You could have the most technically advanced golf clubs, the shiniest shoes, the smartest clothes, and the fastest, most powerful golf swing in the land – but it will all count for nothing if the moment of impact, otherwise known as ‘the moment of truth’, isn’t quite up to par. That’s where golf impact bags come in.
Simple yet effective training aids, golf impact bags help you refine the most important part of your swing: the moment of impact. In this article, we will explore what they are, how to use them, and how they can help you, before rounding up our best picks of the bunch.
- What Is a Golf Impact Bag?
- The 5 Best Golf Impact Bags
What Is a Golf Impact Bag?
A golf impact bag is a small, simple, easily portable, and generally inexpensive training device which allows the user to gain a greater understanding of what their body and club are doing at the point of impact. They can be used at home or on the range.
The bags are typically made from sturdy synthetic materials which can be easily stuffed with pretty much anything that is soft, from towels to bedding, to socks. Most impact bags feature some sort of target to aim at.
Golf impact bags are designed to provide visual feedback on your swing. The idea is to stop your swing dead in its tracks, meaning you can analyze your moment of impact in a way that would otherwise be impossible. They essentially freeze your swing in time at the most crucial moment, giving you the opportunity to discern exactly what your body is doing. You’ll be able to:
- See your feet position
- Feel your weight distribution
- See your hand, wrists, and arm positions
- Feel your shoulder rotation
They are also designed to show you what your club is doing at the exact moment it would be striking a ball. When you strike the bag with your club, it will depress and then retain its position, allowing you to precisely analyze what your club is doing at the point of impact. This allows you to see:
- Loft and angle of your club face
- Shaft angle
- Shaft lean
After spending a bit of time using a golf impact bag, you will start to paint a clear picture of what your swing looks like at the moment of impact. You can then start to make targeted and specific adjustments to your swing.
Will Using a Golf Impact Bag Improve My Skills?
The speedy nature of a golf swing makes it frustratingly difficult to analyze. You swing so fast that it’s practically impossible to get a reliable measure of what your body and your club are actually doing during the pinnacle moments of the swing. Sure, you can take a video and slow it down, but this doesn’t help you to actually feel what your swing is doing.
Golf impact bags are the logical solution to this problem. The instant feedback they provide is both visual and kinetic, giving you invaluable insights which you can immediately act upon. You can bash away at these bags to your heart’s content, making necessary adjustments to your swing here and there, until you achieve the perfect moment of truth that your swing deserves.
And this can all be done within the comfort of your own home or garden. If you don’t have the time or energy for a trip to the golf range, you can just get your golf impact bag out and get some quick practice in.
How Do You Use a Golf Impact Bag?
First things first, you’ll need to stuff the bag.
Most golfers opt for a stack of old towels. Bedsheets, pillows, and clothes also work well. Basically, anything that is soft and lightweight. You don’t want the bag to be too heavy, as this could lead to injury.
With the bag stuffed, sealed, and ready to rock, it’s time to start swinging.
How to use a Golf Impact Bag with Irons?
Stand opposite the bag with it placed in the center of your stance. The part of the bag you are hitting should be in the place where you would normally hit the ball.
Don’t use a full-powered swing – this will cause you to overpower the bag, putting you and your clubs at risk.
Instead, you’ll want to adopt a half-swing, or at most, a three-quarter swing. With the reduced backswing, you can then accelerate towards the bag with your usual speed. Since the bag is designed to help you determine the angle of your club at impact, and your body’s weight distribution and rotation, a full-swing simply isn’t necessary.
Focus on your hip rotation, weight-shift, and wrist action. At the moment of impact, check to see if your hips have rotated far enough. Then make sure your weight is leaning more towards your front foot.
Most importantly, you’ll want to see if your wrists are ahead of your clubhead, resulting in what’s known as clubhead lag.
Sufficient clubhead lag is a crucial component of any successful long-range golf shot. If you don’t have clubhead lag, it means the shot is too ‘wristy’ – the player is flicking at the ball rather than using the momentum of the clubhead to generate power.
With a decent golf impact bag, you will easily be able to see if you are creating sufficient clubhead lag. The angle of your shaft at the moment of impact will literally be imprinted on the bag once you strike it. You can then start to make the necessary adjustments.
How to use a Golf Impact Bag with a Driver?
