Low Point

The golf club swings on an arc. The term used to describe where the club connects with the ball on this arc is known as the attack angle. With respect to the attack angle there are three ways to hit the ball: on the downswing, on the low point of the arc and on the upswing. For all shots played from the ground without use of a tee it is optimal to hit the ball on the downswing; this is measured on TrackMan as a negative attack angle. To optimise driver distance and to help produce preferred high launch and low spin ball flight it is optimal to hit the ball on the upswing, measured on TrackMan as a positive attack angle. Interestingly hitting the ball exactly on the low point of the arc is not optimal for any shots regardless of which club is being used. Recent research shows that even fairway woods require a slightly negative attack angle for optimal distance and ball flight.

7 Iron Attack Angle

PGA Tour average attack angle with a 7 iron is around -4°. This means the ball is struck with a downward blow ideally producing a divot after the ball. Recent research using TrackMan shows that when using a 7 iron and striking the ball with an optimal  -4.2° negative attack angle the low point of the arc is a staggering 9.8 cm after the ball.

Driver Attack Angle

The optimal attack angle varies from player to player. Personally speaking, my club head speed is around 100-105 mph depending on form so therefore creating a more positive attack angle helps to optimise my distance. In this example I struck the ball with a 3° positive attack angle. Hitting the ball 3° on the upswing moved the lowest point of the swing arc  9.4 cm before the ball.

Author

John Parkinson

PGA Professional, Harold Swash Certified Level 2 Trackman Certified Master

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