Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Book Review: The Impact Zone

Earlier this summer I read The Impact Zone by Bobby Clampett, and a book review is well overdue. I give this book three and a half stars with a cautionary asterisk. The stars are because it presents a genuinely new and insightful view of the golf swing and I thought it was great. The cautionary asterisk is because this book is for full-blown golf nerds only. If you've spent hours comparing and contrasting the swings of tour players on YouTube, you'll love this book. If you're a beginner, you may want to keep your distance from The Impact Zone.

For those not in the know, Bobby Clampett is a former golf prodigy and ex-tour player who currently works as a commentator for CBS. He is an awesome golfer and golf uber-nerd, and I trust what he has to say.

The gist of the book is pretty logical: all that really matters in the golf swing are the dynamics at work during the period of impact, when the club head is in contact with the ball. He considers many of the commonly-stressed aspects of the swing to be matters of style. In his opinion, the important dynamics that players must strive for are: 1) the flat left wrist at impact, 2) the forward swing bottom, 3) loading, 4) lag and the body pivot, and 4) the straight plane line. Each dynamic gets its own chapter, followed by a chapter on equipment and a chapter on visualization.

I got the most out of dynamic #1, the flat left wrist at impact. I'm a mid-handicapper who makes classic mid-handicapper mistakes: I tend to over-swing, come over the top, and then compensate with a chicken-wing move. Focusing on obtaining a flat left wrist at impact really did help with my swing. It also paid dividends with my bunker shots, where like many players I fight an urge to flip my wrists to get the club under the ball.

In short, I recommend The Impact Zone to anyone who considers themselves a student of the game.

1 comment:

Kate said...

Whoa Dave, you just fully nerded out. Whoa. Totally awesome.