A Simple Fix for Consistent Contact

Probably the most frequent comment I get from students is, "I want to make more consistent contact." We can all hit great shots once in a while. Those are the ones that keep us coming back to play the game we all love. The problem is that we often have several bad shots in between good ones. Those are the shots that make "golf" a four letter word.

Know that you're not alone though. Players of all skill levels struggle with consistency to some degree or another. Even professionals will hit a shot fat or thin every now and then. Remember when Hunter Mahan chunked a chip on the 17th hole of the Ryder Cup to lose the competition? Now, obviously, he was experiencing a bit more pressure than most of us ever will, but he still did it.

That being said, any amount of pressure we put on ourself can significantly change little parts of our swing and lead to inconsistent contact. The good news in all this is that, often times, there is a relatively simple simple solution.

It's all in your head (and sternum).

What I mean by that is that making consistent contact depends significantly on how still you can keep your swing center; your head and sternum.

Think of a pendulum.

Every pendulum has a fixed point at one end and a moving point at the other. As long as the fixed point stays motionless, the moving point will "bottom out" at the exact same spot over and over again. If the fixed point decides to moves (thus, no longer qualifying as a fixed point), the path of the moving point will move as well. It will "bottom out" at a different spot.

In the golf swing, your head and/or sternum is that fixed point, while the club head is the moving point. If you want the club to "bottom out" at the same spot every time, then you need to maintain your fixed points; your head and sternum. The "bottoming out" of the moving point is the impact position that will lead to consistent contact.

Our swing center tends to move when we want to hit the ball farther, experience some pressure, or just get tired. It's easy to let it sway backwards or dip low. In these situations, pay extra close attention to maintaining a fixed swing center. Keep your head and sternum fixed until after making contact and you'll see more consistency in your contact. After impact, feel free to move that swing center all you want, but until that moment...keep it motionless.