Impact tape is a subtle yet transformative tool for golfers that provides instant feedback on your ball striking. A seemingly unassuming addition to your golf toolkit—it holds the power to transform your practice sessions and enhance your ability to understand your swing. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer with years of experience or a beginner teeing off for the first time, understanding how impact tape works is essential.
This post will detail the use, benefits, application, and alternatives, as well as how to pair the application of impact tape with a launch monitor to expand your data gathering. Adding impact tape to your home practice routine is a good way to take it to the next level.
What Is Impact Tape?
- Impact tape consists of thin, adhesive strips that you apply to the clubface.
- When you strike the ball, these strips leave a visible mark, capturing the critical moment of impact between the club and the ball.
- The tape shows where the ball hits the face, allowing you to adjust your setup and swing to consistently find the center.
- Impact tape helps identify swing tendencies, facilitates necessary swing adjustments, and validates results during practice sessions.
- However, it’s important to note that impact tape is not allowed during competition as it violates rule 4.1(a).
Impact Tape Alternatives
- Masking or Duct tape: A cheap alternative is 2″ wide masking tape – it will last for several strikes, and the ball will leave a good mark when it strikes the clubface. Duct tape lasts longer – I typically have a roll of red handy because the mark stands out better.
- Taclum Powder / Dry Shampoo / Chalk Spray: Spray this on the face of the club, and the white powder will coat the clubface. Once you hit the club, you’d then be able to see the marks left by the ball.
- Sharpie or Maker: It’s a lot of work for each shot, but my instructor used to mark up the ball with a green marker to get feedback on clubface contact. I suspect he was also trying to slow me down as well.
The Feedback Loop
High-tech golf gadgets and swing analysis software often oItpact tape, but its value lies in its simplicity. Here’s why it’s worth exploring:
- Precision Insights: Impact tape reveals where your clubface connects with the ball – the sweet spot, toe, heel, or (ugh) hosel. These insights are like breadcrumbs leading you toward better ball striking.
- Real-Time Corrections: Imagine having an invisible coach whispering in your ear after every swing. Impact tape does just that! It nudges you toward adjustments, helping you correct mishits and fine-tune your swing mechanics.
- Home Practice Advantage: Impact tape doesn’t require a trip to the driving range. You can use it at home, hitting into a net, and still get valuable feedback.
- Subtle Clues: Those seemingly innocuous marks on the tape hold secrets: Are you consistently hitting off-center? Is your clubface square at impact?
Pair It With a Launch Monitor
While impact tape provides tactile and visual cues, let’s take it up a notch by combining it with a launch monitor. In our post, “Golf Tee Height: A Data-Driven Approach,” we discussed the process for determining your optimal driver tee height, outlined in the book “Evidence-Based Golf.”
You’ll need to read the book or the article for the full process. It involves using a launch monitor paired with impact tape to determine the height that gave you the optimal combination of carry distance and clubface contact.
- Comprehensive Data: A launch monitor can offer stats like swing speed, launch angle, and spin rate. Impact tape adds an extra layer by showing you precisely where the ball is hitting the clubface.
- Instant Feedback: The launch monitor gives you numbers, the impact tape gives you a “mark.” Pair them together, and you’ve got a comprehensive picture. It’s like having a chat with a wise old golfer and a stats nerd at the same time.
- Targeted Practice: Use the launch monitor’s numbers to set your goals. Use the impact tape to track and validate your progress.
Take It Further
For some additional ideas on how to work Impact Tape into your practice routine, refer to the following posts: