Start a Free 3 Day Trial

Get access to 900+ instructional videos
No credit card required
Tyler Ferrell is the only person in the world named to Golf Digest's list of Best Young Teachers in America AND its list of Best Golf Fitness Professionals in America. Meet your new instructor.

Click here to join now and get full access.

Analysis Video - Driver Flat Spot

One aspect of the club path that is related to driving consistency is known as the "flat spot". With some of the best drivers in the world, we are going to notice a couple distinct characteristics of how the club moves roughly a foot before and after impact. That is, we will typically see the club delivered on a path that stays very close to the ground for a long period of time; this creates a longer "flat spot" and provides margin for error. On the other hand, players that struggle off the tee will have a path where the club head changes height rapidly before and after impact; this effectively shortens their "flat spot" and requires more timing and coordination. 

Playlists: Swing Analysis Videos

Tags: Driver, Impact, Analysis

00:00:00,000 --> 00:00:06,000
In this analysis video, we're going to focus on one aspect of the club path and how it relates to driving performance.

00:00:06,000 --> 00:00:09,000
So we're going to take a look at the flat spot.

00:00:09,000 --> 00:00:13,000
Or basically, we're going to look at the club height to the ground.

00:00:13,000 --> 00:00:18,000
So on the screen, I've got two of the top drivers in the game right now.

00:00:18,000 --> 00:00:21,000
Dustin Johnson on the left, Brooks Capca on the right.

00:00:21,000 --> 00:00:29,000
But my goal is to quickly look through a number of the top drivers as well as some of the poorer drivers, so that you can recognize the pattern.

00:00:29,000 --> 00:00:36,000
And what we're going to do is we're just going to look at roughly the foot before impact and the foot after impact.

00:00:36,000 --> 00:00:41,000
And I just want to observe the club height compared to the golf ball.

00:00:41,000 --> 00:00:52,000
What you're going to see is that the more consistent drivers of the golf ball tend to have the club height at about the same height as the golf ball for a longer period of time.

00:00:52,000 --> 00:00:55,000
So here you can see by about the right foot.

00:00:55,000 --> 00:01:04,000
Dustin has the club height close to the height of the golf ball and then there are good three four inches after impact.

00:01:04,000 --> 00:01:06,000
It's still at about the same height.

00:01:06,000 --> 00:01:10,000
So he's by using his body as his main power source.

00:01:10,000 --> 00:01:15,000
His hips and his core as his main power source that delays the timing of the arm.

00:01:15,000 --> 00:01:21,000
So then when the arms extend, he's in this rotated and side bent position.

00:01:21,000 --> 00:01:27,000
So that when his arms extend that keeps the club at a more consistent height down at the bottom.

00:01:27,000 --> 00:01:33,000
As opposed to if you were to swing more with your arms and have a little bit more of a height of low pattern.

00:01:33,000 --> 00:01:41,000
So now over on the right if we look at Brooks we can see the club height is a little higher compared to the ground because he has the ball tee up a bit higher.

00:01:41,000 --> 00:01:51,000
But roughly from about that right foot you can see the club is close to the height of the golf ball close to the golf ball.

00:01:51,000 --> 00:01:56,000
And you'll see that he does it for a fairly long period of time.

00:01:56,000 --> 00:02:08,000
So even though he hits down on the golf ball you'll see that he demonstrates this pattern of having a flatter path of the club down through impact.

00:02:08,000 --> 00:02:15,000
One of my beliefs that this pattern helps with overall driving consistency.

00:02:15,000 --> 00:02:19,000
Okay, I don't want you to think it's just a trait of really tall guys.

00:02:19,000 --> 00:02:24,000
Here we have Justin Thomas in Jim Furyk, a couple different swing styles.

00:02:24,000 --> 00:02:28,000
Again, Justin Thomas who hits well up on the ball.

00:02:28,000 --> 00:02:37,000
You can see that he's got the height of the driver close to the height of the golf ball well behind the golf ball.

00:02:37,000 --> 00:02:41,000
Actually over a foot or so behind the golf ball.

00:02:41,000 --> 00:02:46,000
And he's done so because he's brought the club down there primarily with his body.

00:02:46,000 --> 00:02:52,000
And then his arms extending create a pretty long flat spot of the club.

00:02:52,000 --> 00:02:59,000
Here we have Jim Furyk club is a little bit higher coming into the golf ball he doesn't get it down quite as early.

00:02:59,000 --> 00:03:04,000
But you'll see that he does a really job of keeping it down pretty late.

00:03:04,000 --> 00:03:11,000
He creates more of a flat pattern right about there through there.

00:03:11,000 --> 00:03:21,000
Now it's going to have some mark to it but we're just recognizing this general trend of having the club low to the golf ball beforehand and low to the golf ball afterward.

