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Ball Strike Consistency


fixyurdivot
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I was looking at a picture I had taken as part of my ZX5 irons review and the ball strike pattern following a range session (~10 strikes each).  I was pretty happy with the overall consistency but upon a closer look they seem to be a whisker on the low side. During my session with the Srixon rep, he told me that I was missing (behind the ball) by just a little bit, like a 1/4 inch, and he urged me to try and fix that for better compression and added distance.  

What do our low handicap, Matt Blois-like, ball striker spies out there think?  Would you like to see that pattern shift up and maybe even a whisker more toe side?

strikes.jpg.1892884f3f9f0ca333e1f82116bf1b1f.jpg

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The strike pattern doesn’t look to bad to me, I actually think it looks great. As long as shot shape, trajectory, and distance were all consistent and where they are expected to be I don’t see much of an issue. 

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There rep may be right.  You hit the ball well, but your tendency does seem to be a little fat.  I think turf condition and swing speed are factors here too.  Your speed is higher than mine, and my pattern is slightly lower than yours.  My turf typically plays very firm and divots are very shallow or non-existent.  I don't see any reason to try to move your strike closer to the toe.  I use the entire face of the club, and toe strikes are not my favorites.  😂

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I’d take that ball striking all day.   did a quick google search and seems like pros hit about 3 grooves up on the face; your at 4.   
http://www.impactawaregolf.com/being-impact-awaretrade-starting-out-right.html

 

i personally wouldn’t try to change  anything.  

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Thank you for the feedback guys!  I suppose my initial thought was simply that a little higher and towards toe would have these marks closer to the centroid of the face... and that would yield optimum performance.  But perhaps where we think the clubface hot spot is... isn't necessarily so?  

On 2/15/2022 at 8:40 PM, Kenny B said:

There rep may be right.  You hit the ball well, but your tendency does seem to be a little fat.

As in contacting too much turf first and not the ball?  I've been toying around with ball position and more forward press but cannot seem to commit to either. I seem to recall Jason (Srixon rep) recommending something about ball/stance position but cannot recall exactly - too jacked up about the new iron heads 😆.  

This is probably the point where I should invest in lessons; very targeted lessons.  I really like the teaching pro here at Desert Hills and might try and squeeze in a series before we head back to MT.

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9 hours ago, fixyurdivot said:

Thank you for the feedback guys!  I suppose my initial thought was simply that a little higher and towards toe would have these marks closer to the centroid of the face... and that would yield optimum performance.  But perhaps where we think the clubface hot spot is... isn't necessarily so?  

As in contacting too much turf first and not the ball?  I've been toying around with ball position and more forward press but cannot seem to commit to either. I seem to recall Jason (Srixon rep) recommending something about ball/stance position but cannot recall exactly - too jacked up about the new iron heads 😆.  

This is probably the point where I should invest in lessons; very targeted lessons.  I really like the teaching pro here at Desert Hills and might try and squeeze in a series before we head back to MT.

Seeing the pro is probably a good idea.  From what I remember about your swing, I think your release is a tad early, so you add more dynamic loft at impact; which is why you hit the ball quite high... and sometimes a little fat.  

I've been working on holding the shaft lean longer to better compress the ball; mostly with PW and 9i at the moment, but working up to mid-irons.  I've had much better strikes and more distance.

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On 2/16/2022 at 7:25 AM, cnosil said:

I’d take that ball striking all day.   did a quick google search and seems like pros hit about 3 grooves up on the face; your at 4.   
http://www.impactawaregolf.com/being-impact-awaretrade-starting-out-right.html

i personally wouldn’t try to change  anything.  

 

... I was going to comment just a hair high on the face but I would not change anything either with that excellent grouping. Sometime just being aware that you are hitting it a hair high, your subconscious will adjust. If not, I would still be very happy with that contact and so would Rowdy Burns: 


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On 2/15/2022 at 7:42 PM, fixyurdivot said:

I was looking at a picture I had taken as part of my ZX5 irons review and the ball strike pattern following a range session (~10 strikes each).  I was pretty happy with the overall consistency but upon a closer look they seem to be a whisker on the low side. During my session with the Srixon rep, he told me that I was missing (behind the ball) by just a little bit, like a 1/4 inch, and he urged me to try and fix that for better compression and added distance.  

