Rick Kline, the 2013 PGA Merchandiser of the Year for Public Facilities and a 2012 and 2013 GRAA Top 50 Growth of the Game Teaching Professional, is the PGA head professional at Sittler Golf Center in Kutztown, Pa.
Talking to Rick Kline about ways a golfer can use The Impact Bag gives new meaning to the term “slice.”
Working with students who send the ball on a fading or slicing trajectory, Kline tries to get them to cut open the bag. “This drill works great for people who tend to hold the clubface open and block shots out to the right,” says Kline. “I have my students hold the club with their lead hand while their other hand is behind their back. Next, I tell them to take a half swing and rotate the clubhead through the impact zone and essentially try to ‘cut’ the Impact Bag open with the toe of the club.”
After assurances from Kline that they will not damage the training aid, the student inevitably develops the feeling at contact that The Impact Bag strives for. Once he or she takes a few swings like this, the ability to rotate through the ball and hit a solid shot is created and the student’s skepticism fades. Kline, the 2013 PGA Merchandiser of the Year for Public Facilities, believes there are multiple benefits of the Impact Bag, especially as it relates to women and seniors.
“I found it works best for players with a slower clubhead speed, mainly women and seniors,” says Kline. “Many players tend to be timid about hitting into the ground, leaving them more prone to decelerate through impact. Therefore, getting them to commit to hitting the Impact Bag is a great way to promote constant acceleration through the swing.”
He will also place the Impact Bag between a player’s knees to encourage a hip turn instead of a swaying motion through the ball. This forces a steady base and eliminates deceleration that occurs when a player sways. Once a student is using a hip turn the results are seen instantly with a straight, solid, ball flight.
“Gary Wiren is a genius. I first started using this product over 20 years ago and it is still just as relevant today as it was when it came out,” says Kline. “After a few swings on the Impact Bag, the student can take a few shots with that nearly created muscle feeling.” Rotating the bag in and out of a swing series can be quite valuable, according to Kline. A new and desirable sensation in the swing motion will be strongly encouraged through use of the device, but that sensation will fade after a certain number of swings. “Once players understand how well The Impact Bag works, they will go right back to using it in order to regain the proper feel,” says Kline. “Then they will push it aside and hit a shot, and they’ll be encouraged to see their ball fly straight.”