Impact Position and Loss of Distance

Every year I have a player or two approach me for a lesson (usually in a slight state of panic) and describe that their golf game has taken a sudden turn for the worse.

The Problem

A sudden loss of distance with their irons. It can be as dramatic as a guy who usually hits his 7 iron 160 yards to suddenly barely getting it out to the 100 yard marker. It is usually accompanied by a high trajectory and shots that bleed off to the right (dying quail).

The Cause of the Problem

Poor impact position. The hands are behind the ball through  impact. I see this quite a bit in less experienced players who are trying to “lift” the ball rather than hitting down and thru the ball. Better players will sometimes fall back into this habit due to a couple of missed shots, and then they try to steer the ball down the fairway. Soon they are guiding the club head (pushing with the right hand) thru the impact area and losing the free-swinging motion that is required in a good golf swing.

Fixing the Problem

In general, on all iron shots, the hands must be ahead of the club head thru the impact area. Think about what you do on a short green side shot.  You line up with your weight slightly to the left with your hands in a forward press position (in front of the ball). When you do this, you are actually mimicking the proper impact position of the full swing. Short chip shots are simply a replication of the impact area of a full swing. When you hit the ball, check out your left wrist at impact. The left wrist should be reasonably straight.


Try the following exercises.  Whether you are a more experienced player or a high handicapper, they should help you keep your distance, or even improve it.

  • At the range, use a short to mid-iron and practice “pulling the grip” down instead of throwing the head of the club at the ball. Remember, the last thing that starts down towards the ball is the head of the club! On a practice swing check your position half-way down. Make sure that you are maintaining the angle between your left arm and the club head. You should notice that it is still in a “V” form.
  • Practice left hand only swings. You don’t even need to try to hit a ball. Just swinging the club with your left hand (right handed golfer) will give you the feel of the “pull” motion rather than the “hit” motion.
  • And lastly, Check your grip pressure! I think it was Ben Hogan who said, “Hold the club like you have a bird in your hand,” and of course you do want the bird to live.

Golf is a game of feel.  Practice the proper impact position and see the quality of your shots improve.  Now, go out and play!



Davis Love III plays his tee shot on the 18th hole during the third round at the 2012 U.S. Open at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, Calif. on Saturday, June 16, 2012. (Copyright USGA/Dak Dillon)


Far Hills, N.J. (Dec. 5, 2012) – The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced the selection of Davis Love III as the recipient of the 2013 Bob Jones Award.

Presented annually since 1955, the Award is the USGA’s highest honor and recognizes an individual who demonstrates the spirit, personal character and respect for the game exhibited by Jones, winner of nine USGA championships.

“Throughout his impressive career, Davis has distinguished himself with his sense of fair play, integrity and reverence for the game’s traditions,” said USGA President Glen D. Nager. “His passion for the game, as well as the values and principles that guide his everyday life, are emblematic of the characteristics that the Bob Jones Award seeks to identify. Golf and all those who play it are inspired by Davis’ example.”

Love, 48, will receive the Bob Jones Award during the USGA’s Annual Meeting, to be held in San Diego on Feb. 2, 2013.

The winner of 20 PGA Tour events, Love is one of the greatest players of his generation. In addition to capturing the 1997 PGA Championship at Winged Foot Golf Club, Love is a two-time winner of The Players Championship, in 1992 and 2003.

“Davis epitomizes everything that Bob Jones stood for with his character, integrity, displays of sportsmanship and his spirit of giving back,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem. “He truly understands what it means to be a role model and has been a great ambassador for the PGA TOUR and the sport of golf, both on and off the field of competition. He is a worthy addition to the list of distinguished winners of the USGA’s Bob Jones Award.”

In 1997, Love earned the USGA International Book Award for Every Shot I Take, a tribute to his late father, Davis Love Jr. In addition to being a highly esteemed teaching professional who imparted lessons to his son on golf and life, the elder Love played in seven U.S. Opens and was a two-time invitee to the Masters Tournament, founded by Jones.

Love finished second in the 1995 and 1999 Masters, as well as in the 1996 U.S. Open at Oakland Hills Country Club. Love’s poise, dignity and graciousness in those disappointing outcomes – in addition to the humility, respect and sportsmanship he displayed in his numerous triumphs – were strong factors in his selection for the Award.

So were his outreach efforts to both his local community and to the golf world. He established the Davis Love Foundation in 2005 to assist national and community-based programs that work to build a better future for at-risk children. Based in St. Simons Island, Ga., the foundation is the host organization of the PGA Tour’s McGladrey Classic, which benefits the Special Olympics and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Georgia, two of the USGA’s allied organizations.

In 2008, Love received the PGA Tour’s Payne Stewart Award, which is awarded to a player who shares the conduct, respect and philanthropy that were displayed by the 1991 and 1999 U.S. Open champion who died in a plane accident in 1999.

