Where To Address The Ball at Setup
Had a great coaching session today. Here is what happened. The student, MP, wanted to know where to address the ball at setup. He had heard that in order to hit the ball in the sweet spot and thereby maximize distance, at setup he should address the ball in the middle of the clubface. He wanted to know if this was correct.
To answer the question, we combined the ultra high tech golf training tool, TrackMan, with some low tech Dr. Scholls foot power spray. When MP lined up the ball in the center of the clubface at address, the smashfactor (ball speed divided by club head speed was quite low) and the distance was not what MP expected. This told us that MP was probably not striking the ball in the sweet spot, inspite of the fact that he lined up the ball in the center of the clubface at address. So we turned to Dr. Scholls foot powder spray. After hitting a shot you can see where the ball made contact with the club and the the reason for the disappointing results. We then had MP change his address so that the ball was actually lined up with the toe of the club at address, rather than the center of the clubface. You can see the result of making this change. And with a sandwedge, MP's yeardage went from 90 to 105 with a similiar swing speed.
What MP learned: lining the ball up in the center of the clubface might be good for some golfers, but it was hurting him. Lining the ball up off the toe will result in more solid shots and increased distance.