00:03:21,000 --> 00:03:25,000
So here we have two more examples of top drivers in the game.

00:03:25,000 --> 00:03:29,000
Friends, Jessica, more linarry and Justin rose over on the right.

00:03:29,000 --> 00:03:35,000
Here you can see club height low to the ground, low to the ground, low to the ground.

00:03:35,000 --> 00:03:37,000
Low for a long period of time.

00:03:37,000 --> 00:03:43,000
Roughly I give my students the goal of from about the right foot through just past the left foot.

00:03:43,000 --> 00:03:49,000
Then over here on the right we have Justin rose so right about there close to even with the right foot.

00:03:49,000 --> 00:03:53,000
I'm not sure if I can see that the club is still in the middle of the ball.

00:03:53,000 --> 00:03:58,000
So it's pretty low and flat until just past that left foot.

00:03:58,000 --> 00:04:04,000
So by having proper sequencing and powering the swing more with your hips and lower body,

00:04:04,000 --> 00:04:07,000
whether you're hitting slightly up or slightly down,

00:04:07,000 --> 00:04:17,000
I don't think that has as big an influence as to the rate of change or what I look at as this flat spot from the face on camera.

00:04:17,000 --> 00:04:23,000
Now before we look at some pros who tend to perform works, let's take a quick look at an amateur.

00:04:23,000 --> 00:04:26,000
And this is more consistent to what I see.

00:04:26,000 --> 00:04:32,000
This is a low single digit handicap and you'll see that the club height is above the height of the golf ball.

00:04:32,000 --> 00:04:35,000
It's just getting down into the height of the golf ball.

00:04:35,000 --> 00:04:41,000
So it stays down for a slight period of time and then starts to come up fairly quickly.

00:04:41,000 --> 00:04:45,000
So while it might be low for a period of quite like that,

00:04:45,000 --> 00:04:53,000
it's nowhere near as long a flat spot as what we saw some of the more elite drivers of the golf ball demonstrating.

00:04:53,000 --> 00:04:58,000
So now we'll briefly look at a few of the worst ranked drivers on the tour right now.

00:04:58,000 --> 00:05:01,000
So this is Smiley Kaufman over on the right.

00:05:01,000 --> 00:05:04,000
We've got Cameron and Trangali over here on the left.

00:05:04,000 --> 00:05:10,000
You'll see if we get to write about when the club is even with the height of the foot.

00:05:10,000 --> 00:05:14,000
You'll see that the bottom of the club is still higher than the height of the golf ball.

00:05:14,000 --> 00:05:19,000
So as you can see, it does get it down, but you'll see that it starts to come up pretty quickly.

00:05:19,000 --> 00:05:25,000
Compare to some of those more elite drivers who we saw in the first part of the video.

00:05:25,000 --> 00:05:34,000
It doesn't, as you can imagine, it's a little harder to find really high quality video of the guys who tend to struggle a bit more.

00:05:34,000 --> 00:05:37,000
But here you can see just after the foot.

00:05:37,000 --> 00:05:47,000
The club is above the height of the golf ball and then that frame, which we had the frame kind of even with the foot,

00:05:47,000 --> 00:05:54,000
but you can see that it's coming from a much more kind of almost V shape, high to high pattern,

00:05:54,000 --> 00:05:58,000
as opposed to more of that gradual changing flat to flat.

00:05:59,000 --> 00:06:06,000
One last example, I've got Phil Nicholson here known for being a less accurate driver of the golf ball.

00:06:06,000 --> 00:06:11,000
Everyone loves to talk about his club face control and the steep transition.

00:06:11,000 --> 00:06:14,000
I think part of that is what it does down here at the bottom.

00:06:14,000 --> 00:06:18,000
So you'll see, I've got him flipped around to a right-handed pattern.

00:06:18,000 --> 00:06:24,000
You can see club height is still at this point, so roughly even with the foot.

00:06:24,000 --> 00:06:28,000
The bottom of the club is still just above the top of the ball.

00:06:28,000 --> 00:06:34,000
It comes down, looks pretty good through there, but then it comes up very quickly before it gets to the other foot.

00:06:34,000 --> 00:06:42,000
So while there's still a flat-ish spot and when his timing is on, he's a great driver of the golf ball.

00:06:42,000 --> 00:06:50,000
His overall consistency puts him towards the bottom statistically in accuracy and performance.

00:06:50,000 --> 00:07:00,000
So if you're struggling with your driver, this is one of the first places I might look to just get the overall shape of the path of the club down at the bottom.

00:07:00,000 --> 00:07:12,000
And if you find that it has much more of a V shape or high to high pattern to it, that might be something you want to try to work on to improve your driving consistency.

Click here to start your free 3 day trial. No credit card required.