No matter how you swing the golf club, only one position matters in the swing – Impact. Your impact position is the moment when the ball will fly.
If you approach impact with a straight path and open clubface, you will likely hit a cut. If you come into impact (aka the strike zone) with a closed face and left path, you’ll hit the dreaded pull hook. A square club face with straight path leads to a straight line towards your target.
Everything is connected to impact!
There is a training aid that has been around since decades that can help you achieve a better impact position with every swing. They are called golf impact bags and are one of the most trusty devices that can do wonders for your golf swing.
Continue reading to learn about the best impact bag drills for golf.
Golf Impact Bags 101
The impact bags, also known by smash bags, are a classic training aid for golfers. They have stood the test the test of time. They rank alongside other classic tools for improving game play such as the Momentus Swing TrainerThese classic wrist trainers are also available.
Before getting into the best drills to use with impact bags, let’s first talk about why they’re such a great tool for solid contact. For consistent play and better practice, these are three reasons every golfer should get an impact bag.
Increase your Impact Position
Obviously the name of the bag gives it away but it’s easy to forget that only one position truly matters in the golf swing. It’s not where the club is once it’s parallel on the backswing or at the top of your swing – it’s Impact.
As Butch Harmon, one of Tiger Woods’ first golf coaches said in a Golf.com article. “We can go down to our greatest players of all time; nobody’s going to teach you to swing like Arnie, or Jack with his flying right elbow; Lee Trevino aiming 50 yards to the left and hitting it to the right,” He said. “You don’t have to have a perfect swing to play golf. To play golf, you must get your clubface square at impact. That’s it.”
Impact bags are great for helping to square your face at impact and to help you play consistent golf swings. It doesn’t matter how you get into that position, whether it’s an inside or outside takeaway, strong grip or weak grip. It doesn’t matter how you get there, what the club face does at the bottom of your swing.
Ingrain Proper Feel
One of the biggest moves in the golf swing so many players struggle with is the weight shift. Too many golfers either reverse pivot or place too much weight on their back legs. This can lead to a lot of shots being thin or fat.
Great ball strikers will make sure to shift most of their weight to the leading leg. This is done at the beginning of the backswing. It allows you to almost swoop into the downswing. This will allow you to open your hips and maximize your power with each golf club in your bag.
The impact bag can help with weight shifts and ensure that your hands are forward of you (known also as forward shaft lean). The club shaft should be positioned ahead of your hands to cause compression and delofting, which is a common move among top ball strikers.
Effective Home Practice
Finally, an in-impact bag is a great tool that you can have at home. You can also take it with you to the practice facility.
Even if you don’t have a mat/net or full on golf simulator at home, this bag can help you get in reps whenever you have time. This is great if you live in a place with cold winter months and don’t have an indoor driving range nearby.
The bag gives you immediate feedback. Its movement can also be used to determine if you would push the shot or pull it. SKLZ has a variety training aids and a bag that can be used as a tool for judging your shot. Here’s what they said on their website about why this device is so effective.
“All you have to do is line up and swing, then take a look at the angle of the proprietary target map to see how you did. If your swing was true, the bag would remain aligned. If your swing misses the target or hits it at a skewed angle, the bag will retain the depression for further analysis. On the whole, the bag helps eliminate fat and thin shots and cure slices.”
Plus, they are affordable, super durable and work for a left and right-handed golfer.
Impact Bag Drills
As you can tell, there are a ton of benefits to this low-cost and durable training aid. Now, let’s get into the best drills so you can make the most of your new impact bag.
Mr. Short Game Golf, a top YouTube golf coach, provided five awesome drills in this video to help you make the most of your investment. We’ll explain how each of these can have a big “impact” on your game.
1. Push Forward Drill
The first impact bag drill is the most common way to use this device. With a mid-iron, set up to the bag like it’s a golf ball. The back of the bag (where the impact target is located) should be in the front/middle of your stance. Once you are set up, take a less than full swing and don’t try to swing hard like Bryson DeChambeau.
Like most training aids, you want to start slow and understand how to use it first before swinging hard. But even when you are expert with this device, avoid swinging super hard as you can damage the bag.
With this drill, the goal is to push the bag slightly forward with the club head; the more you can push the bag forward, the better. When you’re able to move the bag up several feet that means you’re getting more weight to your lead side.
It also means your hands are in front of the club head at impact and will compress the shot. This will help you create a forward shaft lean and get into a proper impact position.
Do this drill 10-15X whenever you need to feel a better weight shift for your golf game.
2. Between Your Feet Drill
The second impact bag drill is one you can do at the golf range.
Another training aid that is very popular is the Down Under 2.0 Board. This device rests between your feet and helps you learn how to use ground force to hit better golf shots. An impact bag can help you achieve the same feeling.
With an iron, set up like normal and set the impact bag between your feet. Try to squeeze the bag with your feet and lower legs during the swing. Having the bag in this position will help you stop swaying and rotate around your body.
The bag will help you understand how to use the ground and keep the body down through your entire swing. It will help provide the resistance to rotate around and through impact to finish your swing.
As the Down Under BoardWebsite said, “The best golfers in the world understand that you don’t just exert a vertical pressure down into the ground. The key is to also use a horizontal force. This is the feeling of squeezing the board with your feet, not just downward, but inward.”
If you’re someone that tends to move their weight instead of rotate around your body, this is a great drill. Plus, you don’t even need to hit a ball to ingrain this great feeling either. But you can hit balls too so it’s a win-win.
