Welcome to Play Smart, a new game improvement column that comes out every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from the Luke Kerr-Dineen instruction editor to help you play smarter and better golf.
The BMW championship was characterized by difficult conditions and a brilliant descent. So brilliant, in fact, that they are worth reviewing quickly.
Yet DJ made one to force a playoff …
Then Rahm made one to win the playoffs …
But putting all the genius aside, one of my favorite clips from the event was this super slow-motion close-up video of Tiger’s clubhead moving through impact.
It wasn’t the best shot in the world, but you can learn a lot from it. Here because.
1. What causes a “dropkick”?
First, let’s start with the negative: there is a tuft of grass right in front of the ball, and you can see Tiger’s driver brush against it before crashing into the ball – a phenomenon otherwise known as “dropkick”.
A drive drop kick, in case you aren’t familiar, is when your driver’s head hits the ground before hitting the ball. It takes a lot of power to shut down the next unit and will often lead to directional problems as well. It is usually caused by not knowing where the lowest point of your swing is, which may be the result of the ball being placed too far in your position (among other things).
Tiger hits a little dropkick here – proof that it happens to even the best of us – but as you can imagine, it’s a dropkick that most people would dream of.
2. High on the face (okay!)
But once Tiger hits the ball, you can see that his ball touches the top of his pilot face. It hits the ball “high in the face”, and that’s good!
In the way the driver’s clubheads are designed, much of the driver’s weight is pushed behind the clubhead and towards the ground. By hitting the ball high in the face, you are taking advantage of the way the club is designed, and sending the ball into the air more powerfully. So take notes!
3. Club swings from bottom to top
Finally, notice how Tiger’s driver moves from bottom to top in the sequence above.
It’s true that some PGA Tour players hit the ball with their driver too, but for the rest of us who don’t boast the same levels of spin speed, teachers generally recommend hitting higher on the ball. Because? Because it allows you to hit the ball higher with less spin, which helps you hit the ball longer without swinging faster (thanks to the power of “optimal launch conditions”)
An easy way to help you do this is to put a small object, like a bottle of water or a rolled up towel, on the ground and practice swinging on it. It will give you the feeling of swinging from the bottom up and hopefully help you take longer laps when you hit the path.