“From the time I was first introduced to Davis by his dad, Davis Love Jr., I was impressed,” said Tom Kite, the 1992 U.S. Open champion and the 1979 recipient of the Bob Jones Award. “At first it was those booming drives that caught my attention. After I played a few rounds and tournaments with him, I became more in awe of his overall game. Davis had it all, from prodigious drives to a deft putting touch, and there were no limits to the success he was going to have. As he nears his 30th year on the PGA Tour, few have been able to accomplish nearly as much.”

“But as much as I have been impressed with his wonderful golf swing and his tournament record, I treasure our friendship so much more. Davis has conducted himself with such style and grace that everyone in the game respects and admires him. And Davis respects and admires those who make our game so rich. The big thing Davis has in common with Bob Jones is that as much as he loves golf, he loves the people in golf more. There can be no more deserving recipient of the Bob Jones Award than my friend, Davis Love III.”

For years, Love has displayed leadership in what is usually an individual game, culminating in his captaincy of the 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup team. Love has represented his country as a player in six Ryder Cups, six Presidents Cups and in the 1985 Walker Cup Match at Pine Valley Golf Club, where he helped lead the USA Team to a narrow 13­–11 victory over Great Britain and Ireland by winning two matches on the final day.

A longtime resident of Sea Island, Ga., Love is a fixture in the local community, along with his wife, Robin, daughter, Alexia, and son, Davis IV, as well as his brother, Mark, the tournament director of The McGladrey Classic.


About the USGA

The USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, as well as 10 national amateur championships, two state team championships and international matches. Together with The R&A, the USGA governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, Equipment Standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA’s working jurisdiction comprises the United States, its territories and Mexico.

The USGA is a global leader in the development and support of sustainable golf course management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s history and funds an ongoing “For the Good of the Game” charitable giving program. Additionally, the USGA’s Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50 countries.

For more information about the USGA, visit

Spa Ssakwa’q’n at Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Offers Substantial Savings During ‘12 Days of Spa’

Daily Specials on Select Treatments, Merchandise and Gift Certificates Begins Dec. 12

(WORLEY, Idaho) – Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort & Hotel,  home to the highly acclaimed Circling Raven Golf Club, which is perennially ranked a Top-100 Course in America by national golf publications such as GOLF, Golf

Digest and Golfweek, is offering its annual “12 Days of Spa.”Spa Ssakwa’q’n – the new luxury spa at the recently expanded Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort, is offering significant savings on  treatments and merchandise each day through Dec. 23.

A sample of the daily specials available include 20% off a Season Manicure or Pedicure (Dec. 14), Ssakwa’q’n Massage (Dec. 15), Crystal Lake Pedicure (Dec. 19) or Ssakwa’q’n Facial (Dec. 20). Save 20% on all clothing on Dec. 19, and on the final day, Dec. 23, every spa retail item will be 25% off.

CDA Casino Resort
Photos courtesy of CDA Casino Resort

In addition, on Dec. 18 and 23, for every $100 spent on Spa Gift Cards, a $10 extra play cash bonus will be awarded to Coyote Rewards Club members for use in resort’s casino. Each daily offer is also good for purchase as a gift certificate.

“The ‘12 Days of Spa’ allows us to showcase the variety of services and products we have to offer at Spa Ssakwa’q’n, and at the same time provide a stress-free holiday shopping experience for all of our guests,” said Spa Director Kelleye Heydon.

Photo courtesy of CDA Casino Resort

For the entire month of December, the spa also has specials available on a Season Pedicure and Shellac Manicure for $90 ($20 savings), or a 60-minute Palouse Prairie Massage, Vitamin Infusion Facial and choice of Seasons Pedicure or Shellac Manicure with a pedicure for $220, or manicure for $200 ($30 savings on each).

Photos courtesy of CDA Casino Resort

Spa Ssakwa’q’n – pronounced “SOCK-wah-kin” –  is a 15,000 square-foot, full-service venue that opened last year as part of a massive expansion at the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel, which is owned and operated by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. The spa’s name describes a small, pristine lake on a mountain top and the décor is inspired by the tribe’s rich connection to nature and tradition.

For a full list of the “12 Days of Spa” specials, visit, call 1-855-232-2772 or “Like” the Facebook page at

About Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort & Hotel
Owned and operated by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and convenient to Spokane (WA) airport, the newly expanded Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort & Hotel is nestled on a reservation covering 345,000 acres of mountains, lakes, old-growth forest and farmland.

In May of 2011, the resort unveiled its seventh and largest expansion since opening as a 30,000 square-foot bingo hall in 1993. The new amenities include nearly 100 opulent guest rooms, a gourmet steakhouse, full-service spa and center bar area.

The resort — regularly voted the most popular casino in the Inland Northwest — offers 1,800 machines for play in smoking and non-smoking areas, off-track betting for horse and dog races, high-stakes bingo and entertainment. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week every day of the year.