Centeredness of Contact

As you may have heard, it's all about impact! And it really is. The most important part of the golf swing is the point at which the golf club communicates to the golf ball - impact. The ball spends 1/2000 of a second on the face and it's during this sliver of time that the outcome of every shot is determined.

I often share with golfers how the laws of physics cause the ball to respond to the club, and while this information is helpful it refers primarily to centered hits. It is too seldom that I discuss off-center hits and how the ball responds to this frequent occurrence. Today's the day!
When the ball is struck anywhere other than the center of the face a phenomenon called gear effect occurs. Ever heard of it? It causes the ball to draw (or fade less) on toe oriented hits and fade (or draw less) on heel oriented hits. I often see a golfer struggling to stop the ball from fading, yet every shot is struck off the heel or inside of the face. Gear effect is elevated when you use clubs with larger heads such as a driver and it's actually the reason why the face of a driver is curved from toe to heel and from top to bottom. The curve on the face of a driver actually gets the ball, when struck off the toe for example, to launch to the right (for right-handers) and then gear effect causes the shot to curve back to the target. Gear effect plays a role in all shots where the ball is not struck in the center of the face and let's be honest - and that is most shots.
The research I have conducted using TrackMan has shown that better golfers (single figure handicaps or better) hit the sweet spot or center of gravity less than 20% of the time! Think about that for a second...
The best method to ascertain where you are striking the ball on the clubface is to use a dry erase marker to cover a portion of the face. Hit a shot or two, take note of where the strike occurs and then re-apply. After a handful of shots you'll start to get a good idea as to what your tendencies might be because, while you may not hit the sweet spot often enough, most golfers are fairly consistent with where they miss.

Keep in mind that it is very difficult to influence where the ball is being struck on the face by altering your distance from the ball. For example, heel hits do not mean that you should move away from the ball as this will more than likely cause you to reach out for the ball even more and exacerbate the problem.
Once you start to learn what your tendencies are an excellent drill is to position a row of tees just outside the toe if you hit shots predominantly off the heel and vice versa for toe hits.
After a few shot you will start to sense what the body and arms need to do in order to make a quality strike in the center of the clubface. Give it a try!
Another important note: is pleased to announce that Derek Lemire,

Fitness Trainer at Berkeley Hall and trainer to recent PGA Tour Champion Kyle Stanley, will be making regular contributions to this site. Derek will be offering important advice to all golfers concerning exercise programs, stretching and even nutrition. I have worked with Derek at Berkeley Hall for a long time and I am excited to share his passion and knowledge with all of you.
Thanks for reading and good striking!

Function vs. Form

 When I first got into teaching golf I learned a particular method of swinging the club - I was very much a method teacher.  I believed there was an ideal pattern to be followed and all golfers would have been better if they could learn to swing the club and move their body in this manner.  At one point I even went so far as to say that in a few more years there would never be another "homemade" golf swing on the PGA Tour!  There was only one, ideal way to swing a golf club and I wanted every student I taught to get to this ideal.

That phase of my teaching career came to an abrupt end five years ago when I started a self-education project to study the swings of golf''s all time greats.  As I researched and broke down these championship swings the very first thing I found was that not a single one of them had a swing that was similar to another.  How could this be?  I had spent the first fifteen odd years of my career teaching golfers a certain swing method and in the space of  one month had figured out that no great golfer used the same method as any other great golfer.  What did that say for my, or any other, method?

Think of the foursome you play golf with most often - there could be a multitude of body types, age groups, and personalities in every group on the course.  And I, in all my brainwashed brilliance, had been trying to get every one of them to swing in the same fashion.

Little did I know that my self education project would turn my teaching upside down.  I now know that there are many ways to swing, yet very few ways to hit - and all the greatest golfers employ those same narrow parameters to hit repeatable, quality golf shots.  My research project actually culminated in the book "It's All About Impact".

Early in my career I attempted to achieve function or peak performance by improving the look and form of a golfers swing.  Can you imagine what I'd have done if Lee Trevino, Raymond Floyd, Nancy Lopez, Hubert Green or Jim Furyk had come to me for help early in their careers?  I'm thankful for their sake that they hadn't as you might never had heard their names.

In my teaching now, I work to get golfers to squeeze the most out of what their unique bodies, minds and experiences will allow.  It is all about function and very little about form.  I often say to a student, "If I could get your swing to look worse and have you shoot five strokes lower, we'd both be happy campers."  I will do whatever I need to do to get my student to get the club to do what they want the ball to do...regardless of how it looks.

We are all different physically, mentally, emotionally and experientially - how can we possibly swing a golf club with the same form?  The answer is - it cannot be done! Stop trying to swing like your favorite player and start learning how to hit like your favorite. Understand that you're different and unique and if you can deliver the appropriate set of physics (forces and angles) to the back of the ball with your swing - it will follow the desired trajectory to the desired location.  Isn't that what you're after?

