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The Aiming Point Concept

The Aiming Point Concept in golf Today we’ll dig into the Aiming Point concept that may sound familiar to the readers of The Golfing Machine.

Doug, reader of this blog, asked for some clarification about its meaning and purpose.
He read about that in the Bobby Clampett’s book (The Impact Zone) and, as mentioned earlier, it is taking its roots in the Golfing Machine book from Homer Kelley.

Fellow golfer Doug asked this about the Aiming Point:

I do love the idea of "aimpoint" ahead of the ball
(Bobby Clampett focuses on this quite a bit in his Impact Zone book, "4
inches for optimal striking
which I believe he was taught by Ben Doyle and
a TGM (The Golfing Machine) instructor).

For the "Driver" in some of your forums you mention that the "aimpoint" should be at the ball or before (upward strike) but Bobby
says different

Any thoughts on this would be great.


Very interesting topic, isn’t it?
So, let’s find out if Bobby Clampett is right.

To do that, let’s explain this Aiming Point thing!

The Aiming Point concept

For those having the Golfing Machine book, chapter 6-E-2 provides a very detailed explanation of the Aiming Point concept. The description is exhaustive but not very easy to understand so I’ll try to explain that in layman’s terms.

Basically, the Aiming Point is a point on the ground that you intend to direct your Lag Pressure to during the downstroke.
And if you read this blog, you know how important Lag Pressure is in the golf swing.
If you don’t, I strongly advise that you take time to read all the materials on this blog – and support us by buying our eBook about Lag ;-)

Indeed, the first thing to do in your journey to great golf is to establish that Lag Pressure feel in your swing. This will immediately translate into crisper and powerful shots.

You know that the Lag is felt during the downstroke as a steady pressure in the index finger of your right hand (aka Pressure Point #3 (PP#3)).

Done properly the hands and the clubhead combine as Clubhead Lag feel that can be directed, or aimed at a target.
Consequently, the Aiming Point is a target on the delivery line where you fire the pressure in your index finger (PP#3) to.

The Aiming Point is very rarely at the ball. Therefore you must not consider the ball as your target.
Instead, the Aiming Point replaces the ball and becomes your new target.

Think about an explosion shot of the bunker in the sand. In this scenario, the Aiming Point would be located before the ball (which is fine in the sand but of course a no-no in the fairway with a short iron!).

What’s the exact location of that Aiming Point?

From here, I can hear you say: “OK, that’s super easy, I just have to manage to constantly aim at the same spot every time, and that’s the end of the story: it will repeat the same shot every time whatever the club….

Not so fast my friend, because you would be very wrong!

This misleads a lot of people with the Aiming Point: its location varies with each club and depends a lot on clubshaft length (and hands speed too but the most obvious being clubshaft length…).

For exemple, a wedge requires that you aim past the ball whereas the driver requires an Aiming Point located before the ball!

Aiming Point location, Driver to Wedges

But why?! Shouldn’t it be always 4 inches past the ball as Bobby Clampett says?!

Well, the simple reason is that, for the same hand speed, longer clubs take much time to release that shorter clubs. This is not me it is physics!

For the interested maniacs, it’s about the law of conservation of angular momentum that says that it takes less time for shorter clubs to reach their in-line condition from a given release point than do the longer clubs!

Therefore, you must give the Driver more time to release by aiming at point well before the ball. If you fail to do so or if you aim past the ball, you will look like this and come up with the face wide open (fore right!):

The clubface will have no time to square up at impact with an Aiming Point located this far forward

Even with perfect dynamics, lag and technique, if you aim past the ball with the Driver, the club won’t release on time and you’ll block the shot to the right because you won’t give enough time to the club face to square up.

This is an amazing revelation because you may wrongly try to correct an overall good swing technique while the only problem might reside on understanding that you must aim before the ball with the longer clubs!

The phenomenon is even worse with the driver where the ball is usually placed around low point (in front of your right shoulder) than with a wedge where the ball would lie mid-stance.
With such a setup, you now understand that aiming past the ball with the driver is waaaaaay wrong from what you should do.

So, you may be tempted to deliver your Lag pressure by aiming like this:

Bad Aiming Point location with the Driver

Instead of delivering your Lag pressure to this Aiming Point:

Good Aiming Point location with the Driver

This could make a huge difference to the results without ever changing a thing in the core technique of your stroke!

