3. The Most Important Scientific Golf Fundamental You’ve Likely Never Heard Of ...

The Flat Spot Principle: when the clubface and clubhead work together along the target line you get a mechanical advantage. The ball gets struck with pure backspin and it MUST find the target. With the FSP you get a mental and physical advantage because you’re no longer fighting your golf swing.

You probably haven’t heard of the Flat Spot Principle. It happens to be the most crucial part of any swing - separating average players from good ones and is the scientific secret why the best players are so consistent (and make the game look so easy!)

So what is the FSP?

It’s the length your clubface and clubhead travel along the target line through impact. The longer the FSP the further and straighter you’ll hit the ball. The FSP is the secret to hitting longer and straighter shots consistently towards the target and the scientists and I even referred to it as the “Holy Grail”of golf instruction. It’s that important.

The Flat Spot Principle in action (Cameron’s left-handed swing). See how the clubface is still pointing to the target post impact? This is ideal and represents the Holy Grail of golf instruction. You simply CAN’T miss when you achieve this position.

Learning the Flat Spot Principle (FSP)

This is where traditional instruction may have let you down. First thing: I’m pretty certain you’re not being taught the FSP. It’s not understood by the majority of the golf instruction world. The second point is even if it was understood, traditional methods on learning it will not work.


Because most of us crazy golfers are too reliant on our conscious mind when we attempt to learn new parts to our golf swing.

We think too much and try too hard and although this seems like the right thing to do, it’s actually the reason why we struggle so much.

The swing lacks any flow or rhythm (because we are thinking too much)

We have trouble feeling our swing because our minds are overloaded with lots of instruction.

And without being able to feel our swing, there’s little awareness. And without awareness, there’s very little learning going on.

And this creates a vicious cycle that results in more information being pumped in.

To go deeper with the FSP and gain the full benefit, you need to be thinking less. You need to be able to feel your swing, especially into the downswing and impact phase.

And all this requires some trust.

Trust that your learning system is capable of making improvements.

And trust that you can hit the ball without all that rubbish spinning around in your mind.

Simply, you need to let go.

The FSP isn’t concerned with how pretty your golf swing is or even how talented you are – it has nothing to do with it.

If you get the FSP right, it doesn’t matter what your golf swing looks like. You can have an ugly swing and still hit the ball consistently well time after time. So spending hours working on your backswing plane, address position and grip will probably have little impact on you achieving the FSP.

Side note: The opposite is also true - get the FSP right and your grip, stance and swing plane will adjust naturally. It’s an amazing win-win situation that simplifies the game.

The FSP is the reason guys like Jim Furyk have “ugly” golf swings but still compete with the best players in the world.

And it gets better.

The flat spot is the secret to improved timing. You know how really good players make the game look easy? Well the FSP is the reason. By having the clubhead and clubface working together, it gives you more “time” to make the swing. It’s another mechanical advantage that makes the game significantly easier.

The FSP gives you the inner confidence to hit the ball hard and still find the target. When you achieve a flat spot in your golf swing you’ll start to swing the club with more confidence.

But the only way to get there is to start to let go of all those technical instructions you’ve been using in the past.

Swing theories
Backswing theories
Downswing theories
Swing Plane theories (most of these are really bad because they totally stifle your swing)
Quick tips and fixes
Gimmicks and miracle cures

You need to swing in a way that enhances your learning machine and still allows your golf swing to move gracefully.

For many years I’ve been referring to this process as,

Letting your golf swing dance

It’s a great analogy because dancers are rarely stiff, tight and over-controlled. They are the opposite.

And when you introduce some freedom into your golf game, your learning system shines.

And from here, learning something as profound as the FSP becomes a million times easier.

If you’re ready, let’s dig a little deeper into the FSP.

Using the FSP to Cure a Slice, Hook or Miss-hits

The Slice

The weak slice is caused by coming from outside to in. I know you’ve been told this a thousand times before.

But the only way to have any chance of finding the target is to keep the clubface open through impact. This motion is incredibly difficult to master and usually leads to an inconsistent golf game.

And because you’re only brushing the back of the ball your game lacks power. Your swing may feel powerful but you’ll continually be let down by an insipid banana ball.

The “over the top” move is notoriously difficult to correct because you are not getting feedback quickly enough. In most cases you don’t know you have made a mistake until well after the shot has been made. And this is the reason why a slice is so hard to correct.

You have no confidence in your swing and the harder you try, the weaker you hit the ball and the further it slices. It can feel like one step forwards but then two back.

The Hook

The hook shot can be really nasty. Although you may experience more power, the hook is almost impossible to control. The ball will start to the right and then snap sharply back to the left.

