You’ve probably heard that the most important six inches in golf is between the ears.  Though the mind unquestionably plays a key role in the game, the most important six inches in the swing truly takes place through “The Impact Zone”, meaning the two inches before impact through the four inches after.  They don’t call impact the golf swing’s Moment of Truth for no reason.  

Bobby Clampett discovered Impact-Based® Instruction representing a unique golf instructional system in that everything in it either focuses on or applies itself to improving a golfer’s understanding and execution of impact.  Even though top instructors and players alike unanimously agree on proper impact’s inviolable and supreme status, no one has built an instructional system around it, until now.  In other words here, for the first time, golfers have a system that focuses their attention on the same region of the swing on which the game’s greatest players have always concentrated.  For the first time, golf has a teaching system where improvement can be measured, resulting in lower scores and increased confidence.  It’s true, better impact always equals better golf.

But there’s something else that makes Bobby Clampett’s Impact-Based® instruction unique. Most of today’s golf instruction, either in printed form or administered out on the lesson tee, emphasizes swing style over impact. Style-based instruction is an epidemic in the golf world, is subjective, based on personal opinions and delivers mixed results.  Examples of Style-based instruction is:  “The “A” Swing, the “Stack and Tilt Swing”, the “One or Two Plane Swing”, the “Gravity Golf” Swing, the “Square to Square” swing and so on.  Style-based instruction focuses on positions, a connect the dots approach to playing golf.   How much should the knees stay bent throughout the whole swing?  Should the back knee straighten at the top of the swing and the front knee straighten at impact? How much should the head move behind the ball on the backswing? Should the golfer swing their hands into a high upright position both at the top of the backswing and at the finish, or should the swing have a flatter or rounder look?  How does the clubshaft relate to the plane?  Is a weak grip better than a strong grip? Where does the toe of the club point at the top of the swing; does it face the sky in what is called a closed position, or drop straight down in an open position? Does the body pivot swing the arms or do the arms and hands dictate the motion of the body’s turning action?  What is the proper position of the right arm throughout the swing?  And the list of Style-based opinions goes on and on!

Even advocating a slow and smooth rhythm and tempo over a faster one stands as an example of a style-based instruction bias. Simply put, style concerns itself with a series of static locatable positions or dots that a golfer connects through his or her swing, while Impact-Based® Instruction advocates getting to one’s best impact through Impact Dynamics involving the efficient creation, storage and application of power into the ball via a swing whose wholeness transcends the sum of its parts.  The Dynamic swing is seen as a whole swing with its single purpose to maximize the efficiency of the Impact Dynamics.

Bobby’s 20 plus years on the PGA Tour and PGA Champions Tour as well as his work as a CBS golf commentator has taught him much.  He’s witnessed many of the greatest golfers to ever play the game, including Tiger Woods.  It is fair to say that no one in the history of the game has played to his level for a 10-year plus period.  Bobby’s job required that he study this phenomenal player and analyze what makes him tick.  Studying his game has provided more evidence that swing style improvements really do not make for better golf.

Case in point, Tiger has now won major championships with three separate swing styles.  In 1997 he won the Masters by 12 strokes with a swing that was steep in the middle and a clubface shut and crossing the line at the top.  In 2000 he won the US Open by 15 strokes with a swing that was on a more conventional plane with a square clubface.  While in 2005 he won two major championships with a clubshaft slightly laid-off or flat in the middle.  He has also worked on other swing style changes, but one thing that has remained consistent in Tiger’s game is his ability to maintain his wonderful swing Dynamics at impact.  He has never replaced his Dynamics, but has changed his style while maintaining his Dynamics.

While style has its place in playing good golf, it pales in comparison with working on Dynamics. In fact, when Bobby came out on Tour in 1980, he had excellent Dynamics packaged in his own individualized swing style. Bobby is certain that had he continued to focus on improving those Dynamics as he learned them from my childhood teacher, Ben Doyle, he would have had a much better playing career. Instead, he fell prey to listening to several of the many style-oriented instructors that were growing ubiquitous on Tour and popular amongst its players starting from mid 1980’s.  

What People Say

“Great overall experience and state of the art indoor facility!”

– Larry P. Heidt, Chairman and CEO of Nabors Well Services

“I still remember our one-on-one time as special. Bobby is not like most sports celebrities. He was just a regular guy. And I enjoyed talking to him about golf, family, life and Wisconsin golf. Just a great guy.”

– John Jazwiec, President of Red Prairie Software Company

“On behalf of everyone at Quail Hollow, thank you for the wonderful job you did for us. It was a great time, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. Your message was great, and if our members will practice that for a long time, they will have a lot of fun playing golf. It was also fun watching you do it.”

– Scott Davenport-head golf professional, Quail Hollow Golf Club, Charlotte, NC

These “style-based” instructors told him things like, “You’re taking club back too far to the inside,” or “Your clubface is too shut at the top.” One top teacher said that his swing had “more moving parts than an erector set.” Another had the gall to tell him that he had to “forget everything he ever learned or knew about the golf swing” before he would agree to work with Bobby. Talk about narrow-minded arrogance! Yet the same scenario plays itself out with average players, and, obviously, average teachers on driving ranges, golf courses and country clubs everywhere and all the time.

Bobby’s game deteriorated as his focus shifted to style changes.  Style-based instructors changed his grip, stance, backswing and yes, even his downswing and finish.  His swing became golf’s version, of connect the dots, with each dot representing a static position.  His feel for his Dynamics was gone and so was his playing career.

The dialog being presented, a duel between style and Dynamics, is anything but new. Think about Jack Nicklaus’s swing, which the stylists ridiculed when he arrived on Tour because of its unconventional flying right elbow. Lee Trevino, considered along with Ben Hogan as the modern game’s premier ball striker, had a thoroughly unorthodox and original swing. Again, while the golf pundits said that no one else should ever try to copy Lee’s swing, indeed today one that mirrors his, i.e., with a backswing outside of the line and a downswing looped back to the inside has become the conventional way most Tour pros play and many top teachers teach the swing. It obviously took some time before the golf experts saw past Lee’s style and into the heart of his fabulous Dynamics!

There’s more. Corey Pavin and Johnny Miller had very weak grips, Hubert Green and Fuzzy Zoeller had very low hands at address, while Mo Norman and Wayne Levi had their hands so high at address that their lead wrists were completely level if not a little arched down. Numerous players, such as Kenny Perry, Jay Haas, Michelle Wie, Hale Irwin, Corey Pavin and Johnny Miller, set and Load the club early on the backswing. Greats like Nicklaus and the late Payne Stewart had a very late backswing set and Load, while innumerable stars, Tiger Woods, Greg Norman and Annika Sorenstam among them, set and Load gradually at different points in their backswings.