Having fun with the Aiming Point

Now, take a minute to think about that: if you choke down on the driver to get it as short as a wedge, you are moving its Aiming Point forward and may end up aiming past the ball!

To quote the Golfing Machine book:

Choke Down to make all Clubshafts the same length means the same Aiming Point for all your clubs – shorter radius but precise timing”.

With this example, (provided of course that you do not choke down on your clubs ;-) ) you easily understand that you have to move your Aiming Point depending on the club or the shot at hand.

Where to aim at finally?

The goal of the Aiming Point is to replace the ball as a target for your Lag Pressure felt in PP#3.

To send your ball straight, the club face must contact the ball squarely every time with every club and this is where the trick is.

The Aiming Point’s purpose is to get the proper release of the club head for any given club, from the Driver to the Wedges.

Locating your Aiming Point(s) (the plural would be more adequate here) is a matter of trial and error because it varies from one player to another. It depends on hand speed, ball location and clubhead length.

You will have to tweak your Aiming Point(s) with every club and check the results to get it right.

As a reminder, here are the general rules:

  • with the longer clubs you need to aim further before the ball (right for a right handed player)
  • with the shorter clubs you need to aim further past the ball (left for a right handed player)
  • a mid iron may require an Aiming Point close to (or at) the ball
  • if you have fast hands, I mean if your hands are traveling very fast, you need to aim farther before/after the ball (driver/wedge)
  • if you have slow hands, the Aiming Point must be closer (before/after) the ball (driver/wedge)
  • with a set of clubs having the same length (which is very unlikely!), the aiming point is the same for all clubs (but may be located before, at or after the ball!)

So what about Bobby Clampett? Is he right or wrong?

In his book, Bobby demonstrates the Aiming Point using a wedge. As a result he says that the Aiming Point must be located past the ball, which is right in that case.

I think he deliberately took a shortcut by telling that this is the absolute position of the Aiming Point. And he certainly did that on purpose because he wants your hands to go past the ball every time.
Remember, his book focuses on teaching good Lag dynamics rather than being accurate with the Aiming Point.

Getting the hands past the ball on every shot is priority number 1, aiming the Lag at something comes in second position.

And as such, an Aiming Point located past the ball is a great drill to achieve priority number 1!

But once you have decent Lag in your game, priority number 2 starts to be a concern if you want to be accurate with every club in your bag.

And this is why accurate location of your Aiming Point(s) is so critical.

So, try it out by yourself: go out there, grab your favorite club, aim before/after the ball and check the differences.

53 Responses to “The Aiming Point Concept”

  1. David Brock David Brock says:

    Could you or one of your readers give an aim point example for each club in the bag for a slow swing speed. I realize every one is different but this would at least give a rough baseline. Thank you David Brock

  2. Rob Saxe Rob Saxe says:

    Nice post. I took lessons from Ben Doyle for 6 years and he never mentioned this to me although I did and have read it in the book for years. I always thought I was better player and didn’t really need this technique. Now that I’m older, I think it could help with approach shots. I’ve never had a problem with lag it’s just when I try to press just a little I get out of sync. Honestly, there aren’t many instructors who get this so thanks again for the info.

  3. David Brock David Brock says:

    Am 86 yrs of age with slow but accurate swing. Iron aim point that works best for me is 6″ to 8″ forward of ball. Is that considered o.k.?
    Thank you

    • Hi David,

      Yes indeed: the aiming point is different for everyone. It is basically an imaginary target to aim to in order to achieve the correct result.

      Someone will need to aim at a point that will be more or less forward than someone else in order to achieve the very same result.

      A bit like when you play tennis: in order to effectively send your ball 1 meter above the net someone will aim just 1 meter high while someone else will aim twice high for finally the same final result.
      And you agree that it doesn’t really matter as long as the consistent result is achieved.

      However, what is important to understand is that the Aimingpoint with longer clubs must be adjusted and placed before the shorter clubs Aimingpoint.

  4. David brock David brock says:

    Is aim point for three wood still behind ball if on grass and not on a tee?

