Chris Rowe Target Golf

Target Impact and Rounded Impact

Target impact would be considered by many as a two plane or upright golf swing in todayís modern terminology.  Many swings pre Pro V1 golf balls were considered target impact.  In order to hit the ball long with persimmon woods and soft balata balls the players had to swing out to right field and create speed with the hands. I even had an article published in Golf Digest telling people to swing to right field back in the mid nineties, with the help of a great guy named Hunki Yun.  This is one of the reasons guys like Seve and Greg Norman were hitting 300 yard drives in the 1986 Masters.  Target impact is determined by where the club points right after impact and relies on timing and hand rotation.  In the target impact position it doesnít matter if the back swing was upright, flat, or perfectly on the shoulder plane, but only where the club direction is going after impact.  Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Seve Ballesteros, Greg Norman, Hale Irwin and Phil Mickelson all have this after impact position.

Rounded impact would be considered todayís modern golf swing.  Rounded impact by definition is when the club starts to work immediately left of the target after impact.  This impact requires very little hands or timing, but relies on body rotation to square the face.  The tour players today rotate their upper and lower bodies extremely fast to generate club head speed, while swinging as hard left as they want without fear of hitting the ball left. This is completely opposite of what most golf instructors taught up until equipment changed  and the great courses of the world became too short.  Todayís golf balls do not spin near as much and bulge and roll on a driver is a term most college golfers have never heard of.  In a rounded impact swing the back swing is usually flatter or on the shoulder line, but that is not always the case.  David Toms and John Daly both have rounded impacts with upright back swings.  Once again back swing does not determine which impact you fall into in all cases!

Tiger Woods is the only player I have seen who actually uses both of these impact positions.  Tiger has a rounded impact position with his irons and has target impact with his driver.  This, in my opinion, is why he struggles so much with his driver.  The swing speed he produces canít be timed out with hands.  Have you ever seen him hit a bad stinger two iron?  He always hits this shot great because he matches his lower and upper body through impact and then goes immediately left. With the driver he has a two way miss because he is timing his impact.

Physical ability and flexibility have a tremendous effect on which impact category a player will fall into.  If you notice many of the players mentioned in target impact have had back or hip issues. This impact puts a lot of strain on these two areas.  Most players fall into their impact position based on how much rotation their hips can physically make after impact. This is usually based mostly on genetics and their physical makeup.  Sometimes through physical therapy or working out a player can increase his movement in these areas, but most of the time the player should use the principles for which impact they fall into.

Here are some of the main principles to be aware of after determining which impact position you are.

Target impact

Weight transfer to right side on back swing for the right handed player.

Player should make full shoulder turn with back facing target to allow for timing needed at impact.

Transition from top of backswing to start of downswing needs to be smooth and cannot be rushed.

Swing more to right field with less hip rotation.

Rotate hands and forearms just before impact.

Rounded Impact

Weight transfer does not have to be completely on the right side for backswing.

Downswing should be aggressive with the hips and shoulders turning to shortstop position at the same time rather than right field like in Target impact.

Rounded impact players need to stay in their posture as long as possible.

Use very little hands at impact.

Swing as hard left as you want and ball will go straight if you continue turning and stay in you posture.


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