09 Feb Understand ball impact conditions in our golf lessons
The use of launch monitors in golf lessons allows for detailed observation of the clubhead and ball, thus changing our understanding of impact conditions.
How can I hit a low shot with a fade? How can I optimize the backspin from 80 meters? How can I reach more distance with all my clubs? In our golf classes at Black Iron Golf Academy, our first objective is for the player to understand the characteristics of the impact and why the flight they see in the ball occurs. We need to understand physics and apply it to golf to answer these questions, specifically how flight occurs from specific impact conditions.
So, what are our goals with the vast majority of shots we take on the course? There are four: distance, solidity, direction and trajectory. We must hit the ball the desired distance with the center of the clubhead and in the direction of our objective, be it the flag, the hole or the middle of the fairway. The curvature part becomes especially important on windy days when one must guess the direction and trajectory of the shot (either the height of the shot or the curvature on the horizontal axis). Just as there are four purposes for each shot, in our golf lessons and high-performance programs, we explain how there are also four key elements to hitting these goals and at the moment of impact. Due to their importance, we call them determining elements. They are:
Swing arc control
The first element is defined as the displacement of the clubhead per unit of time and is usually measured in miles or kilometers per hour or meters per second.
The second refers to the characteristics and stability in the orientation of the arc that the clubhead travels as it approaches the moment of impact with the ball.
The third describes how open or closed the clubface is, both vertically (sky-ground axis) and horizontally (target’s left-right), at impact.
The fourth refers to the relationship between element number three and the movement of the club’s center of mass through the impact zone.
At Black Iron Golf Academy, whether you’re a beginner taking your first lessons, or a high-performance player looking for a development program, our approach is always to give you clarity and information on the characteristics of these elements and how they relate to each other. We like the golfer to be aware of what they are doing, why they’re doing it and how the changes we propose are going to change and improve their flight patterns. We believe that golf is more enjoyable when we understand the reason why things happen, even if it is difficult and counterproductive to self-diagnose on the course.
And of course, we do the same with all our juniors in the summer programs at Chaparral Golf Club, Malaga, in the heart of the Costa del Sol, in southern Spain. All junior golfers who work with us develop analytical skills, including, among others, knowledge of the physics of impact: they are well aware of the targets with each shot and also all the determining elements that produce a flight pattern to reach those targets. And they go further. Even our youngest golfers, who are part of the Black Iron Golf Academy training plans, are already familiar with more advanced elements such as spin management and the gear effect. At Black Iron Golf Academy, all our coaches are proud of this pedagogical approach.