    • Of course :-)
      Do not mismatch Aimpoint with low point.
      Still with a 3W (a longer lever than a wedge), you’ll need to give a bit more time to your clubhead to properly release.
      So you’ll want to direct your “throw” before/behind the ball.
      On the contrary, with a wedge that will release quickly you can/must locate Aimpoint at low point, after/in front of the ball.
      If you aim your 3W like your wedge you won’t have time to release and will block your shots (fore right).
      The ball on a tee or not makes no difference with aimpoint location.

  5. Steve Steve says:

    I have ordered and read your e-book
    You discuss the “down and out” thrusting of the pp#3 at the appropriate aimpoints.
    My question is:
    What is “path” of the pp#3 during the entire downswing particularly post impact ? Would it’s termination point be at the end of both arms extended ? If so, where would the clubhead be facing at that point of both arms extended ? Thanks

    • Hi Steve,
      Picture a laser pointer in your trigger finger. Now, picture your target line (a straight line on the ground coming from the from the flag, passing at the ball and going back to the infinite). During the backswing, downswing and followthrough, keep the red dot on the the line and you’ll have the proper path of PP#3. Start with chip shots first then pitch shots to get a feeling for it. It is called “tracing the base of the plane line with PP#3″. Of course, because PP#3 in your right hand is also attached to your left arm, PP#3 will travel in a circle along the plane of the swing but the feeling your are looking for is “tracing” the target line on the ground back and forth with PP#3.
      PP#3 lag pressure will indeed begin to fade away at the both arms straight position. At this point the clubface orientation depends on the way your are swinging (ie Hitting or Swinging) and will be pretty much looking at the target if you’re a hitter and sightly closed if you are a swinger.
      Best regards.

    • Also:

      The down and out motion of PP#3 must be ON PLANE.
      Because you are swinging on an inclined plane, the PP#3 is naturally travelling down and out.
      If you hook big time it is because you are swinging down but too much inside and then too much out.

      Now, if you hook, your swing plane is tilted right of the flag.
      You are tracing a line inside then outside post impact.

      The solution is to trace the base of the correct plane line (the intersection of the swing plane with the ground).
      This line passes from the flag to the ball to the infinite on your right.

      I’ve talked about picturing a laser pointer in PP#3 but some people like to think of it as a paint brush: imagine brushing the base of the plane line with pp#3 back and forth (backswing->followthough). The brush analogy may also provide the mental image of pressure feel in PP#3 because you are brushing back and forth and therefore “feel” the brush dragging on the line.

      Best regards.

    • Thanks for clearing up the proper path of PP#3. That should straighten things out..
      I guess if I want to intentionally draw the ball I can direct my PP#3 more inside/out and for a dade outside/in
      I like the paint brush analogy because it helps keep the right wrist flexed until impact
      Thanks again

      Yes, this one is very interesting to visualize what should be achieved in terms of feel.
      Because of that you can use it also to « float load the lag » : this is one way to build up the lag (swinger only) by « brushing back » on the backswing, then brushing forward on the downswing.
      At transition between the two, the lag will be felt very strongly in PP#3. Your job will then be to 1) sustain this steady pressure in PP#3 until both arms straingh 2) while « brushing the intended plane line with PP#3 » depending on if you need a fade / draw.
      Remember that if the pressure is too high at transition, you won’t be able to sustain it past impact. Slow and heavy is the feel.

    • John:
      A follow up question:
      You discuss both “swingers” and “hitters” in your explanations.
      I am a “hitter” because I have right arm extension during the bottom half of my downswing. So what should a ” hitter” be feeling during the downswing that is different from what a “swinger” feels ?
      If I direct my PP#3 along the target line past the ball, my ball goes to the right. Probably because the face is open to the path.. So here is the big question: Where should the pressure in PP#3 be directed post impact ?

      Beware of the difference between hitting and swinging:
      - you are swinging if in the downswing you “pull the rope” / “throw the clubhead” etc…
      - you are hitting if you drive down the clubshaft + a inert left arm ONLY with the right arm in a piston-like motion.

      Anyway, both techniques will lead to a right arm extension. Swinging is passive extension: The right arm will extend because pulled out by centrifugal force. Hitting because of active straightening/driving of the right arm.

