Why is he hitting it off the toe of the golf club?

By: Tenna Merchent on May 15th, 2012

In this video, Mike Merchent, Director of Golf shows us why this junior golfer is hitting his ball off the toe of his club. Turns out he is coming out of his posture as he rotates his hips, and as a result is pulling his shoulders and arms up. End result, hitting it off the toe.

To fix it, he focuses his student on his left heal because it was also coming up and “flying out”. By keeping his left heal on the ground as he clears his hip, the end result is he stays in his posture, keeps his shoulders & arms in proper swing plane, and hits the ball more in the center of the face, or the “sweet spot”.


Hi, My name is Mike Merchant we’re here at Purgatory Golf Club and this is Clay Merchant, Clay is going to assist us today. Okay here we are, we’re going to take a couple down the line pictures of clay hitting a seven iron.
As you can see, Clay’s contact point on his club is well out toward the toe and again is consistent throughout his set. I am going to show you what he is doing in his swing and then what he can do to correct that so that he makes more of a center contact with the faces of the club. If you hit the ball on faces of the club at the center, you will be more consistent in how far you hit and how high you hit it. When you hit it off of the toe like this, you are going to be a little less consistent, you will hit the ball shorter and maybe a little to the right sometimes, it all depends but, a center contact or a center face hit is what are desired outcome is.
I am going to show you what Clay was doing and how to fix that
When Clay steps up to the ball, his stance is good, his posture is good. He sets his ball up pretty much at the center of the club face.
As Clay comes down on his down swing. He gets his weight shifted over to his left foot. Really rotates his hips. He rotates his hips so violently that his body comes up. His heels come up off the ground, and his heels spin open a little bit. This upward motion of the body pulling away from the ball, actually pulls the club closer to his body –  as he raises up, the club gets pulled in. And that’s why the ball is making contact with the toe of the club. So it’s really something that’s in his swing that’s really a good thing, a positive thing – how aggressive he is with his hips, and clearing his hips and that’s positive, but he’s taking a positive and has turned it into a negative. The hips clearing, the heels coming up off the ground, his arms getting pulled up and as a result pulling the club in and he’s catching off the toe, so it leaves a little inconsistency in his ball striking.
Here is what he needs to do.
As he starts his down swing, he needs to make sure that he applies a little pressure to the heel of his left foot first. It gets a little pressure on the heel of that left foot as he’s shifting into his left foot bearing, keeps that pressure on that left heel as he’s rotating his hips in clearing, his body won’t come up. The heels on the ground, the body stays down and as a result there is going to be more of a center hit. He’s not raising up and pulling the club toward him. As he initiates his down swing, the heel of his left foot makes contact with the ground and he keeps it there as he clears his hips. If he does that it will pull the strike of the ball more to the center of the club facease, and will be more consistent on how far he hits it.
Okay, so what were going to work on here is as Clay is clearing his hips, he is going to apply a little pressure to the heel of his left foot and that initiating  of the down swing – the little pressure to his left foot as he clears his hips.
Let’s see what happens when we do that.
You can see how the scuff of the ball is now is more in the center of the club face.
Just want to let you know this just didn’t happen today we’ve been working on this for about two weeks now and it’s starting to have a little bit of an impact and starting to pay some dividends. Like most golf lessons it takes a little bit of time for this to implement itself, work its way into your swing.
Clay do you have anything to say about how you’ve been working on this? How much you’ve been working on it or how it’s affected your game?
I’ll work probably an hour a day and then I will go play with my heel on the ground and when I hit the ball better, I’ll shoot better scores.
Okay. How was it when we first started?
When we first started, as you saw, I got some air – my heels were off the ground and I hit the ball a lot more. I hit more thin shots maybe a little bit to the right.
Was this difficult for you to do?
It was for the first few days, but then I got into —
So, a little frustrating, a little difficult for the first few days, but then it became a little easier over some time.
Yes it did.
That’s pretty consistent with most lessons. It can be frustrating at the beginning, but if you stick with it just a little bit each day or every other day it will slowly work its way into your swing and have a positive impact.
Well, we want to thank you for joining us today. Clay has been a great subject and we hope we’ve helped you a little with your golf swing.

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