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Effective Golf Instruction: How to Make Solid Contact with the Ball

The key to hitting good shots is for your club to make solid contact with the ball. The may seem self-evident, but it's easier said than done. Tour pros routinely make solid contact on the great majority of their shots. They know the keys to making the repeatable swing that leads to the consistently solid contact they desire. Many recreational golfers have swing flaws, swing too hard or just don't understand the importance making solid contact in the center of the clubface.

Hit the “sweet spot” on the clubface

Every golf club has a “sweet spot” on the clubface that produces optimal results when contact is made there. For most irons, the sweet spot is in the lower center of the face. On today's drivers and fairway woods, the sweet spot is often just above the center line in the middle of the clubface. Contact on the sweet spot produces the ideal launch and spin conditions for each club. Ben Hogan, considered to be one of the best ball strikers in history, claimed he made absolute solid contact no more than six times or so during every round. The sweet spot on golf clubs in Hogan's day was much smaller than today's more forgiving designs. It's still a challenge to hit the sweet spot and make solid contact with the ball.

Develop a repeatable swing under control

The best way to ensure you make solid contact with the ball is to develop a repeatable swing. The definition of a good golf swing for the majority of golf's top instructors is “one that is repeatable”. Having a repeatable swing develops consistency. That consistency, in turn, leads to making solid contact more often. It's no wonder that golfers who don't have a repeatable swing have trouble making consistently solid contact. You should always swing under control, too. The best golfers almost never swing as hard as they can, preferring to maintain control of the clubhead to deliver the clubface squarely onto the ball in the sweet spot. They know a solidly struck ball in the sweet spot will deliver better results than swinging as hard as they can while making off-center contact. You'll find a ball struck solidly in the center of the clubface is the key to accuracy as well.

Use impact tape or powder to check the quality of your impact

When you practice, sprinkle baby powder on the ball or apply impact tape to the club surface to help you check the quality of your impact. You can buy impact tape at most golf shops or from golf retailers online. Take a look at the face after each shot to see where the imprint of the ball appears on the face. If you aren't making consistent contact on the club's sweet spot, you know you've got some work to do.