Golf Tips And Lessons

How to Stop Yourself From Topping the Golf Ball

Topping the ball is more common than one might think. It can become an even bigger problem when playing the irons. Let's take a look at this common problem and see if we cannot fix it.

Topping the ball often results when we perform a flat swing. What happens is the club face hits the ball somewhere above the ball's equator, and we end up with a thin, flat shot.

Another cause for the topped ball is standing too straight at address.

For those new to golf, a flat swing is one that looks more like a baseball bat being swung than a golf club (well, sort of, anyway). The club comes back too horizontally and too low, and this is known as a flat swing.

Standing too tall, or too straight, leads to topping the ball because your club path is too vertical as it comes into contact with the ball.

Here is a simple drill that can help you avoid hitting those flat, topped golf shots.

You will need a mid-iron, a few tees, and a couple of balls.

Tee up a ball and then set another tee into the ground about 4 inches back. Address the teed ball as you normally do, and slowly begin your backswing.

If you are performing your normal golf backswing, your club should just barely tap the tee you set up in back.

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Now, do another backswing but this time lift your club enough so that it just misses the back tee. Complete your golf swing as you normally do. If you end up hitting both tees, you are coming in too flat. If you come in missing the back tee, you are coming in properly. In other words, you do not want to hit that back tee.

This drill helps to remind you to come in at a steeper angle. This steeper angle will help you get down below the equator of the ball and that is the key to overcoming a topping problem.

The importance of being able to come in at this steeper angle is amplified when it comes to playing the irons in your bag. Good iron play and wedge play depends on you being able to hit down on the ball rather than trying to "scoop" it up and out.

For those who are standing too tall, some bend in the knees is vital to a powerful, controlled golf shot. If your knees are straight and locked, you are not in a good golfing posture and will almost certainly have problems with all of your shots.

Standing too tall also restricts your hips from doing what they need to do during the swing and can affect your weight transfer throughout the entire swing. None of this leads to solid golfing.

For those who may be swinging the club more in the style of a baseball bat than a golf club, a couple of pointers:

Many golfers who end up hitting a flat shot do so because they have way too much action going on above the hips. Have a local pro or experienced golfer take a look at you while you do a few practice swings. This is really the only way to narrow down the problem, and it is one that you cannot normally find by looking into a mirror.

Topping the ball can be fixed if you put in a bit of time and apply the techniques needed for your situation. Once you solve your topping problem, you will begin to enjoy this game a lot more.

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If you would like a complete guide to correcting your topping problem and any other golfing issues may have, "The Simple Golf Swing" system is worth a look:

Don't give up. You can do this!

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