The other day, I had a student of mine, Dave Mon (@monb4v) asked me a question that I thought would make for a good question to the masses. The question had to do with how do you teach someone to hit it on the sweet spot all the time. I put the question out on twitter land to see what kind of responses I would get. I don’t think I framed the question exactly the way that I should have because most the answers came back about how to mark the face or the ball similar to the picture. BTW, the picture shows a driver covered with sunscreen and an impact.
What I really wanted to know was, how do the teachers out there teach their students to sense the sweet spot during the swing. Maybe, that isn’t something as teachers we should be spending our time on. I knew before asking the question that all the TGM aficionados would bring up pressure point #3. Pressure point #3 is defined as “The first joint of the right hand index finger where it touches the Clubshaft.” from my copy of The Golfing Machine 7th Edition. This particular place is used to monitor the feel of the sweet spot during the swing and I think mostly during the downswing. (AI’s, please correct me if I’m wrong).
I also heard a little from the Stack and Tilt crowd about low point control. Again, another idea I had heard before but it dealt again with impact and not mid swing. Surely, we can work backwards saying that good low point control means good sweet spot control during the swing.
But that wasn’t really what I was hoping to learn. I wanted to know how other coaches taught sweet spot control during the swing. I received a bunch of drills about using some tees as a gate and other similar ideas. Drills I have used with success but again that is about impact. Most of the things I heard were about teaching the student what solid impact felt or sounded like. My favorite drill came from Shaun Ferguson. He told me of an exercise he does with his students where he uses a dry erase marker to write the numbers 1 on the toe, 2 on the sweet spot and 3 on the heel. He would then ask his student to purposely try to hit an area of the club so the impact would erase the desired number. I had never heard this drill before and thought it was excellent.
I’ve always been blessed with the ability to hit the ball solid very often. Not always where I want it to go but in the center. I’ve always had a very good sensation for where the sweet spot was at all times. I told my student that all I feel is a stick with the sweet spot on it. This certainly goes to confirm the feelings suggested in The Golf Machine for the longitudinal center of gravity. It was this point (the club COG) that I actually tried to move around and then run into the ball. It may sound strange, but that’s how I learned. I never had any instruction and learned it on my own by watching and feeling. I hit many golf balls with my eyes closed focusing hard on the feeling of the sweet spot in my hands. Is this a sensation that others work on?
I always preached and taught my students to identify the feeling of the sweet spot without having to run that spot into something to identify it. It has served me and my students well. I wonder though if it is something I am spending too much time on or that it is unnecessary. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this issue.
How do you teach your students to locate the sweet spot in their hands and while the club is swinging?
As a player, how do you identify it and describe it to someone else?
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