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Impact: Training with isometrics



Golf’s vitally important “Impact Position” is one of the most difficult areas to isolate and work on. This is due to the dynamics of the motion and the fact that golfers are passing through this area of the swing at great speed. I would like to introduce you to some isometric exercises that will help improve your impact position, as well as increase your speed and flexibility.


I am using a swing trainer that is equipped with a golf club grip, but a simple exercise resistance band and piece of nylon rope work great as well. Make a loop and double up the knot so that it can be inserted above the door hinge between the door and the door frame. Once the door is closed, the resistance band will be secured between the door and door frame.


Perform 10 reps of each exercise, 2-to-3 sets. Hold each position for 8-to-10 seconds. Holding static positions under the stress of the resistance band will allow your mind and body to process much more information and attain better alignments once you put your swing into motion. Isometrics are also a cornerstone for improving speed and flexibility in all types of sports.

trans 1 txt 600.

Exercise 1

Insert your resistance band above the door hinge at its highest point. From here, we will work on properly sequencing our pivot from the top of swing position into the downstroke.

Photo A illustrates areas that you should be aware of when moving through your transition.

  • Lower body supporting the upper body and a strong sense of pressure in your feet as you use the ground for leverage.
  • The trail arm stays in front of the hip.
  • Higher-handicap golfers should feel like they are moving laterally, as well as diagonally.

Photo B illustrates a common fault of lower-handicap golfers.

  • Pushing off of the right side too early, causing the arms to get caught behind the trail hip.
  • The club flattens too much.
  • Sustaining the line of compression becomes difficult.

impact 600

Exercise 2

Insert  your resistance band above the middle door hinge. From here we will work on delivering the club from waist high into our impact position.

Photo C illustrates areas that you should be aware of when moving into your impact position.

  • Hips open, head behind the ball.
  • The weight is predominantly forward, with the lead leg straightening.
  • The club swings left (for a right-handed golfer), as the hands get pulled past the ball location. The lead shoulder moves up and back.

Photo D illustrates a common breakdown of the impact position for higher-handicap golfers.

  • The trail shoulder gets too high, and the weight is stuck on the back foot.
  • The lead wrist cups and the trail wrist flattens too early, as hands are directed at the ball location instead of beyond it.
  • The club shaft leans backwards.

Speed 600

Adding Speed

Begin introducing the golf ball and speed to your stroke by starting at the proper impact position as described in above Photo C.

  • Hit 10 shots taking the club back to waist high, then contacting the ball (Photo E).
  • Hit 10 more starting at impact and taking the club back to shoulder high.
  • Hit shots from your standard address position and swing to a full finish, passing through your improved impact position (Photo F).

Band 600

Above: An example of a resistance band and simple door hinge attachment.


Isometric exercises are done in static positions, rather than being dynamic through a range of motion. The “Hold” and “Form” portion of each rep is very important, so perform your routine in front of a mirror or camera/video camera the first few times to insure precision. Isometrics are low-impact, quick-recovery exercises that can open up a whole new world of impact sensations and improvement for you.

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Michael Howes is a G.S.E.B. authorized instructor of "The Golfing Machine" - Director of Instruction "Carter Plantation Golf Course" Springfield, La. - Director of Instruction "Rob Noel Golf Academy at Carter Plantation. - Golf Channel Academy Instructor - SPi Instructor of the SeeMore Putter Institute - Featured Writer GolfWRX Teaching philosophy: "We will work together on adding the all-important elements of power and consistency to your game while maintaining the individualism and art of your swing." Work on your swing from anywhere in the world - NO software needed.



  1. Jeff Kerr

    Feb 2, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Good stuff Mike!

  2. Jonathan

    Feb 2, 2014 at 12:27 am

    Thanks for the exercises, Michael. Going the resistance band route, it seems like it would be beneficial to tie it to a a cut off grip to make it similar to your G4, right? I have plenty of old irons that i could cut off a few inches below the grip. Thanks, again.