      Now, if indeed you are hitting, the natural tendency of the hitter is to have a layback club face (more open) past impact with a fade tendency.
      To counter act this the hitter must have a slightly stronger grip.
      But PP#3 has nothing to do with club face orientation:
      - If you direct PP#3 on the right you’ll have a draw (with a face setup squared) if you direct it more on the left, a fade.
      - With a closed face setup, if you direct PP#3 on the right you’ll tend to have a hook and if you direct it more on the left, a push left.
      - With an open face, if you direct PP#3 on the right you’ll have a push right and if you direct it more on the left, a slice.

      So if your ball goes straight to the right (I assume of course that your ball is going straight to the right with no curve left or right) but you are certain that you are “painting” straight the target line with PP#3, it means that you must setup with a slightly stronger grip to get a gentle draw to the flag.

  6. fifi17 fifi17 says:

    Hi John

    I have buyed the ebook ( in french) Sunday and yet i read twice :))
    Thank’s you for this wonderfull work for all the “old dummies golfers” we are….
    You say exactly that i though about pro ( they begin very young….) who can’t solve our problems .
    I espere to acquire a lag ( worthy of the name) before any times . I encircle it already for some time but none of the proposed exercises seemed to me adapted. Now I do not have more than to work. I know that I am on the right track thanks to you.
    Best regards and sorry for my english.

  7. awillyd awillyd says:

    Hi John,
    I said I would update you after purchasing the e-book. A very easy read( read it in one sitting )and well put together in terms of making it UNDERSTANDABLE. Then went out the next three days and did the drills at the range using a large bucket for each drill and getting a feel for what you are talking about. It becomes pretty comfortable pretty quickly. I played 18 on the fourth day and shot a 79 so I am well on my way back to a mid single digit player.
    These drills are awesome, and your aim point technique is SECOND TO NONE. I am ripping the bloody dimples off the ball mate.
    A note for George, I concentrate on the aim point spot and just let the ball get in the way of the swing. I’m aware of the ball but not concentrating on it. When you do that the transition of weight to the left just happens without trying.
    Again, many thanks John. I will contact you once again when I break 70 for the first time!!!

    • George George says:

      Thank you for your comment, it would be interesting to know what you found to be your best distance from in front and then behind the ball for ‘your’ swing and how it changed from wedge to driver. I know it is different for everyone but is of interest. I have just downloaded the book and it is an interesting read, I only have one problem I do not have a ball retreaver.(ha) Cannot get to the range until thursday but itching to go.

      Regards G.

      • awillyd awillyd says:

        Hi George,
        For me it is about 6 inches behind the ball with the Driver. I swing pretty fast so that is why so far back but… No more blocked right shots. Pretty straight with a slight draw.
        About 2 inches behind the ball with the 3 wood, 3/4 of an inch behind for the 2 and 3 iron, 4 and 5 almost under the ball, 7 about 2 inches in front. and so on to about 4 inches with my wedges.
        It really works well for me but keep in mind that this is brand new to me as well and I am still experimenting with where to concentrate for each club.
        Hit em well

  8. George George says:

    Hi John, Just to let you know last night I sent you a question in response to one of your posts but today I have just noticed it is from December 21 2012. I hope you can pick it up and reply.

    Best regards George Robinson.

      • George George says:

        Thank you John for a fast and clear respnse to my enquiry.I am based in Thailand, it is 11-15 pm and the football is on so I will purchase the book tomorrow. I am sure it will lead to many questions.

        Thanks again, George.

  9. Ron Ron says:

    Sorry I posted twice I wasnt sure if my forst post went through.

  10. Ron Ron says:

    Hello and thank you for all this information it has helped my ball striking a TON. I have a question about the driver. Im a hitter and are we supposed to direct our lag pressure to a spot before the ball with the sensation of stopping or slowing down the hands?

  11. Ron Ron says:

    Hello I have purchased the eBook and it has helped a TON with my ball striking and confidence. My question is in regards to the driver and Aim Point. Am I supposed to direct my lag pressure to a spot before the ball and feel as though Im slowing down? Or is lag just a race to a certain spot depending on the club used?

