Book Review – Solid Contact By Jim Hardy
Jim Hardy is the founder of Plane Truth golf and the author of several books. He is held in high regard within golf coaching and is known as being one of the top few golf instructors in the world.
Here is my short review of one of his books Solid Contact.
Each shot and swing will contain an amount of + (steep/narrow) and – (shallow/wide) characteristics. By watching ball flight and monitoring ground contact, it is possible to diagnose if there are too many +’s, too many -’s or a nice balance of each.
If the +’s and -’s are not equal, you will not experience a correct and repetitive impact. The goal is to balance the +’s and -’s to form a correct and repetitive impact. A tour player may have 3 +’s and 3 -’s when he/she plays well. When playing poorly, it may be 3 +’s and 4 -’s. A poorer golfer has more +’s and -’s to balance out. When a poorer player is playing well, they may have 10 +’s and 9 -’s. Or even 10 of each. When they play poorly, it could be 10 +’s and 13 -’s.
Chapter 1 – Key Elements of Impact
The key elements of impact are:-
Angle of Attack
Swing Arc Width
Chapter 2 – Steep/Narrow vs. Wide/Shallow
Steep/narrow is ‘+’ and shallow/wide is ‘-‘. Hardy uses the analogy of tennis balls and watermelons. If it is a big (watermelon sized) ‘+’, say transferring lots of weight onto the lead foot, it requires a big (watermelon sized) ‘-‘ to balance it.
The same is true for a small (tennis ball sized) ’+’ or ‘-‘. It requires the same of the opposite to balance it.
Equal +’s and -’s mean a correct ball flight. Less of each make us more repetitive.
Chapter 3-10 – Applying the System and Examples
- Identify the ball flight on your bad (or awful) shots. Do you have too many +’s or -’s? Heres how to check:-
+ (steep/narrow) – (shallow/wide)
Pull (deep, left divot) Push (shallow/no, right divot)
Slice (deep, left divot) Hook (shallow/no, right divot)
Chunk/sky/high on face Fat/thin (no/early divot)
Toe contact Heel contact
Steep top/trap Shallow top
2. Add another ‘+’ or ‘-‘ to balance them out. Or, turn a tennis ball sized swing element into watermelon to balance the swing. The book then runs through potential changes in the recommended order. Downswing, backswing, impact/Followthrough then finally address.
3. He then runs through several examples for different ball flights,
Chapter 11 – Final Thoughts
He explains how you’re never ‘fixed’ as a golfer but only furthering your understanding and diagnosis so you can get that correct and repetitive impact more often. He again explains how we can add or subtract +’s and -’s to improve or change the size of the +’s and -’s.
The idea behind it is great. Looking at ball flight, diagnosing impact conditions and then adjusting the swing to improve it. As always, this isn’t full proof and there are exceptions to the rule but these are mentioned in the book. There are a few pieces of ball flight information that don’t agree with the latest research.
On the whole a great book, just make sure you’re capable of diagnosing ball flight and impact conditions properly so you can administer the correct fix and add the perfect number or size of +/-!
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