If you look at some of the best ball strikers in the world, you will see a variety of styles of swing. For example, Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia, Jason Duffner, Bubba Watson, Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott. All of these players swing the club differently yet they are tremendous ball strikers. What is it they have in common? They all have tremendous low point control.
So what is low point control?
If you were to take the shaft out of the clubhead, and trace the clubhead’s path during the swing, it essentially moves in a circle. Within that circle there is going to be one point where it is going to be lowest in relation to the ground – hence low point. Being able to control the location of the low point of your swing so that it is in a consistent location is what low point control is all about.
Where should the low point be located?
A lot of amateurs struggle when I ask them this question. That is because they don’t have a clear understanding of what the golf club should be doing through impact. They either think the low point should be behind the ball or at the ball. In reality, the lowest point of your arc should be positioned in front (on the target side) of where the ball used to be. In fact, the best players on tour have their lowest point of there swing positioned about 4 to 5 inches in front of the ball with their irons.
How do I tell if I have good low point control?
This is best done on the driving range initially without a ball. If you can spray a line of paint on the grass about a foot long. Set the club up to the line and make full practice swings. With the line as the reference point you will be able to see where your divots start.
If you can’t use spray paint to mark the line, set up two tees about a foot apart and use an imaginary line as your reference point. Once you’ve completed the task without the ball, put a ball down and see if you can repeat it.
What affects low point control?
There are a few things that can occur in the swing that will cause the low point to change locations. Initially when you set up to the ball, (assuming you have proper posture and set up) you will establish the low point at address and it will be in front of the ball. However that can change during the swing if you’re not careful.
Causes of Low Point Moving Behind The Ball
(1) In your backswing if you shift to your trail leg (right leg for right handed players) and get your weight outside your trail foot, your swing center has shifted away from the target and your low point has moved behind the ball.
(2) In the downswing if you spin your hips rapidly towards the target yet keep pressure on your trail foot the swing center will shift behind the ball. This is a classic “spin out” move as there was no lateral shift to the target to initiate the downswing.
Causes of Low Point Moving In Front of The Ball
(1) Your head moves toward the target in the downswing. This is a result of your upper-body initiating the rotation of the downswing and is likely combined with a corrective maneuver with the hands though the downswing. Focus on maintaining a steady head and feel like your chest stays behind the ball through impact.
(2) You have a lateral sway with the hips in the downswing towards the target. In an attempt to shift weight to your lead foot, your hips move towards the target and do not turn through impact. Focus on your footwork in the downswing and try to initiate the downswing by pushing the lead foot down into the ground. This will help create proper rotation.
Low Point Control is one of the true fundamentals of the golf swing of which there are very few. Without it you will struggle with ball striking consistency. With it, you will be able to hit the ball solidly and only then should you begin to focus on other things to improve like speed and direction control.