If you are practicing with your driver, you’ll want to place the bag further forward in your stance, ideally in line with your leading foot.
Other than that, the process remains the same. With a reduced swing, you’ll accelerate towards the bag, and then analyze your hip rotation, weight placement, and clubhead lag.
Tips for using a Golf Impact Bag
- If you want to get the most out of your impact bag, you might consider working with a mirror or camera. These will allow you to view your moment of impact from other angles.
- There is a simple impact bag drill you can do to help you achieve the all-important clubhead lag. Start with the bag in the center of your stance, and swing until you achieve a decent shaft angle. Once you consistently get a good clubhead lag, move the bag further in your stance. Again, swing until you get consistent lag. Then move it even further forward, and repeat the process. This will train your wrists to produce more reliably powerful swings.
- When you’re not using it, store your impact bag in a dry place that isn’t too humid to ensure a longer lifespan. Since you can remove the stuffing and flatten it, the bag should take up very little space.
The 5 Best Golf Impact Bags
Quick Overview: Our Top Picks for 5 Best Golf Impact Bags
|SKLZ Smash Bag||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Dr. Gary Wiren’s Golf Impact Bag||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|TuhooMall Golf Impact Bag||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Proactive Sports Contact Bag||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|EyeLine Golf Impact Cube||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
This impact bag particularly stands out because of its intuitive target map. Where most bags adopt a simple circular target, this design consists of lines that allow you to easily discern the angle of your shaft.
The bag is also designed to remain aligned if the user’s swing is true. If the swing misses the target or hits it at a skewed angle, the bag will reflect this in its shape and will retain the depression. This allows you to easily analyze where you are going wrong.
It quickly fills with towels or any other soft material, and it contains handles for ease of transportation.
The nylon material is heavy-duty and high-impact and is generally reported to have a decent amount of durability. It is designed to withstand hit after hit, so as long as you’re not repeatedly blasting it with the might of your full swing, the SKLZ Smash should go the distance.
This impact bag, designed by PGA Master Gary Wiren, is the most popular on the market, and for good reason. Made from strong, long-lasting, waterproof materials, this training aid has every intention of staying with you for multiple seasons.
The bag will mold to the shape of your club as it strikes, providing you with instant feedback on the quality of your swing.
It is easy to fill and features a large handle to help you easily transport it around. You should have no trouble bringing it along with you to the golf range.
It’s not the cheapest, but the quality of the materials used by Gary Wiren more than justifies the price.
Aligning scientific design with the basic principles of a golf swing, this TuhooMall impact bag is an excellent tool for improving your golf swing.
It features a detailed bullseye target marker for comprehensive feedback. The bag itself is slightly bigger than other popular impact bags, making it less prone to sliding around.
This bag comes in yellow, black, or red, and is made from strong, durable, and waterproof materials. It is built to withstand repeated use, meaning you can acquire some muscle memory and perfect your swing. Just make sure you don’t frequently hit it with a full swing, or it might come apart.
It’s easy to fill and easy to carry. This is also one of the cheapest bags available of this level of quality.
This is arguably the most durable impact bag available on the market. Its heavy-duty materials and robust design offer the best possible chance at a long lifespan.
It features a target marker which, while not being the most detailed of visual aids, is good enough to provide helpful feedback on your swing. The bag responds well to the shape of your swing at impact and thus effectively helps to refine your core mechanics.
This bag also features a loop for staking it the ground, meaning you can spend less time repositioning it, and more time hitting it.
It’s not the cheapest, but the price is very reasonable considering the quality of the material.
The Eyeline Golf Impact bag is unique in that it allows you to practice multiple different types of shots. Each side contains a different slant: the wedge side has lots of lean, the 7-iron side has a little less lean, and the driver side is vertical.
This basically offers you enhanced versatility when refining your golf swing. The wedge side is especially useful, as most impact bags aren’t particularly accommodating of wedge shots since they require a slightly different technique.
Due to the nature of the design, this bag is, perhaps, not quite as durable as other impact bags on the market. However, the unique versatility of the Eyeline Cube gives it particular value, this is certainly a training aid to be considered.
Golf impact bags may be simple and low-tech, but they can do wonders for refining the finer details of your game. If you can master the moment of impact, or the ‘moment of truth’, improved scores are very likely to follow.
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Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.