What do our low handicap, Matt Blois-like, ball striker spies out there think?  Would you like to see that pattern shift up and maybe even a whisker more toe side?

strikes.jpg.1892884f3f9f0ca333e1f82116bf1b1f.jpg

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1 minute ago, bens197 said:

Someone's index is about to plummet...:)

 


... and maybe a name change to "divotlooksgood" 🤗

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I looked at an old email exchange with the Srixon rep and found more specifics.  He noted that I'm a bit late getting weight transferred to my left side at the back/forward swing transition.  That also jogged my memory and his tip about pretending there was a pole just off my left hip at set-up and to think about bumping it slightly as I start my downswing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I know, I know, don't use YouTube videos for golf swing tips but it's so addictive 😄.  I've started doing some of these "step drills" to help me with ball contact/compression.  Has anyone used this method?  

 

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2 minutes ago, fixyurdivot said:

I know, I know, don't use YouTube videos for golf swing tips but it's so addictive 😄.  I've started doing some of these "step drills" to help me with ball contact/compression.  Has anyone used this method?  

 

I did some of those drills in lessons to help feel what it was like to get the weight shifted, then from there we progressed to lifting the heel, then finally going with the "squashing the bug" feeling. 

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I spent time on the range yesterday before my round trying the "step swing" drill and had mixed results.  For some reason, I have a hard time taking much of a divot forward of the line. No doubt 50+ years of ingrained swing mechanics are at work and to expect this change to be easy is kind of silly. The few really solid strikes I had did travel further but also tended to be pulls. It seems kind of nuts that moving my current strike point less than 1/4" would be that challenging... but, thus far, it is 😐.

What I did notice during my round is that my distance control was problematic.  I have several mid irons overshoot target by a good amount. It could be that the pre round drills moved me oh so slightly forward?  Has anyone else worked on strike ball first changes?  How did you train? The Srixon rep left me with the impression that I was just a whisker short; leaving me thinking that should be easy to adjust.  That 1/4" is feeling like a furlong 😆.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 3/3/2022 at 12:50 PM, fixyurdivot said:

I spent time on the range yesterday before my round trying the "step swing" drill and had mixed results.  For some reason, I have a hard time taking much of a divot forward of the line. No doubt 50+ years of ingrained swing mechanics are at work and to expect this change to be easy is kind of silly. The few really solid strikes I had did travel further but also tended to be pulls. It seems kind of nuts that moving my current strike point less than 1/4" would be that challenging... but, thus far, it is 😐.

What I did notice during my round is that my distance control was problematic.  I have several mid irons overshoot target by a good amount. It could be that the pre round drills moved me oh so slightly forward?  Has anyone else worked on strike ball first changes?  How did you train? The Srixon rep left me with the impression that I was just a whisker short; leaving me thinking that should be easy to adjust.  That 1/4" is feeling like a furlong 😆.

So my answer to your initial question would be as long as you're seeing a consistent trajectory, direction, distance, and getting that pure feeling off the face, and they all work for your game, why change? 

But if you're not getting the distance or trajectory that you think your looking for, then yes, you could probably find the answers in a slightly lower strike. 

 

As far as "ball first" drills and/or breakthroughs, I recently started doing a pre-shot lag hold drill before every shot. I take 2-3 swings starting by holding the handle in the forward position but with the club face pointing down the desired path. Basically where the club would be just before it releases. Then I continue to rotate my body in reverse creating my back swing without bending my arms. From the initial lag hold through the back swing and repeating, I try to keep my arms as rigid as possible forcing my body to complete all of the rotation. And then I step right into my swing and just try to repeat the same motion and feeling. What this has helped me with is A) using much more of my torso to complete the swing. B) drastically helps reduce any swaying which can be a big cause for inconsistency. C) really helps with that good ball-first compression without feeling like you're forcing to move yourself into place. If I'm pulling or over drawing shots, I know that my path just needs to be reset and I'm moving too much from in to in and not in to out. It's an easy adjustment to make during a round. 

Before applying this drill, I never realized how armsy my swing actually was. The great thing is that it also applies to the driver and wedges with some small adjustments. 

I'll see if I can find a YouTube demo because some of this might have gotten jumbled up in my explanation. 

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6 hours ago, azstu324 said:

So my answer to your initial question would be as long as you're seeing a consistent trajectory, direction, distance, and getting that pure feeling off the face, and they all work for your game, why change? 

It's distance that he said I was losing by striking short.  He liked my ball flight and was just trying to point out that little adjustment that could help improve distance.  Based on my step swing exercises and when I catch them ball first, I can see the opportunity... they really do jump off the face.

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