The Clubhead Was Not Designed To Hit The Ball
By Greg Schulze
Did the title of this piece surprise you? Regardless, it is true. The iron clubhead was not designed to hit the ball, it was designed to strike the GROUND. Irons are designed with sharp leading edges and the sole beveled downward is meant to allow the clubhead to make contact with the ball sure, but then continue its downward journey into the ground to create the desired divot on the target side of the original ball location.
From a learning/teaching prospective, if a golfer addresses any shot with the ball on the ground (except the putt) and places their first priority on “hitting the ball,” the message sent to the body and clubhead is to avoid the ground. Avoiding the ground is a huge mistake; the golfer should consider the BALL AND DIVOT AS ONE CONNECTED PACKAGE as their new impact image. Impact is not hitting the ball, its not taking a divot, its BOTH simultaneously.
From a logical perspective, if the clubhead was designed to “avoid” the ground, why do you think they made the leading edge sharp and beveled downward? If the clubhead is supposed to “miss” the ground, what difference would it make how the leading edge of the clubhead was designed? When placing your focus and impact image on “picking the ball clean” off the surface of the ground, the margin for error is GREATLY reduced. Consider this fact; the diameter of the ball is only 1.62 inches, with only the bottom half “useful” since in order to get the ball airborne, impact must be against this half. This leaves us just over ¾” from the ground to the middle of the ball. Expecting the clubhead to “squeeze” into that tight space moving 80+ miles per hour is a seemingly impossible task to create with any consistency… agree?
Do you tend to hit “fat” or “thin” shots when the ball is played from the ground? It’s because your current swing was built to avoid the ground/divot, but remember the clubhead was designed to enter and tear the ground (divot) not to hit the ball!