June 12 2012
It almost seems unfair watching Dustin Johnson swing the club. The guy has a swing that creates so much speed and power, but yet he makes it look so effortless. One of the things Dustin does so well to create this efficient power by using the ground to compress the golf ball against it.
In order to compress the ball at impact, you must learn to lean the club shaft forward at impact. One of the things that all PGA TOUR players do the same is they all return the club shaft forward in the full swing. Dustin is a player that creates a bit more forward lean at impact because of his closed clubface at the top of his swing.
One of the most common errors during the golf swing is returning the club shaft leaning away from the target. This scooping action can rob you of power because of the additional loft added to the club face at impact. This dynamic is not a desirable one in the full swing, and can lead a player to over swing in order to create additional power.
At the TOUR Academies, one of the things we will do to teach a forward-leaning club shaft is hit punch shots. A punch shot is a lower trajectory shot where the initial launch angle will be more penetrating. In order for this happen the club shaft must lean forward, creating a de-lofting effect to the club face.
A punch shot should be viewed as a three-quarter type of shot, not only during the backswing, but also the finish. This condensed and compact structure can help player stay more committed to hitting down and compressing the ball against the ground. In fact, oftentimes I will encourage my students to exaggerate this feeling by trying to keep the arm swing and club shaft down well into post-impact. By sustaining the down will past the ball, it will encourage a forward-leaning club shaft at impact.\
Travis Fulton is the Director of Instruction at the TOUR Academies at TPC Sawgrass and the World Golf Village. For more information on the TOUR Academy, click here.