The hook is hard to control because the clubface is closing abruptly through impact. Some days you’ll be on but on other days you can be miles off. Your game is most likely inconsistent and you’re frustrated to the point of hating the game. And you’re frustrated because some days you can play exceptionally well - but your bad days are so far apart from your good that there’s no logical explanation.

And then it gets worse. Because your swing is hard to control you start “steering” the swing. This is when you’re not giving the shot your full attention and you start making weak passes at the ball. Once this happens fear and self-doubt kicks in and it’s not long before your game is on a downward spiral. You may even experience the swing yips and golf becomes 4 hours of torture.


Do you miss-hit often? Then you’re not delivering the middle of the clubface to the back of the ball. It’s a simple explanation but that’s really all there is to it.

With the FSP you gain a mechanical and mental advantage because the sweet-spot is being presented to the back of the ball. Time after time. Shanks, duffs, blocks and tops are not possible or at least minmized.

In all poor shots, the clubface and clubhead are rarely working together (if at all). If you can increase the length of your flat spot then you’ll see and immediate improvement in your ball flight. Once this happens your confidence and consistency improves and you’ll be shooting better scores which ultimately leads to greater enjoyment. From here learning and improvement are the natural byproduct.

Here’s something else : I have researched learning and performance for over 20 years. And one thing is for certain. If you want to play your best golf you can’t be going to the golf course with lots of thoughts and ideas running through your head.

Listen. The FSP could be the easiest and simplest way to reducing all the garbage that you tend to think about. It helps you think less and play more. And nothing promotes stellar play more than a golfer who can swing freely and truly enjoy his time out on the golf course.

I know the golf swing is important to you...

... but at some point you need to let go of technical thoughts and simply hit the ball.

You’ve got to play the game.

And this is why I have worked hard to translate the complicated data into something simple. There was no point in creating another confusing golf book full of those technical (and complicated) theories.

We need a way to take information and apply it to our game.

This is the only way to allow learning to take place.

So keep thoughts to a minimum. Strive for a simple objective and repeat. Once you have the basics of the golf swing down, it’s now time to play.

Hit the ball. Have fun. Play the game. It’s the very best way.

Here’s a great little exercise to start the ball rolling …

Grab your 7 iron and head outside. No ball necessary.

Make some swings with full awareness on what your swing is doing. See if you can sense the clubhead and feel what is happening. And if you can sense the weight of the clubhead in your hands from start to finish, then you are well ahead of the curve.

This backyard 7 iron drill is one of my all time favourites and golfers, for the most part, don’t do enough of it.

We are asleep. We don’t know what we are doing. Our swings are a mystery. When we do practice we fill our minds with rubbish and worry too much where the ball is going.

But with this drill (only takes a few minutes each week), you can make huge breakthroughs with your game. You might even wake up and start to feel (and experience) things with your swing that you’ve never felt before.

The Flat Spot Principle

Let’s look at the crucial phase of the swing in more detail. For you to achieve the FSP you must increase the time your clubface and clubhead travel along the target line. If your golf is not as consistent as you’d like, then I can almost guarantee you have no (or a very small) flat spot. A longer flat spot MUST give you straighter shots. Straighter shots also gives you more distance (because the ball isn’t spinning off into the trees, rough or water).

If fixing your swing is important to you then you MUST take the FSP seriously. It’s almost the only swing principle you need because if you get this part of your swing right, the rest of your swing becomes irrelevant. Do you really care if you have some funky move in your golf swing but can keep delivering the clubface squarely to the back of the ball?

In these photos I’ve reversed my swing to a right-handed version so the vast majority of right-handed players get a better view.

Notice how square the clubface is at impact (the ball is only going one place) and even after impact the club is still relatively square – there is no major closing of the clubface (like many golfers have). This is the secret of longer and straighter shots and really can only be learned when you have more awareness of your FSP

Let me be very clear here: I have learned to achieve a Flat Spot not because I spent hours and hours trying to achieve specific positions.

Nope. I did try all that but I failed miserably.

I learned the FSP and was able to master the process because I was able to swing freely and trust in my natural learning system.

There was less worry about the swing, and more focus on letting go and swinging for the fences.

Not only was this way more enjoyable, success happened as a natural side effect.

Another win-win.

And when I talk to technical golfers who love their swing to bits, if I can get them to let go, even for a few minutes, they almost always find something interesting.

A better swing. Less stress. More freedom. Some wonderful insight that unlocks THEIR best version of their own swing.

It’s powerful stuff.

And talking of “powerful”, learning to swing this way is absolutely the best way of unleashing your inner power reserves. You get more power with the least amount of effort.

Let’s keep going. We are certainly making progress.