  12. awillyd awillyd says:

    I stumbled upon this site by accident while looking for info on Clampett. I see the blog is older but read through it anyhow. I used to be at a 6 handicap but have been creeping upward over the last 4-5 years. I took several lessons over that period but this concept was never mentioned.
    I went to the range today and almost instantly that old familiar feeling was back. I made a small circle 4 inches behind the tee on the mat and within 4 swings was once again pounding the ball 300+ and pretty straight. My 3 wood wasn’t far behind that(mind you I use a strong 3 at 13 degrees) and my 2 iron(yes I still carry a 2) was back to 260 or so. I used a different mark for each club.
    I will go back tomorrow and work on the irons with hopefully the same results.
    Please explain what benefit I might gain from purchasing the e-book? I hope you are still out there somewhere. and Thanks

    • Hi and thank you for your interest.

      It seems that you are mastering the aiming point technique pretty well. As such there is a good chance that you may have a good deal of lag in your game without knowing it.

      Usually, the biggest concern for the average golfer is to understand how to create lag in his game.
      When he manages to do that, Average Joe immediately goes to another level of play.
      Then goes the concern of where to direct or aim that lag – finding the right target.
      This is when the aiming point concept is useful and may come into play.

      The book is helping golfers to discover how to create and sustain that magic lag thing.
      You may already have a very decent lag in your game but without knowing what you are doing. I’m sure that the book could help you discover unexpected areas in your own golf game.
      It’s not a book about a swing technique or something that you will read in Golf Digest. It’s a book that puts the emphasis on the dynamics involved in the golf stroke – thing that, like the aiming point are never taught in nowadays golf instruction.

      Good golf.

      • awillyd awillyd says:

        Thank you for the quick response to an older blog. I guess you still are out there.
        Just to reiterate, The aim point method worked SO fast and SO well, I believe I will be back down to a mid single digit in no time.(and hopefully even lower)
        I was, after your response compelled to purchase the e-book. I am about to dive in. I’ll probably go backwards at first but will let you know how it pans out.
        Thanks again

      • awillyd awillyd says:

        By the way. Is “LAG”ito your real name?

      • Thank you William,

        I’m sure that you’ll have a lot of fun playing with the Lag.
        If you are a fan of Clampet’s book, you’ll find that the Lag and the Aiming Point technique blend pretty well together.
        Feel free to post your questions here, I’ll be happy to help.

        And of course, Lagito is not my name… I thought it may work well with the site ;-)

  13. Kongone Kongone says:

    Another enlightenment If I bottom every iron at the left shoulder the placement of the ball is all related to trajectory of the ball. This is how tiger describes how he controls distance. Brilliant !!! This sight is amazing. Thank you

  14. Kongone Kongone says:

    Wow I started. Aiming 2 feet behind the ball and for the first time it’s been easy to hit straight to a draw. No manipulation of the club head no weird setup position. Today for the first time I felt like I could easily place the ball anywhere I wanted on the fairway with effortless power. Thank you so much for this website it is such a great help

  15. Jeff Jeff says:

    First off, I admit that your e-book improved my ball striking 10 fold almost overnight. It was a true game changer in the best sense of the word. HOWEVER, I must respond to what I am reading here about the driver and aiming point. For weeks and weeks and weeks, I tried to use the info here and in your e-book to help me hit the driver. It simply did not work. Then, finally something changed and I have been hitting the driver better than ever before, just like my other clubs. What changed? Bobby Clampett. I combined his advice of moving my swing bottom forward 4 inches past the ball ON ALL CLUBS with your ebook info on lag which, again I admit is some of the best money I ever spent on golf. I’m sorry to say this though, but moving my swing bottom forward on all clubs, INCLUDING THE DRIVER (again, combined with the awesome info in your e-book), is the real answer. Directing my lag pressure BEHIND the ball as is written here is/was disastrous. Sorry but I felt this had to be said.

    • James James says:

      Very interesting Jeff. I have found exactly the same. I have to focus a few inches ahead, and outside the target line, to deliver the driver properly. Aiming behind I slice it and feel like I lose the pressure in PP#3. By aiming ahead the club squares up and I keep that lag pressure all the way through impact. Whether that is the problem,that aiming behind I quit on the shot, I don’t know. But it’s good to hear I’m not the only one experiencing this.