I believe so strongly in providing my students with an understanding of what the "appropriate physics" at impact are that I have purchased a TrackMan unit.  TrackMan is the ultimate in functional teaching as it measures all the factors that lead to ball flight.  The radar unit tracks clubhead speed, swing plane, angle of attack, club path, face angle and dynamic loft all at the most important part of any golf swing - impact.  Now, as golfer, imagine being able to know which of the previously mentioned measurements are stumbling blocks for your golf game. Wouldn't it be great to know that you have to worry about nothing else other than the club path being too far from out to in? Or perhaps your attack angle is too far down and you need to feel like you sweep each iron off the ground?

My goal with any student is to change as little as possible and it often works that way, but sometimes we need to change quite a lot.  The objective is always the same - influence the club at impact in order to make the ball what we would like it to do.

If you come to me for a lesson you will not be taught a method of swinging a golf club, but you will be taught a method of hitting a golf ball.  None of my students will ever have golf swings that look similar, unless by accident, but many of them will hit shots that look and sound alike.  You will leave the lesson knowing what you need to do to hit better shots - and you will also leave hitting better shots.

TrackMan arrives in early October at Berkeley Hall.  Call Andrew at (843)247-4688 to book a lesson.

Crisp Holiday Bargains for Every Golfer

Here are a few offers that are sure to please either yourself or the avid linkster on your Christmas list.

It's All About Impact

I received my copy of "It's all about Impact" yesterday. What a great book! You have verified what I have thought for years but was unable to put into words. This book is well worth the money because not only do you explain the 84 degree "secret", You also get into basic shot skills needed by most amateurs, myself included.

Thanks for a well put together book that is easy to read & understand, has great photos and again, is a super value.

Best regards,


  • The eBook and hardcover version will both be 20% off from today through Christmas
  • All hardcover books will be autographed by yours truly - bonus!
  • Purchase either version and receive a certificate for a one hour golf lesson from Andrew for $80 (valid for 3 months from date of purchase)
  • There is also free shipping for anybody residing in the state of South Carolina
  • If you would like to place a bulk (5+) order please contact me at (843)247-4688 or andrew (at) for special pricing

Purchase your copy HERE

This is what BH had to say after reading the book and working with the drills:

What an unbelievable difference! Balls are jumping off the club and my confidence has soared. Thanks for studying these world class golfers and sharing their success with your readers.

While I did not play particularly well this weekend, I am very excited about my ball striking.

I have picked up at least 20 yards on my drive and a good club with my irons. I hit 15 quality iron shots, and drove it very straight most of the time.

Thank you, I now feel like I can play golf again!


Golf Lessons

From today through Christmas I will be offering the following packages on lessons at Berkeley Hall:

  • Purchase six thirty minute lessons for $300 - thats $50 each and the regular price is $75!
  • Purchase six one hour lessons for $600 - thats $100 each and the regular price is $150!
  • All lessons packages include high speed video analysis and a V1 video lesson emailed to your inbox
  • These lesson packages are perfect for the crazed golfer in your family and are all available as Gift Certificates (valid for one year from original date of purchase)
  • If you would like to purchase or discuss a package please contact me at (843)247-4688 or andrew (at)

Group Lessons

During the spring season I will be offering a limited number of group sessions at Berkeley Hall:

  • Group sessions are limited to three golfers (minimum of two required) and will run from 3PM to 5PM on Wednesdays
  • The sessions include high speed video analysis and a V1 video lesson emailed to your inbox along with 30 minutes spent on the shortgame
  • I will be offering a total of six sessions on the following dates: Feb. 2 and 16, March 9 and 23 and April 6 and 20
  • The cost is $120 per session and the session package (all six) is available for $600 - a savings of $120! Also available as a Gift Certificate
  • Should you wish to purchase a package or sign up for any lessons please contact me at (843)247-4688 or at andrew (at)

Thank you all so much for your support this year - I could not do what I do without you.  Merry Christmas!

End of Season Sale - Impact Book is now 30% Off

I have known Andrew Rice since he was a young man growing up in Southern Africa. I have always been thoroughly impressed with Andrew’s dedication and passion to play, teach, and constantly discover the intricacies of our great game. I know you will benefit from his diligent pursuit of finding the most efficient manner in which to play the game and produce results. The quest for improvement at every level of golf is never ending, but I am sure you will find Andrew’s thoughts to be an efficient way for you to achieve your potential.

Nick Price - Hall of Fame Member and Three Time Major Winner

The book has done very well for me this summer and as a thank you to all who have read this site and put up with my rants here is an opportunity to buy the hardcover version for $18.87 or the eBook for $11.17! I have had the book on sale before but never at these numbers. If you have purchased the book already why not pick up a few copies for friends or that golfer in the family who just doesn't get it?

