Apr 2 / admin

You might be a flipper if….

Ball Striking Lies

Facing reality about impact conditions

My passion when it comes to the golf business is the plight of the mid handicap player who has experience in the game.  Their #1 stated desire is always either “consistency” or “I want to hit it more solid” or “I want more distance”. All three of these goals, when it comes to an average golfer, are best achieved by examining impact conditions and seeing whether there is a quality strike of the golf ball happening.  Most mid handicappers are flippers, whether they’re aware of it or not.  The flipper is someone who bends their lead wrist coming into impact, to add loft and prevent the club from burying into the turf a foot behind the ball.

I find that a lot of people who shoot in the 90s are lying to themselves when it comes to the way they’re hitting their irons.  The belief is that they just need to practice more often, hit more golf balls, or play more golf for the consistency to fall into place and for them to hit their best shots more often.  But the reality is that the quality shots from the fairway are usually the result of some very  good timing that allows for the clubhead to bottom out at or before the ball but not be slowed down by the turf.  It’s often a matter of them having the ideal lie which allows the ball striking lie to continue.  Learning to flip the club well should not be the goal, this is a recipe for a lifetime of mediocre golf.  The tell tale signs that you are a flipper are as follows:

  • You alternate between fat and thin shots, meaning that their low point is behind the golf ball
  • You would prefer to have a shot where the golf ball is perched in the rough rather than have to hit off a tight fairway lie, because you are afraid of the fat shot
  • You make good contact on the driving range off the mats but often are laying the sod down when you get onto the golf course, especially in wet conditions
  • You cannot power the ball out of deep rough with any club but a wedge
  • You struggle hitting balls off a downhill lie
  • You struggle hitting balls below the feet
  • You tremor at the thought of a  fairway bunker shot

In this video, Martin Chuck (inventor of the Tour Striker) talks about his passion, the understanding of forward shaft lean and how to achieve it.  His product falls into the category of “diabolical” in my book because it exposes the player’s weakness, which is that they are likely not impacting the golf ball with forward shaft lean.  The reasons for this will be covered in future posts but the key takeaway is that there are drills to be done to help identify flipping and to work on eliminating it and replacing it with a body driven pivot and a powerful release using the tool as it was designed.  Another diabolical approach would be to practice in the sand for large blocks of time.  Spending time in a fairway bunker intensifies the practice session and tells the truth about impact much more than hitting balls off forgiving range mats that provide a false sense of confidence which fades once we’re on the golf course dealing with the realities of turf, sand, and physics.

Hit the little ball before the big ball!

Enjoy Martin’s video lesson on hitting balls from a fairway bunker to learn to feel lag pressure and a better impact condition on iron shots.

  • Thebirdiehunt

    Well said.  I am a mid handicapper and when I started working with an instructor over the winter his first comment was, you flip the club.  Spot on with this and so true that just learning how to flip better is never going to lead to sustained and real improvement for the majority of golfers.  

  • admin

    Jon: The first step is realizing it. I know I’m a flipper but still have a lot of work to do to start swinging that club fast using the tool as it was designed. The prize at the end of the road is a pure crisp sound and a lot of extra yards and control of the ball flight.

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