. This drill will give you instantaneous
feedback for the proper feeling of how your wrists have firmed up
correctly during the moment the clubface connects with the golf ball.
Golfers get into big trouble when they can’t synch their hands/arms
with the rest of the body. This drill will help you accomplish your
goals in that department.

In the photo look at how the right shoulder is working down and
under as he comes into the impact area. I’ve drawn an arrow near his
right shoulder to highlight this move. Also, checkout how his head is
staying behind the shot which I’ve drawn a square around. It’s
imperative that your head doesn’t come up or move too far forward on
the downswing as that can affect balance and timing.

Words can’t adequately describe what this drill will do for you.
So, next time you are practicing and looking to improve your shot
making skills, get into a nearby bunker. Making some swings burying
your club into the lip of the bunker will firm up your resolve to
improve quickly. Do this exercise a few times and you’ll see and feel
the sudden and immediate impact it will have on your overall game.
Tom Ward can be contacted at


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