    • Michael Howes

      Feb 2, 2014 at 10:03 am

      Just PLEASE make sure your device is safe & secure. These exercise create a ton of resistance & pressure, so you do not want to be doing anything unsafe. Always check your bands before training. Look for weak spots and never use old, dry bands or tubing.

      • Jonathan

        Feb 2, 2014 at 11:07 pm

        I’ll be safe, but if I don’t attach a cut off grip, how would you go about holding the resistance band? Just grip the actual band like you would a club? Also, out of heavy, medium, and low resistance bands, which do you recommend using? How much resistance should we feel? Thanks for the reply.

        • Michael Howes

          Feb 3, 2014 at 12:17 am

          Yes Jonathan, use your golfing grip & place the band so that pressure is being applied to the trail hand index finger. Start with a flex that you are able to reach the positions & hold. Move to higher tension bands as your training progresses. Keys are Form & Hold.

  3. Kammer

    Jan 31, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Wonder if I could get forearmtats that would help with grip alignment. Huh hmmmm

  4. Keith

    Jan 31, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Good stuff! What’s the name of the trainer you’re using?

    • Michael Howes

      Feb 1, 2014 at 8:40 pm

      Thanks Keith.
      The trainer is the G4, which Tom Lehman used to endorse. I do not think they make it anymore. Try the resistance bands, they work great too.

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Clement: Load up the full power package in the backswing!



This video is FUNDAMENTAL FOR POWER GAINS in the golf swing; the arm anatomy BEGS TO BE USED in this manner from casting a fishing pole, to serving a tennis ball to batting a baseball to driving a golf ball. YOU WILL LOVE how much SNAP you will get through the ball and the sound the ball will make coming off the club from the compression off the face. BLISS ON A STICK!

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Clement: This wrist position can add 30 yards to your drive



Drop the mic on how the wrists should load and be positioned for compressive power, accuracy, and longevity! There is a better way, and this is it!

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Short Game University: How to hit wedges 301



In golf, there is nothing harder than judging a flop shot over a bunker to a tight pin out of long grass. Why? Because there are so many variables to account for — in addition to what you can and cannot do with a wedge. In fact, up until very recently in the world of wedge design, we were limited to only increasing the landing angle to stop the ball, because relying on spin from this lie and this close to the green was next to impossible.

Now with the advent of things like raw faces, different CG locations, new groove design, and micro-ribs between the grooves, we can now spin the ball out of lies that we never could have done so before. This is not to say that you can now zip the ball back from these types of lies, but we are seeing spin rates that have skyrocketed, and this allows us to not open the face as much as we needed to do before in order to stop the ball.

Before we get into the shot around the green itself, let’s talk a bit about wedge design. For that, I called a great friend of mine, Greg Cesario, TaylorMade’s Staff Manager to help us understand a bit more about wedges. Greg was a former PGA Tour Player and had a big hand in designing the new Milled Grind 3 Wedges.

Cesario said: “Wedge technology centers on two key areas- the first is optimizing its overall launch/spin (just like drivers) on all shots and the second is optimum ground interaction through the geometry of the sole (bounce, sole width, and sole shape).”

“Two key things impact spin: Groove design and face texture. Spin is the secondary effect of friction. This friction essentially helps the ball stick to the face a little longer and reduces slippage. We define slippage as how much the ball slides up the face at impact. That happens more when it’s wet outside during those early morning tee times, out of thicker lies, or after a bit of weather hits. Our Raised Micro-Ribs increase friction and reduce slippage on short partial shots around the round – that’s particularly true in wet conditions.”

“We’ve been experimenting with ways to find optimal CG (center of gravity) placement and how new geometries can influence that. We know that CG locations can influence launch, trajectory and spin. Everyone is chasing the ability to produce lower launching and higher spinning wedge shots to help players increase precision distance control. In that space, moving CG just a few millimeters can have big results. Beyond that, we’re continuing to advance our spin and friction capabilities – aiming to reduce the decay of spin from dry to fluffy, or wet conditions.”

