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Collision ready

One of the problems in golf is how frequently swings are de-constructed into parts, threatening the fluid, organised movement that we really need. Collision-ready is a concept I created to bring together several elements of good impact in a very instinctive way.

Start with the end in mind

When swing building/refining with a golfer, most of the time we are more likely to fill in gaps instinctively, if we work backwards. We start with the effect we are trying to create through the impact zone.

Aside from the fact that the club's behaviour through impact is the only absolute in making the ball do what you intended, it also can inform the rest of the swing. But we have to overcome an important learning obstacle first.

The light ball problem

Common impact errors include scooping (adding loft, hitting the ground in the wrong place), or an unstable clubface (sending the ball in the wrong direction). The way in which the average club golfer organises their body at impact is markedly different from a tour pro.

I believe one of the reasons for this learning deficit, is because:

The ball is too light and impact too brief, for most people to truly experience inappropriate movement.

It's just harder to get feedback if the ball offers relatively little resistance, and the sensation lasts only a fraction of a second.

Collision ready

Fortunately there is a solution to this, and it's incredibly effective at drawing out tour pro impact positions, with minimal internally-focussed"instruction".

Collision-ready exercises allow golfers to self-organise into a recognisably better impact position by doing two things:

  1. Adding resistance or weight to the object being hit

  2. Ensuring the club is still being delivered "on-task"

N.b. In order to ensure the new movement the body comes up with is relevant, we need both this aspects, one won't have the right effect:

Example: You may be familiar with a training aid called the smash bag, which was a bag you filled with old towels and could hit very hard. Whilst it encouraged a more powerful action, you had no idea whether the clubface would have hit a decent shot or not. Thus not on-task and risking irrelevant technique being trained.

Asking a harder question

Self organised movement is your body's answer to a question. By adding resistance in place of a light golf ball, you pose a harder question. In return you get a better answer.

The training sequence

Watch this video to see how you can build up your collision ready skills. The great thing is, it's really easy to practice this indoors.

Iron out the kinks

Developing a collision ready swing is a process that can have instant benefit, but takes time to refine. When I hit balls myself, or coaching others, I look to iron out any kinks in the movement, which might compromise clubface stability or speed through impact. Common offenders are:

  • The lead knee being too flexed

  • The hips and chest not being open enough

  • The lead wrist buckling

By applying more resistance to the club through impact, the body is forced into a more efficient position and discovers an even sharper, more effective version of collision ready. The key question to ask oneself when testing out whether the body is organised well for impact, is:

Is the body as a whole absorbing the pressure of collision, or is one joint taking the strain?

If you feel your lead wrist, for example, is feeling like its doing all the work, it will be because the rest of the body hasn't organised itself properly yet. When you suddenly feel the hands, arms, chest etc. all working together to take the brunt of collision, you're on the way. The game from this point will start to feel a lot simpler.

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