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Factors of Heel and Toe Contact

Heel and Toe contact can feel clunky or dead. Learning what causes painful misses allows you to learn from each swing and gradually move your swing to a more consistent pattern. 

Heel contact is likely caused by:

  • Thrust
  • Too much side bend
  • Late shaft rotation
  • Early trail arm straightening

Toe contact is likely caused by:

  • Reverse thrust of the thorax
  • Forward lunge
  • Bending the arms on the way through
  • Flip during release

Tags: Poor Contact, Early Extension, Chicken Wing, Impact, Release, Concept, Intermediate, Beginner

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This video is looking at factors of heel and toe contact.

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So factors of heel and toe contact is basically looking at what do we do in the swing

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that makes us either hit it more towards this part of a club or more towards this part

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of a club not so much in the middle.

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So heel shots with a driver will tend to have a little bit more slice of them with the

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irons they can feel a little clunky and they can lead to shanks or shots that go way

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off to the right.

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So, it's not quite as simple as just hey is your path more outside.

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So, you can also get toe shanks where it goes way off to the right but frequently toe

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shots will just feel weak they'll feel powerless.

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So there are a couple of different factors both from the arms and from the body that relate

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to heel and toe contact so it's not quite as simple as just hey is your path more

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outside you're probably going to hit it on the toe is the path more inside you're probably

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going to hit it more on the heel.

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So in this video we'll go over those factors.

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Looking at the body there's two main factors.

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One is looking at about the amount of thrust so the more that my body moves in towards

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the golf ball the more I'm going to tend to hit it on the heel especially if my upper

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body is moving in towards the golf ball.

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So if my upper body is kind of going in that way or during the downswing if my body

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is going in that way that's going to move my hands closer to the golf ball which are

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going to bring it more towards heel contact.

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So one is that thrust and then two is side bend so the more that I get a lot of side bend

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the more that it will tend to shallow out the club and it will tend to get the club

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to swing more in towards the heel.

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Now with the body or sorry with the arms the two things that will make it move more towards

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the heel are either earlier arm extension so the more I keep this kind of loaded and

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bent the more that I'll hit it on the toe the more that I really straighten that arm

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early before impact the more that that will tend to get the club out away from me.

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This can happen either coming from the inside and get it on the heel or from the outside

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and get it on the heel.

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In fact that's one of the big culprits for golfers who get outside and still shank the

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The other one with the arms is looking at clubface rotation.

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So I like to talk about the clubface having a gradual and consistent closing during the

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whole downswing.

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If you tend to have more of a really late closing or not a whole lot of rotation you can

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be more heel biased and you can hit it on the heel if you have early clubface rotation

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you'll tend to hit it less on the heel or more towards the toe.

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So those are the four major influencers for the club moving more out towards the heel.

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If I demonstrate a few of those if I move forward you'll see that that was pretty much

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heel contact and that one I also comboed with the early arm extension because I was

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going to fall over.

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So the early arm extension if I tend to get my arm to straighten kind of like that you can

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see that's one of the ways that you can deliberately shank the ball which is one of the things

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that I mentioned especially if you come from the outside and you're shanking it and

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then too much side bend would look a whole lot of access tilt.

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There's another one you can see that contact right there more in the heel and then the

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last one will be a little tricky but the last one is late late late clubface rotation

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so we'll try to really hold that open late into the downswing and snap it close down

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at the bottom.

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So we've got no hit it on the top.

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Nope hit it more in the middle but that's the last one because I did get it to close

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some golfers will go late late late late and never get it close and it tends to hit

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more on the heel.

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Okay so those are the four heel contributors.

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Now let's look at the toe.

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So the toe tends to be more of the opposite the more that I reverse through us or pull

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my upper body specifically away from the golf ball.

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So if I tend to kind of stand up if I tend to move away from the golf ball during the

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downswing that'll pull the club in closer which will tend to get me to hit it more

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on the toe.

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Now the opposite of this side bend is golfers who tend to hit it on the toe tend to

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have more of this upper body lunge or upper body lean so they'll tend to get more kind

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of this way where the upper body gets well in front of the golf ball.

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That one is usually accompanied by the arm motion but even in cases where I've seen that

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they don't really bend their arms they just lunge more in front.

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It will tend to have more of a strong toe contact like I did there.

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So then the two arm motions they get it more on the toe would be bending the arms or

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chicken wing.

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Most golfers who tend to bend those arms on the way through that shortens the radius which

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pulls the heel in closer which tends to give more toe contact kind of like that.

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So even though I hit it pretty straight you can see on there I hit it towards the far

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side of those grooves.

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So then the last one for the arm motion would actually be letting the club pass which

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tends to get the path going more outside and starts the radius coming back in which tends

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to get it more on the toe.

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So it'll look more like a scoop.

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Now that doesn't have to happen can see I scoop there without chicken winging and hit

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that way on the toe.

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So it doesn't have to be a chicken wing when I've got a scoop it could just be a risk

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movement of letting the club pass.

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And so in order to control heel toe contact you want to make sure that your upper body

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stays in a good place.

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It doesn't drift too far forward, backward too much side bend too much forward kind of

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stays in more of a centered position and you rotate the club enough and you delay your

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arm straightening by having good sequencing.

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You do all those and you'll tend to hit it more in the middle of the club.

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If you're struggling with a heel contact or toe contact, review the causes for each of

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It's likely that you're falling into one of those four different categories for either

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toe or heel contact.

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So to hit it in the center I'm going to control my upper body pivot.

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I'm going to rotate the club and I'll make sure that my arms extend through the ball instead

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of before it.

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And that you'll see was hit pretty close to the center.

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