      • Jeff Jeff says:

        James, it’s the exact same for me. Down & out. Sean Foley wrote an article where he says to imagine taking an “air divot” with the driver and says that two of his students, Tiger Woods and Hunter Mahan, both do this as they usually hit down on their drivers. With every club, I watch the ball with my eyes but in my brain, the ball is really at my left shoulder. Combine that with the right tempo to feel PP#3 and I’m in the zone.

  16. Michael Michael says:

    Hi, l am not getting this though l feel l need to, as i am hitting lovely wee draws with 5-7 irons an poker straight with short irons but fades with longer clubs,

    I am missing something l know l am but can’t see it?

    Can you help?

  17. Budman Budman says:

    Thanks for the clarification. Was totally frustrated with my woods, and could not understand why I could not do anything but slice them. After reading this, the light bulb went on in my head, so once again, Thanks…I do have one question, though, if I may…Should the aiming point be on the target line or on the club path line?

    • Hi Budman

      With the driver place that point on the target line (aka the base of the plane line, aka the ball/flag line) somewhere between mid stance and your right foot.

      With a wedge the aiming point will be located somewhere between the left foot and the ball.
      You must experiment hitting a few balls at the range to find your precise aiming point location.

      You should see a nice difference with your woods but it will feel very natural because you won’t alter your core technique but just where you direct your lag pressure at.

  18. Bob S Bob S says:

    Thanks for the thorough explanation John. I can’t wait to try this out on the range tonight.

    What would happen if you introduced ball placement to the equation. Instead of altering the swing you could alter the ball placement and adjust for the different clubs that way. Would that work? Would that be easier to do than finding a different aiming point for every club?

    • Good question Bob.

      Altering ball position in the stance is doable but I would not recommend it.
      Here’s why:
      In order for that procedure to work you would choose a fixed aiming point for all your clubs.
      Let’s say that you choose to aim in the middle of your stance every time.

      As longer clubs take more time to release, the club face (with the driver for example) won’t be square passing the aiming point. As a result, the ball must be placed way forward (it could very well end up outside your left foot) – by doing that you will face some issue with your low point. Remember that it is located in front of your left shoulder regardless of the club and shot.
      Because a drive is played on a tee, you could go away with the shot because your club head will reach low point “in the air” and then go up to finally hit the ball somewhere along the path.

      On the opposite, the story won’t work so well with a wedge:
      A wedge will release very early. With an aiming point mid stance, the club face will have released too soon and may start to close as it arrives mid stance.
      To counter act that, the ball must be located way back in the stance. And this is where it gets complicated with low point location:
      For every shot you must go to low point. With a ball located far back in the stance, you will have to dig a pretty huge divot in order to produce a geometrically correct shot!

      There is also another solution: cut all your clubs to the same length and adjust their swing weight so they match!
      With such a setup, you can play with the same aiming point and the same ball location!

      Ok, that’s a bit extreme, so I prefer to alter the aiming point location! ;-)
      You’ll see that it’s pretty intuitive to find it with every club and you’ll end up being comfortable and intuitive with that.
      For me, the part that was not obvious was to aim before the ball with the longer clubs. Once you know and understand why, you can say goodbye to the fore right syndrome with those beasts!

      Good golf,

  19. Nick Nick says:

    Hi John

    An average golfer here. Have started to get more serious about my game. Found some very interesting material on ball flight physics on the Trackman web site (newsletters in the ‘Media’ section of the site). With those principles in mind, I went to the range yesterday to try to work out why I was hitting the ball ‘fat’ so much. I placed a stick parallel to my target line and a ball beside the stick to mark where the ball position was for various shots.

    In general, my divots were pointing to the target. However, they were all about three inches behind the ball. After this happening over and over again, I started wondering if my clubs were too long for me. The range has a clubfitter who measured my 6-iron. He said it was perfect for me.

    I was always under the impression that my aiming point should be the back of the golf ball. But, I started thinking that I would try to pick a point a few inches ahead of the ball and picked up my pitching wedge. BINGO!! Clean, straight shots with more distance. Zero ‘fat’ shots.

    As I moved to longer clubs, I found that my aiming point was becoming less effective and thought that perhaps I should adjust. BINGO AGAIN!!!

    Of course, for the driver, the aiming point beyond the ball was absolutely wrong and produced precisely the effect you described.