Basically, what Greg is saying is that without improvements in design, we would never be able to spin the ball like we would normally when it’s dry and the lie is perfect. So, with this new design in a wedge like the Milled Grind 3 (and others!), how can we make sure we have the optimal opportunity to hit these faster-stopping pitch shots?

  1. Make sure the face is clean and dry
  2. Open the blade slightly, but not too much
  3. Set the wrists quicker on the backswing to increase the AoA
  4. Keep the rear shoulder moving through impact to keep the arms going

Make sure the face is clean and dry

If your thought is to use spin to stop the ball quicker under any situation, then you must give the club a chance to do its job. When the grooves are full of dirt and grass and the remaining exposed face is wet, then you are basically eliminating any opportunity to create spin. In fact, if you decide to hit the shot under these conditions, you might as well hit a flop shot as this would be the only opportunity to create a successful outcome. Don’t put yourself behind the eight-ball automatically, keep your club in a clean and dry condition so you have the best chance to do what you are capable of doing.

Open the blade slightly, but not too much

Without going into too much extra detail, spinloft is the difference between your angle of attack and your dynamic loft. And this difference is one of the main areas where you can maximize your spin output.

Too little or too much spinloft and you will not be able to get the maximum spin out of the shot at hand. With wedges, people equate an open clubface to spinning the ball, and this can be a problem due to excessive spinloft. Whenever you have too much dynamic loft, the ball will slide up the face (reduced friction equals reduced spin) and the ball will float out higher than expected and roll out upon landing.

My thought around the green is to open the face slightly, but not all the way, in efforts to reduce the probability of having too much spinloft during impact. Don’t forget under this scenario we are relying on additional spin to stop the ball. If you are using increased landing angle to stop the ball, then you would obviously not worry about increasing spinloft! Make sure you have these clear in your mind before you decide how much to open the blade.

Opened slightly

Opened too much

One final note: Please make sure you understand what bounce option you need for the type of conditions you normally play. Your professional can help you but I would say that more bounce is better than less bounce for the average player. You can find the bounce listed on the wedge itself. It will range between 4-14, with the mid-range bounce being around 10 degrees.

Set the wrists quicker on the backswing to increase the angle of attack

As we know, when debris gets in between the clubface and the ball (such as dirt/grass), you will have two problems. One, you will not be able to control the ball as much. Secondly, you will not be able to spin the ball as much due to the loss of friction.

So, what is the key to counteract this problem? Increasing the angle of attack by setting the wrists quicker on the backswing. Making your downswing look more like a V rather than a U allows less junk to get between the club and the ball. We are not using the bounce on this type of shot, we are using the leading edge to slice through the rough en route to the ball. Coming in too shallow is a huge problem with this shot, because you will tend to hit it high on the face reducing control.

Use your increased AoA on all of your crappy lies, and you will have a much better chance to get up and down more often!

Keep the rear shoulder moving through impact to keep the arms going

The final piece of the puzzle through the ball is speed through the pivot. You cannot hit shots around the green out of tall grass without keeping the club moving and having speed. A reduction of speed is obvious as the club enters into the tall grass, but you don’t want to exacerbate this problem by cutting off your pivot and letting the arms do all the work.

Sure, there are times when you want to cut off the body rotation through the ball, but not on the shot I am discussing here. When we are using spin, you must have speed to generate the spin itself. So, what is the key to maintaining your speed? Keeping the rear shoulder rotating long into the forward swing. If you do this, you will find that your arms, hands, and club will be pulled through the impact zone. If your pivot stalls, then your speed will decrease and your shots will suffer.

Hopefully, by now you understand how to create better shots around the green using the new wedge technology to create more spin with lies that we had no chance to do so before. Remembering these simple tips — coupled with your clean and dry wedge — will give you the best opportunity to be Tiger-like around the greens!

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