Following on from last week’s blog where Rob briefly mentioned the impact factors, this week will cover the 7 impact factors and what they affect in more detail.
So, starting with clubface alignment, this is the single biggest factor that will affect start direction in the golf swing both at set up and at impact. With Trackman 4 and GCQUAD here at Peter Field Golf we can monitor how the clubface is delivered at impact with it either being delivered open, closed or square. If an iron is struck centrally but the clubface is either open or closed at impact it can affect the initial start direction by 75% with an iron, with driver at 85%.
This is the direction the clubhead is moving in relative to your target line. Club path links in directly with clubface alignment and impact location and has a huge effect on what the ball flight (draw or fade) is going to be and in which direction it is going to go in. For example, to hit a straight shot your club path would be In to In and your face angle would be square to your target line, assuming a centred strike. A majority of the clients we teach don’t know what their club path is, this is huge in helping us and yourselves know which shot shape you can and can’t hit and help you understand how changing club path can affect ball flight and direction.
Impact location has the greatest influence over some of the other impact factors. A centre struck shot will have the most ball speed than an off centre shot, resulting in the correct spin and maximum distance. When striking the ball off centre, it will knock the direction the clubhead is pointing in resulting in poor star direction. Dynamic loft is also affected as an off centre shot can result in more or less loft being presented at impact, however when the ball is struck centrally you will get a true representation of the ball flight and distance deserved from your swing speed and ball speed called smash factor.
One of the biggest factors that will affect how far the
ball will travel as it is how quick you swing. Equipment and age will play a huge part in this as the older you get the slower the swing starts to become, but also if you have a club that is too heav
y for you then you won’t be able to swing it to full potential resulting in less distance than desired. Technology has helped mask this as equipment has become lighter so you are able to swing it faster!!
This is the amount of loft that is presented at impact and will affect the height of the golf ball. A typical 7 iron loft is 34 degrees, if delivered at a higher or lower degree will partly affect the height although how fast you swing and impact location will also affect this as they have a direct influence on each other.
Angle of Attack
This is effectively how shallow or steep your clubhead is at impact. With an iron it should be a descending angle, with an iron it should be an ascending angle. A poor attack angle can affect smash factor, strike, launch angle, spin and ultimately distance hence it is important to know if you hit at the correct angle with the correct clubs. This is important to remember when playing in wet or hard conditions as if you were to create an ascending angle when the ground is wet then you will hit loads of ground and hardly any ball resulting in the ball not going very far.
This is where the arc of the swing is at it’s lowest point. Low point and attack angle sit side by side and can help achieve each other. To help you create a descending angle, it would help to visualise the low point being after the golf ball. Just like attack angle, if low point is correct it will help maximise smash factor, strike, spin and distance.
When we are fitting or teaching on trackman, we can see 31 different parameters which help us and yourselves understand what all your 7 impact factor numbers are. We also have our Technology suite with GCQuad, Swing catalyst pressure plate and KMotion 3D available to use.
If you would like to know why you are hitting a certain shot shape or why your strike is not quite right and your lacking distance as a result then pop in store and speak to a member of staff for more information on the lessons we have to offer.
Assistant PGA Professional