    I haven’t read the Bobby Jones book so I don’t recall ever seeing this concept in print before. So, when I got back home, I decided to see if I could find anything on the internet pertaining to what I thought I learned and came across this blog posting. Instant validation!

    This is exciting stuff. Weather permitting, I will be spending more time on the range over the next couple weeks to make sure that this works for me. But, as of now I’m very excited. This could be huge for my game.

    I’m going to start reviewing your e-book sample today. Thanks so much for what appears to be an excellent blog. (It validates my thoughts so it must be excellent, right?)

    • Nick Nick says:

      I meant Bobby Clampett… not Bobby Jones.

    • Hi Nick,

      Welcome aboard,
      Indeed, if this blog validates your thoughts it must be excellent ;-)
      Thank you for your support, I appreciate that!

      The Trackman website you mentioned did a good job at explaining the true laws of ball flight trajectory but despite the facts, they are still a lots of skeptics to be convinced out there.

      I’ve left a small comment in Andrew’s article with a very nice tip to do on the putting green. Allow me to share it with you here:

      On the green, with the putter, align to the hole as usual then open the clubface 45 degrees and putt in the straight line towards the target…
      According to the “well established ball flight laws”, your ball should follow your swing path and start straight towards the hole. Then it should drift to the right at the end due to the spin given by the open clubface.

      Well, try it for yourself and you’ll get something very different: the ball will leave the clubface at right angles (that’s 45 degrees right here) and drift a touch more to the right due to the spin impaired to the ball by the opened clubface in relation to the swing path!

      That’s the laws of physics and they universally work the same from putter to driver!

    • You did a great job at finding the aiming point with your irons.

      You have put your mind to good work here and have found the correct solution by yourself using good sense and logic…

      Now, go ahead and find your aiming point with the Driver: It will be for sure before the ball. How much depends on every person.

      Hand speed is a big factor here: If you swing fast (aka fast hands), look more of a aiming point located farther back (like the one marked “yes” in the last picture (almost in front of your right foot)).

      On the contrary, with slow hands, the aiming point for the driver could be located only a few inches before the ball.

      You have to find it at the range through experimentation. But once you got it, you can trust it and feel a lot more comfortable with the big dog.

      Keep going the good work,

  20. John, I hit very good mid iron/hybrid shots directly to the green for the first time with the Aim Point insights! Additionally, I took uniform, shallow divots consistently with my short irons keeping the line and hitting the fringe or green all round. It was amazing to see how far ahead of the ball I had to direct the thrust for my driver, almost 3 inches for a straight shot! Thanks!

    • The Aiming Point is indeed an amazing thing.
      It is a bit like the icing on the cake in the TGM world.

      What I mean is that once you’ve mastered the most important TGM concepts like lag pressure, tracing, the right forearm takeaway, hitting & swinging, adding the Aiming Point on top of that offers consistency through the whole set of clubs in the bag!

      With the Aiming Point concept in mind, you understand how to adjust your swing while playing a wedge as a second shot after having played your first shot with the driver.

      For me, with my “fast hands”, I have to aim a least two feet before the ball with the driver to get a nice little draw!!!
      And the most important to me is that unlike shutting the face and aiming right to normally produce such a draw, the shot feels normal, comfortable and not “manipulated”.

      Conversely, if I aim directly at the ball, you’ll ear a loud “FORE RIGHT” :-)

      Took me a while to understand why I was playing a slight fade with the longer sticks and dead straight shots with the shorter clubs ;-)

      • george george says:

        Hi John,
        Just found your website and have spent an hour readind many items. I will be purchasing your book but I have an initial question. I have been trying to develop lag by weight transfer which I find dificult. My game is not too bad, my stock shot is straight with a slight draw but my big fail is a pull left. Many of your posts have given me ideas but the aiming point is the one that interests me most. After all that my question, do you actually look at the aiming point during the swing or look at the ball with the aiming point in the minds eye? (so to speak)
        Best regards George Robinson.

      • Hi George,

        The aiming point technique is helpful to release the clubhead at the right time for all the clubs in the bag.
        Aiming at a point on the ground is the way to achieve that.
        My own preference in this regard is to visualise in the mind’s eye the aiming point according to the shot at hand.
        Exemple with the driver: During setup I would aim 10cm before the ball for a normal shot BUT if a dogleg left calls for a good draw, I may add up 10cm back more to allow for the clubhead to release earlier before the ball.
        A few waggles to get the feel for the release in my mind and then I look at the ball during the swing.

