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Hit the ball vs send it to the target


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Funny you should post this.  I have been doing the same thing; to the point that I commented to my wife that I was just batting the ball around the course.  Two days ago, I started taking my backswing to just left arm parallel with a 90º angle on the club and then rotating a fast as I can to a finish.  The result is much more solid strikes.  I do 4-5 of those swings, then 9-10 regular swings; rinse and repeat. 

I'm getting much more wrist hinge, but along with that are sore wrists!!  I hope that if I keep doing it, the soreness will subside as my wrists get stronger.  I have never been called a "wristy" player; Stricker uses more wrists than I do.  Hopefully, that will change a little with this drill.

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I had the hit impulse for a LONG time because I was so ball focused. It took a while but now I always have the target in my mind when I swing. I’m only thinking about where I want the ball to go and the flight I hope it takes. I also think about my finish position too and just getting there and having the ball be in the way. Makes a very big difference when you get it engrained. 

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This is exactly what I've been doing lately.  Focus is on just getting to the finish and holding it.  Only way to do that is to let the swing go and take the hit out of the equation.

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This is a personal observation from this week.  Bought Garmin R10 launch monitor, setup in yard with net etc.  Very good for videotaping and a set of stats. However this week realized that the game of golf is hitting to targets not a net.  So not a full replacement for practice with focus on real target.   And yes all practice shot and real golf shot  should be with focus on target.  Also at times chipping with spin have gotten so focused on technique that ended up with poor alignment.                     

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16 hours ago, GrumpyGolf said:

I have heard the 'just let the ball get in the way of the club' axiom many times, but it never seemed to click.  This however, will make my life easier.  With a lot of practice and patience that is.

One characteristic of a really good instructor is the ability to explain a concept in a variety of different ways.  Our brains all work differently, so a feel or image that works for me may not work for you.  Luckily for you, you ran into a guy who used an image that works for you.  Congratulations!  If he teaches in addition to fitting for Edel, you might consider seeing him for lessons if the need arises.

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2 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

One characteristic of a really good instructor is the ability to explain a concept in a variety of different ways.  Our brains all work differently, so a feel or image that works for me may not work for you. 

Yes, so true! Good *two way* communication is key to good learning.

...

18 hours ago, GrumpyGolf said:

have heard the 'just let the ball get in the way of the club' axiom many times, but it never seemed to click.  This however, will make my life easier.  With a lot of practice and patience that is.

In other threads @chisag has described the difference between a "hitter" vs a "swinger" (..of the golf club!) - a lot of recreational players .. including myself .. are hitters as they/we are focused on smacking the back of the ball with the club head...

Through lessons and practice I'm trying to evolve my technique to become more of a swinger (..of the golf club!) and also re-train my focus to be more "external" on the target.

Work in progress!

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I definitely find myself just hitting the ball more than swinging for the target. I got matched up with a gentleman a couple of weeks ago that would consistently tell himself to “watch the target” right before he would swing. Beautiful shots. Ever since then , I’ve been trying to do similar to keep my focus on the target and not on the ball. It seems to help. 

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Maybe off topic. But what is the difference between someone who is a swinger of the club. Versus someone who is more a hitter? Wouldn’t golfers be more of both. And maybe error more on the side of swinging a golf club. Versus lashing at the ball 

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31 minutes ago, Goober said:

Maybe off topic. But what is the difference between someone who is a swinger of the club. Versus someone who is more a hitter? Wouldn’t golfers be more of both. And maybe error more on the side of swinging a golf club. Versus lashing at the ball 

Ill direct you to the last discussion on that topic 😁

Basically no one really seems to have a single answer and it varies based on who you ask.    

 

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53 minutes ago, cnosil said:

Ill direct you to the last discussion on that topic 😁

Basically no one really seems to have a single answer and it varies based on who you ask.    

 

Thanks for that. Since the beginning of time I’ve heard two statements. “ just hit the ball” “ or ..put a nice swing on it” . I guess it depends what ones demeanor is that day. More I research golf swing or golf hit or whatever online. The more I tend to read some quacky junk. And then some get so vocal and almost cult like about what camp they are in. Some seem to just get trapped in it. Others from other camps get butt hurt. It’s quiet odd really . And down right disturbing 

should be ball , club , bottom of cup in as few shots as possible. No matter what theory or doctrine you follow 

It always seems like it is the ones who post on these who think they know .. or than you have fan boys … or then you have the ones who enjoy shaking up the hornets nest. Or ones who berate others so much online that they are almost crossing into the lines of legal defamation of character. All for a ball and a stick. Unreal 

Edited by Goober
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On 5/25/2022 at 9:41 PM, Kenny B said:

Funny you should post this.  I have been doing the same thing; to the point that I commented to my wife that I was just batting the ball around the course.  Two days ago, I started taking my backswing to just left arm parallel with a 90º angle on the club and then rotating a fast as I can to a finish.  The result is much more solid strikes.  I do 4-5 of those swings, then 9-10 regular swings; rinse and repeat. 

I'm getting much more wrist hinge, but along with that are sore wrists!!  I hope that if I keep doing it, the soreness will subside as my wrists get stronger.  I have never been called a "wristy" player; Stricker uses more wrists than I do.  Hopefully, that will change a little with this drill.

try doing the same thing you are doing but with an early wrist pre-set like Faldo

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9 minutes ago, Golfnut0226 said:

try doing the same thing you are doing but with an early wrist pre-set like Faldo

That's what I am doing; getting full wrist hinge before I get to left arm parallel.  Previously, with the stoopid one-piece takeaway I spent years doing,  I never got full wrist hinge and left arm parallel and I never got it at top of my backswing either.

