By Joe Thiel

Every single player that is a strong ball striker has more forward shaft lean at impact then they do at address. The short game is no different. If you could catch a strong camera close up of the typical tournament players club head near impact you would note that the loft is much less then it was at address. Often with extremely high level video equipment we note the driver just previous to impact continues to de-loft. This post impact de-loft is what the hold really is. These players are in a different position at impact then they were at address and you should also. This is incredible and monumental to great ball striking. Now we realize that many of you reading this book do not have the time to devote to the game as these players do BUT there is no reason you can't learn de-lofting techniques and impact holds as a casual or even light competitive player.
If you could circle player's hands at address position even in the short game chips and pitches then stop them at impact on tape you will note that the hands are much more forward at impact then address. Some substantially more.


(Impact is well forward of original address in this live 15 yard pitch shot)

You will also note that the shaft has a forward lean to it toward the target and may even have a little bow in it on full swing shots.


 It does not mean that advanced players are stronger then you are and that you can't create speed as well with little effort. . On the contrary 110 pound juniors can generate some serious club head speed moving tee shots 250 yards plus.




(Full swing 6 iron that also looks effortless)








This of course effectively changes the loft of the club and they now are hitting one club more then they started with i.e. a six iron 200 yards. Now you have it. Actually a few of the students that I teach tend to deloft way too much and we have to back up and deliver with less angles so the ball will have some decent trajectory. Nearly all amateur players would love to have this problem. Impact also finds the back of the target hand facing the target and as post impact continues in the full swing that impact is held for a very brief micro second creating what I term as a long flat spot. This hold creates penetrating laser type shots even with your wedges.


This is the hold. It is not a purposeful hold but it becomes a distinctive automatic intuitive hold briefly and then a correct connected natural rotation as the swing continues into the finish side of the swing.

Major Drill:
So again let's get started with a sand wedge. Address your standard bread and butter position without a ball at first in front of a mirror for immediate feedback and make a pitch size rehearsal swing to impact. Note the more forward position of your de-lofted club face and the dead flat even bowed position of the left hand.


Again feel the transition reloading of the angle and try stopping at impact. Do it slowly enough that you can easily stop. Now hold that body connected position as you move a little past impact. The feel and look here is a nice triangle that was originally set up with the shoulders, left, and right arm at address is still that nice little triangle of the arms at impact with the only exception being relocated a bit more forward toward the target. The wrists, hands and club also look near the same yet a bit more forward. This will feel a little foreign to you but proceed and see if it does not get easier. At first I will not let my students hit balls until I am pretty sure they have the concept and can feel the difference between correct and the tendency to flip the hands and club head under the ball. Upon introducing the ball now some students will still flip the left wrist allowing the club head to pass up the hands a bit, breaking down the triangle delivery. Now the oh I get it moment arrives for near everyone with each realizing their tendency to hit at the ball. From here progress happens quickly and each little chip and pitch start having that unique impact crisp sound with the bounce of the club being utilized. I want the hold post impact mastered on these little chips and pitches and for the student to stop and hold this little finish position so they can take inventory.
(Post impact still well held connected position)

Once students have this in the first short game lesson I immediately have them hit these little chip type shots off our practice pitching green. At first they are a little freaked out with worry hitting balls off the pitching green but after 2-3 shots they can pinch that ball right off the surface and the contact after impact on the surface does not in the least damage the green. Listen these are not all strong players, but some have handicaps of 20-30 men, women and children. It becomes so darn easy. The hardest part of this is sharing it in written word. Beginners get a great start learning this way as it circumvents building all the poor fundamentals. We have professional golfers from several countries come and relearn some of these principles and leave much better ball strikers. I am of the firm belief that due to improper practice and learning there are many players out there that could have been tremendous ball strikers and scorers of the ball yet have fallen short because of improper practice and basic block building skills. I have found that after a few weeks of practice every student regardless of level can hit their chips and pitches with a ton more confidence, leverage, and control.

Last modified on Wednesday, 09 January 2013 21:47


book-cam-image From one who is considered among the nation’s top teachers comes A Master Teacher’s Secrets To Accelerated Golf Performance, an informative and practical guide to achieving success in golf.



Joe Article In China Golf

china-mag-small-icon Newest Joe Instruction Article in Chinese.



Olympia Golf Schools

Palm Dessert Golf School

About Joe

Joe Thiel has spent 40 years helping others learn and enjoy the game of golf.He is one of only a few golf professionals in the U.S. who has earned the prestigious PGA Master Professional designation. The local PGA region has honored him as the PGA Teacher of the Year three times - in 1993, 1995, and 1997. He was also inducted into the Mercer County Hall of Fame in 1999, and into the 'Millennium Who's Who in America.' Golf Magazine has also honored Joe with the title of Top 100 Teachers in America for many years and Golf Driving Range Magazine has also honored him as one of the top 50 Teachers in America. More About Joe.