By Matt WIlkes – Instructor/Club Fitter at the Mike Bender Golf Academy
The shape of the swing influences distance:
Many golfers have a swing that produces an outside-to-in, steep downswing that is often referred to as “over the top.” I see a lot of this when teaching and club fitting.
This swing shape usually produces a low launch angle and a lot of spin, which reduces the shot’s length and often creates a lot of curve on the ball.
This is exactly the opposite of what the best golfers do at impact. Good players will swing the club back to the ball from inside the target line on a more shallow path which launches the ball higher with less spin. As you can see from the graphic below, when the player here made a downswing that is more from the inside he produced nearly half the spin as he did on his normal swing. The result is 46 more yards of carry with the driver!
He achieved this remarkable improvement with a drill he learned from Mike Bender. The drill is to put a broken shaft in the ground as shown in the photo.
Then he had to swing underneath the shaft during the downswing. If the player swings too steep or “over the top”, he will hit the shaft. We put a swimming pool 'noodle' on the shaft to prevent any damage to the player or his club.