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On 5/25/2022 at 9:09 PM, GrumpyGolf said:

Ok, so this is a follow up to info I had posted in my fitting for the Edel wedges.  While I was taking my swings, the fitter asked me a simple question, was I trying to hit the ball or was I trying to get it to the target.  I thought for a moment and answered honestly that I was trying to hit the ball.  He said that was my problem. 

At this point seeing my confusion, he stepped in front of me placed his arm straight out between us with the back of his hand toward the video screen.  He then told me to hit the palm of his hand with my right hand.  I did, I just hit his hand, kinda like a side ways high five. No follow through just a slap on the palm.  He then told me to hit his hand to send it towards the target on the screen.  Much different! I slapped it and followed through to drive it towards the screen.

When he pointed out what happened, it was one of those 'get the f___ out of here' moments. I spent the rest of the session swinging through the ball instead of trying to hit the ball.  

I have heard the 'just let the ball get in the way of the club' axiom many times, but it never seemed to click.  This however, will make my life easier.  With a lot of practice and patience that is.

I had a similar experience in the one lesson I took last summer.  The pro asked me to warm up with my 6 iron, then after 10 or so whacks had me aim at a pole in the middle of the range.  You would have thought I never picked up a club before.  Still not there with hitting to the target, but definitely something I know I should pick up again

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47 minutes ago, ForeRightAgain said:

I had a similar experience in the one lesson I took last summer.  The pro asked me to warm up with my 6 iron, then after 10 or so whacks had me aim at a pole in the middle of the range.  You would have thought I never picked up a club before.  Still not there with hitting to the target, but definitely something I know I should pick up again

Sage advice.  I heard that using a ping pong paddle achieves the same affect

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Watching my kids (11 and 8 years old) I noticed that they were swinging "at" the ball.  Now, as I help them set up to the ball, the last thing I say to them is "don't swing at the ball, swing through the ball".  That thought really smooths their swing and gets them thinking about sending it toward their target.

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18 hours ago, Goober said:

Maybe off topic. But what is the difference between someone who is a swinger of the club. Versus someone who is more a hitter? Wouldn’t golfers be more of both. And maybe error more on the side of swinging a golf club. Versus lashing at the ball 

If you look at my last post in that previous thread about 'What is the difference of Hitter vs Swinger' (see copy below) it was based on my poor knowledge of the swing without any idea of the forces/torques being used.  I was doing a best guess based on whatever knowledge I had learned (in 2018)  using opinion/qualitative based theories from TGM  and some inaccurate terms like 'Centrifugal Force' from golf scientists.

-------------------------------------

"Imho, a hit is predominantly a push . In TGM  terms , the swing is being powered predominantly with the straightening thrust action of the right arm (release of 'Power Accumulator PA1' - feels like a push on the handle) similar to the punch shot with hands leading the clubhead into impact.  Swinging is usually defined as a pulling action where CF forces get induced by the 'Law Of The Flail'  whereas hitting overrides that CF effect. The paradox here is all muscles in the human body pull  (ie. muscle 'contractions' shorten and stretch) so in theory the feel of a push is really a muscular pull ( you can find contradictions all over the place in golf theory if you look deeply enough).

I suspect in a real life golf action , there is a mix of both hitting and swinging, so maybe we are all 'swing-hitters' and maybe the categorisation of  a golf action being one or the other can get blurry. But I can imagine if you are a strong muscular bulky individual (especially in the upper body/shoulder area) who has problems creating a full range of upper pivot motion to 'swing'  the golf club, you may decide to use your 'shoulder girdle /triceps/biceps'  to 'hit'  power the golf swing."

----------------------------------------

Currently , after seeing these videos below by Dr Sasho MacKenzie , I have a more scientific based idea to categorise swinging vs hitting.

Swinging is using the 'eccentric' linear forces applied via the hands on the grip to create a 'Moment of Force'  (ie. torque) that will angularly accelerate the club.

Hitting is active muscular torque via the wrists to try and angularly accelerate the club.

I think there could be a bit of both in the golf swing if you look at the 2nd video below, but no-one can be absolutely certain what is happening until they are able to measure the forces/torques applied by each hand in the golf swing.

 

Edited by Wildthing
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21 hours ago, Goober said:

Since the beginning of time I’ve heard two statements. “ just hit the ball” “ or ..put a nice swing on it” .

I've heard these phrases as well.  But, I don't think "Just hit the ball" is meant to focus your attention on the ball.  When I've heard it, it means "quit over thinking everything, quit trying to manipulate the club and just swing away."  A/K/A, quit playing golf swing and start playing golf.  In that context, the two phrases aren't necessary contradictory.  

 

 

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43 minutes ago, alfriday101 said:

I've heard these phrases as well.  But, I don't think "Just hit the ball" is meant to focus your attention on the ball.  When I've heard it, it means "quit over thinking everything, quit trying to manipulate the club and just swing away."  A/K/A, quit playing golf swing and start playing golf.  In that context, the two phrases aren't necessary contradictory.  

 

 

True. But it seems online forum golf posters are complete 180 different then 99.99% other golf amateurs. Which isn’t a bad thing at all. Just the things you guys think about and discuss are literally light years of whatever I’ve imagined.

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