The Impact-Driven Golf Swing

RiceGolfer’s Guide Instruction by Andrew Rice

There are many ways to swing a golf club, but only one way to hit a golf ball correctly.
The whole idea behind my philosophy is the above statement. When looking at the top players of all time, there are no two golfers that swing the club the same way, however they all manage to impact and strike the ball in a similar fashion.  

How is it possible that Lee Trevino, Ray Floyd and Nancy Lopez can make the ball get to the target the same way that Ben Hogan, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods do? The only answer can be impact. A position where the weight is well on the front foot, the handle leads the clubhead into the ball while the head remains over or slightly behind the ball.
For this issue, I will identify a few key factors that facilitate a sound impact position.  Swing the club any way you want, but obey these few simple points, because the vast majority of the greatest golfers follow them.

Almost every champion golfer has a grip that favors the strong end of the spectrum versus the weaker side. I can only find one legendary golfer that utilized a weak grip and that would be Ben Hogan. All the others were strong, with a few being neutral. A strong grip encourages the hands to lead the clubhead into impact -- an integral part of a proper strike on the ball.

Set upSet up
At address it is important for the head to be centered between the feet. This will leave the spine in a relatively vertical position and the shoulders fairly level. Stance width should favor narrow over wide and the ball should never be too far forward. Keep in mind this set up is in place to allow the golfer to get into a proper impact position as simply as possible.

Pivot Pivot
There are two important points to note in the pivot motion -- the plane upon which the shoulders pivot and whether or not the body stays within the 84 degree line. The plus here is that the better the shoulder pivot, the less likely the body is to move laterally and get across the 84 degree line.

In the shoulder pivot, the lead shoulder must move down and then across versus simply turning across and behind the ball. Notice how my right forearm is above his left halfway back. This is due to the fact that my shoulders have pivoted on the correct, steeper plane.

As the body winds to the top and just before transition begins, the back side of the body should be flush up against the 84 degree line. This loads the energy in the swing efficiently and prepares the body to glide effortlessly into a sound impact position.  If you do happen to break the line with your hips or upper body here, you will be challenged to get to the proper impact position.

Notice how all of the above factors are in place to facilitate the body being able to get to impact in an efficient manner. This is the secret to all of golf's greatest players' swings. They all had different swings, but everything they did allowed them to get into the proper position to deliver the club onto the ball correctly. You would do well to incorporate a few of these elements into your swing.

Andrew Rice is the director of instruction at Berkeley Hall in Bluffton. He can be contacted at For more from Andrew visit his website at


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