        Best regards,

  21. Hi John. I mistake I have made is not to have my weight on my inside right edge of my right foot. By not keeping that edge, as it were, there was no lag to really generate but with that edge, my back hip has weight and lag to load. I did not realize the conservation of Angular momentum though would suggest an earlier Aim or lag point for longer clubs. I do sometimes leave my driver out the right due to aiming at the inside quadrant! A friend on LBG helped me with that. This will also really help! Thanks, Merci Beaucoup!

    • Hello friend, glad to have some news!
      Aiming before the ball to give more time for longer clubs to release makes a lot of sense once you start thinking about it!
      It happened to be a great cure to the “fore right” syndrome with the driver ;-)

  22. Etzwane Etzwane says:


    great to have you write about TGM again !

    I think Ben Doyle (so Bobby) has a different concept for the aiming point: where the hands would appear to be from the golfer perspective at impact. At least it seems so in Bobby’s book and some of Ben’s videos. Like so, he uses Hogan’s line of compression definition and not TGM’s (two very different beasts).

    • Hi Etzwane

      That’s interesting. I’ll check that.
      Do you know how they deal with the different behavior of the longer clubs vs the shorter ones?


      • Etzwane Etzwane says:

        Looks like my last comment got lost.

        Bobby instructs to aim the hands to a point in front of the golf ball. Ben Doyle and Steve Elkington have mentionned aiming the hands to a point where they would hide the left toe from the golfer’s eyes, maybe Bobby does too, I don’t remember from his book. Here’s Ben Doyle


        It looks more like a straight delivery line or endless belt aim to me. You can have a (TGM) Aiming Point of the thrust behind the ball but still get the hands in front of the ball at impact. As you said, this allows to control the Release point. Ben Doyle teaches Snap Release and small pulleys, the release point is maybe not moving that much in between clubs, that’s maybe why he uses that concept for a aiming point.

        I could be wrong, in fact I’m still in the early stages of learning TGM.

  23. Ramon Roca Ramon Roca says:

    Thanks John for the answer. I don’t understand what “aim the lag” means exactly. Could you clarify me this point?

    • This is the Aiming Point concept ;-)
      Let me be more specific: You establish the Lag during the transition from backstroke to downstroke. At this moment you are loading the Lag. It is easily felt as a pressure in your index finger (PP#3).
      Now, you can throw (deliver in TGM terms) that pressure to a target – the Aiming Point.

      It’s a bit like if you were throwing a heavy stone at the aiming point on the ground.

  24. Ramon Roca Ramon Roca says:


    In your e-book (page 69) you said that “the key is to load pressure in the indexfinger (PP#3) at Startdown and to keep it constant until the end of the Followthrough” (after the impact). Is this different with the driver?. Could you clarify this important point.

    Best regards.

    • Hi Ramon,

      Yes it is the same with all the clubs.
      You must continue to apply pressure in PP#3 until you reach the both arms straight position, aka the end of the followthrough.
      Check this picture if you are not sure of what is the end of the followthrough: http://www.flickr.com/photos/golflagtips/3477470303/in/photostream/
      This could be more difficult to do with the driver because the ball location gives you less space between impact and the end of the followthrough.
      So, if you do not commit to sustain the Lag until the both arms straight position you risk decelerating near low point (in front of your left shoulder). You may still get out with it with a wedge because the ball will be contacted before you lose your acceleration. But it will start to cause trouble as ball position is moving close to low point and more particularly with the driver.

      Now, if you’ve posted that comment in the Aiming Point post, I suspect that you may think that because the aiming point for the driver is before the ball, Lag pressure could also stop before impact.
      This is not the case. You can very well aim the Lag before the ball and still sustain it until the both arms straight position which are two different things.

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Aiming-Point Location Driver to Wedges

Aiming-Point: Too far forward

Aiming-Point: Bad location with the Driver

Aiming-Point: Good location with the Driver

Divot Location demonstrated with a Hitting stroke - Swing Sequence

The eye of the Hitter - 3 - Follow Through

The eye of the Hitter - 1 - Address

The eye of the Hitter - 2 - Startdown