3. Backswing Drill
As Butch Harmon mentioned before, there are a lot of ways to get the club into a powerful impact position. But most golf instruction tries to teach a solid takeaway, not one that looks crazy like Matt Wolfe’s. The Impact bag can also help with this so you can improve your takeaway and get the swing started out effectively.
With a mid iron, place the bag directly behind your club at address. Push the bag back and continue pushing it with your takeaway. The shaft or hosel of the golf club should be pushing it back.
If you find the bag isn’t moving very much it’s likely because you’re whipping it too much with your hands. Instead, feel a one-piece takeaway by using your arms to push it back. Keep pushing it back until it’s out of the way (without resetting the bag off your front foot) to feel a proper takeaway.
This can not only improve your impact, but it can also reduce the slice. Many players fail to hit a slice because they are trying too hard to take the club back on the inside.
This will often result in an extreme downswing, often with an open clubface. This drill can help improve your backswing if you feel like this.
4. Drill for Downswing Slot
Although impact is important, a great start on the downswing can help you get into a great position in the strike zone. The best ball strikers are those who create lag and reroute the club to their inside while going down. The majority of golfers will rotate with their upper body, and become too steep on downswing.
To swing like the pros and learn how to generate lag, use the bag to feel like you’re pulling the club down. Sergio Garcia, who has arguably the most lag in a golf swing, has said you want to feel like you’re pulling a chain down.
Drop your golf club and grab the impact bag to better understand how it feels. Place the zipper at the top of the bag and hold it under your body. Rotate your shoulders so the bag swings around your body. Next, you can feel how the bag feels as you begin to slide down. While it’s not as heavy as pulling a chain, it should give you a clear idea of the feeling you want to create.
Since the bag weighs 5-10 pounds when fully loaded, it should feel like you’re dropping it down to the ground. Which should make your body feel like you’re pushing off the ground to generate maximum force.
There’s no limit to how often you can do this drill. This drill is best if you hit too many slices and have a hard time with your downswing.
5. Explosion Drill
The last impact drill is to use your bag at the gym like a large medicineball. A lot of golfers like to do “wall slams” where they heave the ball against the wall to train their core. But there are other things. Impact bagYou can also train your follow-through and work for this.
As you did in downswing slot drill, hold the bag and push off until your feet touch the ground. Obviously, you’ll need to make sure no one is around on the driving range or won’t damage anything at home.
Be sure to hit a garage wall, and not accidentally drop it through a door frame. This drill will allow you to feel the power of getting your weight moved effectively.
To feel how the bag feels, open it and let go 10-15 times. Next, practice swinging or hitting golf balls to test how well you can transfer your weight. It should lead you to greater distance and better contact.
After 15-20 swings, make practice swings or hit shots if you’re at the driving range to feel the club come more from the inside. The club will feel lighter than the bag, making it easier to lower the club.
Next Step – Buy an Impact Bag
As you can see, impact bags can be used in many areas of your game. You can use it for all aspects and even get a workout with its explosion drill, unlike other devices.
These are some of our top picks that will help to find the right bag for you.
- Veasears Golf ImpactbagThis budget option is available in yellow or black, and comes with accessories.
- SKLZ Smash Bag TrainingThis bag is extremely durable and can be used with full swings.
- Impact Bag Golf Swing TrainingThis bag by Dr. Gary Wiren, the classic impact bag, will help you get into a good impact position.
FAQs on Impact Bag Practice
Ask more questions about the use of an Impact bagHow can you make the most of your practice? Continue reading our frequently asked question and answers below.
How do you practice with a bag for golf?
There are many ways that impact bags can be used for practice. The five drills listed above will help you focus on the part of your swing that is most important. The most important part of a swing is impact. These drills will help improve your shots.
Can a golf impact bag be used?
Yes, impact bags can make a huge difference to your golf swing. These bags can improve your takeaway, weight shift, and strike position.
Can you use an impact bag as a driver?
You should not use a driver to transport these bags. Instead, you should use the bags with wedges or irons.
What should I put inside my golf bag?
It’s best to fill your impact bag with clothes or old towels. While you could fill it up with sand, it’s not recommended and might make it too heavy to do some of the drills provided. The sand could get everywhere if the bag gets ripped or punctured.
You can also reduce the chance of injury by filling it with towels and old clothes. Just remember, this isn’t a speed bag and you shouldn’t try to swing hard with this device. You could injure your self and tear the bag.
Are impact bags really worth it?
Impact bags are a great investment. They have been a part of the golf instruction industry for decades. They’re worth it because you can do so many drills with them and they last for a long time thanks to the high quality design. These can last for many years, unless you don’t swing too hard (which could cause injury).
How can I improve my golf swing’s impact position?
While impact bags are great, there are other options. On the driving range, I use the impact position as my starting point. I set up my hands in front of the golf ball, with my hips aligned with the target and my chest above the ball.
I then take the club back as normal and try to feel the feeling I just had. This is a great way of reminding yourself what an ideal position looks and trying to replicate it with full swing shots.
Final Thoughts on Impact Bags
The impact bag can help you get better in the moment of truth, like few other training aids. A smash bag can help:
- Correctly transfer your weight
- Learn how to use the left wrist and arm in the swing
- Build muscle memory at home by getting into the right position of impact.
- Create the same sensations of elite ball striking with hands leading the way (something most golfers don’t do)
While it can help you get into a powerful impact position, it’s also great for a handful of other drills. All of these will help you increase distance, improve accuracy, as well as instill the feeling of a consistent golf swing.
Not to mention, it’s one of the most affordable devices out there. It can be used at home or on the range. It’s stood the test of time in the golf world so clearly there are tons of benefits for the everyday golfer.
You can have a great golf swing for many years by investing in one of the bags listed above.