Impact Snap is one of the most popular training aids in the golf industry. That's saying a lot as the market is crowded with devices that promise to fix golfers' swing flaws and most fail. It's won several awards, and I know many swing instructors that use it to help their students feel a more functional impact position.
Recently, I got a chance to try out the Impact Snap for several weeks. In this article, I'll give my impressions of who I think it's for and if it can help your swing.
What is Impact Snap Trying to Fix?
One of the issues that plague recreational golfers is struggling to get in a functional impact position. There are countless reasons why this happens. A lot of golfers find themselves "scooping" the club, which results in weaker and inconsistent ball striking. This video from the TPI website gives a nice overview of what this looks like:
One thing many skilled ball strikers have in common is how they look at impact. Often, they have a slight shaft lean with their hands ahead of the ball. It's not the holy grail of golf. You can still hit poor shots from that position, but it can give you a better chance.
The Impact Snap is designed to help train your hands and wrist to get closer to that position, rather than have your hands well behind the ball. The primary feedback of the device is a snapping noise which alerts you when you have released your wrist angle. The goal is to prevent the sound from occurring earlier in your downswing and have it "snap" closer to the moment of impact.
Anecdotally, I can tell you that working on my impact position has helped my iron play tremendously over the last several years. Recently, I had my swing analyzed on a GEARS system, which is like a CT Scan for your golf swing. You can see this image of my hands at impact, which shows my shaft leaning forward and my hands ahead of the ball. So it results in me delofting my irons slightly which helps with ball compression and shot distance.
When I first got the Impact Snap, I was a little confused by the directions. I'd encourage everyone who is thinking about purchasing it, or who just received one, to watch this video. I believe this clears up how to use it properly:
I believe in the swing concept that the product is trying to promote. For the past several years I have been training with the DST Compressor, which is a similar product. The main difference is that it uses a curved shaft and an actual golf club to provide feedback. I still use it and consider it one of my favorite tools. However, the DST Compressor is difficult to use. If you don't get your hands in the proper position, you can hit all kinds of ugly shots, which can frustrate golfers.
After using the Impact Snap for several weeks, I feel it's promoting a very similar feeling, but you're not getting the feedback of hitting a ball. Instead, you are trying to improve your wrist angles in your downswing to make the "snap" happen closer to impact rather than earlier in your downswing.
It's hard to say whether the Impact Snap has improved my swing because I am mostly doing what it's trying to promote, but for me, it's reinforcing the feeling.
In all honesty, I'm a little torn on who this product is for. My impression is that a more advanced ball striker could get bored using it because they want the feedback of a real golf shot. A product like the DST Compressor or even the Tour Striker might be more appropriate for them.
However, a beginner to the moderately-skilled golfer (especially those scoopers) might be better suited for the Impact Snap because it can help teach them the feeling without discouraging them. So I do think the Impact Snap can help certain golfers, and I can see why it has been so popular for the last several years.
Short Game Bonus
As a bonus, I think the Impact Snap can be a great tool to help people with their short games. If you rotate the handle a 1/4 turn (as they describe in the video above) and have the yellow ball rest inside your lead forearm, it can help you get the feeling of using your hands less with your chipping or pitching motion, which a lot of golfers (myself included) can struggle with.
If many players used it just for this purpose it might be the price of admission because a lot of golfers waste a ton of strokes around the greens because of active/flippy hands.
I can see why the Impact Snap is one of the training aids that's had some longevity in the golf industry, which is saying a lot because it's a brutal market to succeed in. When it comes to devices like these, it's hard for me to recommend it to everyone because of the wide range of golfers who read this site. I do think some of the feels it promotes can help certain golfers with their full swings and short game.
I worry that some golfers, especially more advanced ones, could use it several times, get bored and then stop using it. Golfers often expect instant results, and it just doesn't work that way. You've got to put some work in using a product like this and spend the time to try and transfer the feeling over to your full swing. I couldn't promise success, but it can point many of you in the right direction.
You can purchase the Impact Snap here for $99.