When I went to Quail Ridge to work with Ben Doyle many years ago, I was introduced to the sand drill. I knew the sand drill was important, but it wasn’t until I introduced it to my students that I realized how important it was.
I quickly found out that most students, especially the high handicappers did not know where their divots started. I also found that many students were confused about where the divot was “supposed” to start. I couldn’t believe that some of my perspective (prospective) students thought the divot started behind the position of the ball. I was amazed at how many people were playing golf with no idea that the divot should occur after the ball is struck. Without this basic information, there is not much hope for progress.
In the “Impact Zone”, Bobby made it clear that moving the bottom of the swing arc forward is one of the most important factors in improving students’ ball striking.
These days one of my most important weapons on the lesson tee is a paint striping gun. I spend more time with all of my students inspecting the quality of their divots by striking shots off of the paint line. As soon as the student really understands the concept of “moving the bottom of the swing arc forward” the student’s ability to hit good shots improves rapidly.
Thanks to the Impact Zone, teaching these days is less about style points and more about why and how a ball should be struck correctly.