Give it a try - you will not be disappointed.

To purchase the hardcover book or eBook click HERE

Even as a youngster, I focused on the strike. I would go down to the beach and practice hitting the ball first and the ground second. Andrew has laid out a solid framework for every golfer to improve their ball-striking.

Ian Woosnam - Masters Champion and Ryder Cup Captain

Free "It's All About Impact" Golf Seminar

Impact Book Cover

On Monday, April 19th I will be offering a free Golf Seminar to anybody who has purchased or purchases "It's All About Impact" - my recent golf instruction book.  The seminar will take place at the Learning Center at Berkeley Hall in Bluffton, SC from 10AM-12PM.

For the cost of a book you get a two hour seminar included? That is correct!

Topics that will be covered include:

  • The 84 degree secret and why it matters
  • The correct shoulder pivot
  • Fundamentals for the Impact Driven golf swing
  • Impact Position basics
  • Take home exercises and drills for long game and short game

Phil Mickelson and the 84 Degree Secret

As an added incentive to attend, and of course purchase the book, all attendees who purchase additional books will receive a voucher for a $75 golf lesson (one hour) with Andrew Rice - that is 50% off the regular rate of $150!

In order to purchase your copy to ensure your place in this insightful golf seminar please go to and make your purchase today. If you have already purchased the book and plan on attending please let me know by emailing me at

Please be sure to bring your copy of "It's All About Impact" to the seminar so I can personalize it for you. I hope to see you all next Monday and "GET YOUR PLAID ON" this week!

Golf Instruction News

The Berkeley Hall Learning Center has just been completely upgraded! We have just had all our computers upgraded with the latest software from V1 Golf. Students will now be able to view a summary from their golf lesson online in their own V1 locker or on their smartphone. Students will even have the ability to upload their lessons onto Facebook for all their friends and family to see. The changes at the Learning Center include an expansion of our indoor putting capabilities, two Casio EX-F1 Exlim 300 frame per second cameras (for amazing high speed footage of a golf swing!) and the ability to view your golf swing on a 50" HD screen. Casio EX-F1 Exlim Camera

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The Golf Swing

As a golf community we get so caught up in the "correct way" to swing that we lose sight of what is the correct way to hit. All that seems to matter to us is the look of the swing and golf's greatest champions are proof that looks have nothing to do with results. (Just like in life actually!) Function will always trump form and substance always wins out over style! Let's start to focus on what makes the golf ball go and get to work on that. There are many elements in the golf swing that are negotiable, like straightening the back leg, or lifting the left heel - just look at Sam Snead above. The key is being able to know which elements are non-negotiable, which are the key parts to the swing where the laws of physics must be obeyed. They all happen to occur in and around impact. Here are the most important ones: Get the weight onto the front foot (80+%) at impact. Keep the head over or just behind the ball at impact. This means that the weight shift onto the front foot must occur by driving/shifting the hips and mid-section towards the target. This move leads to what I call body curve. If the body is positioned correctly,

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"It's All About Impact" Update

Many of you have inquired about where to purchase the book. It's about to be available - I promise! It is at the printer in Ohio and will be in-hand the second week in December. Getting the website (it's not up yet, so don't click here!) up and running has proven to be about as challenging as writing the material for the book, but it should not be more than a few days before you'll be able to purchase the hardcover version as a pre-publication. Keep an eye on this space! The pre-publication sale will run during the month of November and will feature a signed first edition plus free shipping! All books will be shipped in time for Christmas.

We will also offer an eBook version for those of you who do not wish to deal with shipping and don't mind reading on the computer. This is a great option for golfers looking to get their hands on the book ASAP and international readers in particular.

As many of you know I will need all the help I can get in promoting this book - so please, please let all your friends, family and "desperate" golfing buddies know. I need your word of mouth. In fact, if you forward a link ( to this post to 10 or more friends I will send you a FREE electronic chapter from the book. Simply CC and I'll gladly send you your free chapter!

This is what Nick Price had to say about the book after seeing it for the first time:

“I have known Andrew Rice since he was a young man growing up in Southern Africa. I have always been thoroughly impressed with Andrew’s dedication and passion to play, teach, and constantly discover the intricacies of our great game. I know you will benefit from his diligent pursuit of finding the most efficient manner in which to play the game and produce results. The quest for improvement at every level of golf is never ending, but I am sure you will find Andrew’s thoughts to be an efficient way for you to achieve your potential.”

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Evidence of the 84 Degree Secret

Perhaps two of the sweetest swings in all of golf - Mickey Wright (who gets my vote as the best swing of all time!) and a young Ernie Els. Both these golfers are at or approaching the top of the backswing. Notice how their right side is flush up against the 84 degree line.

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