In this tip, I’m going to teach you how to cure stop topping the golf ball. Now, this is a problem that a lot of beginners have, and even some better players do this every now and again. So let’s understand why we’re topping the ball, and then we’re going to fix it.
So the first thing we want to understand is: if we’re topping the golf ball, we’re trying to hit the golf ball too hard. In that process, when you try to hit something too hard, you do two things wrong. The harder you try to hit, the more you will try to see where you’ve hit. So, in the process of looking, your body ends up coming up higher than when you first started. What that means is, from this angle, if I start on an angle, and I hit the ball on a taller angle or I’ve come up a little bit, the golf club is going to come off the ground and it’s going to hit above the equator of the golf ball. So if the club hits above the equator, it forces the ball into the ground and it ends up bounces along the fairway. So hitting hard makes me want to look which makes me come up and out of the shot. So that’s the first thing that happens when you’re trying to hit hard.
The next thing that happens when you try to hit the ball hard is that your arms buckle as you hit the ball. What that means is, if you start here with your arms extended, the arc gets narrower, so that pulls the golf club off the ground so you end up hitting the top of the ball as well. So imagine if you were trying to hit, and not only did the muscles contract, but you also lifted up, well, you’re definitely going to hit the top of the ball, you can even miss the ball completely. So, topping the ball is really caused because you’re trying to hit the golf ball too hard. So we want to reduce the arm strength as we’re hitting the ball, we don’t want to be hitting the ball with just our arms. If golf was that easy, everybody would be great. It’s not that easy in the sense that we’re just not whacking at the golf ball. We need to hit the golf ball by using our body, our arms are going to go along for the ride, and that creates a whipping action that in turn, creates a lot of club head speed and consistency because we end up making the same arc every time as we hit the golf ball.
We want to turn our arms off as we hit the ball, so from here, what we want to do first is do some easy practice swings, just little three quarter practice swings and allowing our arms to totally relax as we hit the shot, or even as we make the golf club swing and as we even hit shots. So I can just do easy little three quarter swings, allowing my arms to totally relax, and a telltale sign that you get, when you’re doing this right, is that the club will start to feel heavy. If I’m going like this, and swinging the golf club and the golf club feels light, if it’s light, you’re too tight. So, just let the golf club to feel heavy, then you know the weight of the club is allowing your arms to stretch out as the golf club swings. Allowing the arms to stretch out is a huge, huge way to allow the golf club to make better contact and stop your topping. So, we’re not trying to hit the ball, we’re allowing our arms to relax.
Now, when you go to actually hit the shot, I want you to change your thought process, and what that means is: when you’re at the very top of your backswing, I don’t want you thinking at this very moment that you’re going to be hitting anything. And at this moment, we are thinking about this leg, and we’re going to take this leg and we’re going to touch the other leg. So from right here, I go to the top, I take this leg, and I touch the other leg. That allows my body to turn, which in turn, brings the arms down and through in a whipping action to hit the golf ball. So I’m using my body to hit the ball, not my hands and arms. If you’re in that situation where you keep topping a lot of shots, I guarantee you that once you get to the top of your backswing, you’re thinking about hitting something. The harder you hit, the tighter you will get, and the more you will look to see what you’ve hit. So turn the arms off, let’s feel our body making the golf club swing.
Now, there’s one other area that I want to cover, and what’s happening is people predetermine that they will be looking at the golf ball in that raising up position. So what I’m getting at here is, if you watch average players or beginner players hit the golf ball, what they do is, they will line up to the ball, like this, and before they hit the shot, they go like this, and they look at their target with their eyes level to the ground. What happens here is: if I’ve tilted my body on an angle, and I’m going to maintain that angle as I swing, I need to be finishing with my eyes on an angle. If I finish with my eyes level to the ground, the golf club will be coming off the ground as it comes through impact and I’ll finish in this position, as opposed to this position. But what happens again is the average person is predetermining that they’re going to finish in this position because they keep looking in the distance at their target through level eyes. So, if you go like this, and you look at your target like that, why would you finish on an angle? You just looked at your target with your eyes level.
So what we want to do is, we want to swivel our head and look at our target with our eyes on an angle. What that means is: if I get ready to hit a golf ball, just before I hit, I’m going to swivel my head like this, and I’m looking out into the distance through tilted eyes. Now, as I hit the shot, I’m going to maintain an angle when I swing. It’s not the exact angle, it’s a slight angle. The exact angle is actually held until the right arm hits parallel to the ground. From right here, you’re on the same angle you were at address. Now, from to the end, you’re going to come out of it a little bit, but your eyes should still be on an angle.
So, make sure you’re not looking at your target, in the distance, in your setup position through level eyes. That’s very, very critical to stopping the top shot. Just a final drill to let you start mastering that position, all we want to do there is: we want to be watching the ball as the club hits the ball, the ball is gone, and then we are going to watch the ball go down the fairway, so, we’re delaying the reaction to looking for our ball. What that means is, if I’m like this, I want to hit the ball looking right here, after the ball is hit, I’m then going to look out in the distance for my shot. I’m delaying that reaction to hitting the ball, and in that process, what happens is, I maintain my angle long after the ball is hit. Well, remember, if we come out of the shot, we’re going to top it, so, maintaining the angle is the ideal position for us making more solid contact.
Let’s take a look at it from this view here, if I’m here like this, I’m on an angle when I setup. From here, I’m going to take the club back, I’m going to hit the ball looking here, the ball’s gone, now I can swivel my head to take a look down the fairway at where my ball went. I’m delaying the reaction to looking for the shot. Now, this is a great one for stopping the topped shots, but just be careful that you’re not hitting balls like this for an extended period of time, when you look like this, otherwise you’re really resisting and restricting your golf swing. So I would probably tee up the ball just a little, tiny bit, and just do easy shots where you’re just looking here and then you’re turning to look at your shot. Just use it as a drill just so that you get used to maintaining that angle.
So, there we go. We’re going to stop topping the golf ball by taking our arms out, we don’t want to be hitting anymore. We’re going to use our body to hit the ball. We’re going to relax our arms, we’re going to work on our touching of the legs position to hit the shot. We want to look for the golf club feeling heavy, not light. If it’s light, you’re too tight, so let the club start feeling heavy. When we do our setup position, we want to always look with our eyes on an angle at our target. So, we take our setup, we turn our head to look on an angle, and then when we’re in our follow-through position, we want to be looking at the target or the ball with our eyes on an angle. The final thing is, we want to delay the reaction to us watching the ball. The golf club’s traveling very quickly, our head is moving very slowly. So, if we’re looking here, the golf club is going to hit the ball, and then you’re going to look for it. By the time you look, the ball will already be in the air. If you’re seeing the ball take off, you’re coming out of it too soon. So, do that drill, and that will maintain the angle through impact, and it will delay your reaction to looking at your target.
That’s all I’ve got about how to cure topping the golf ball. If you can follow those things, you’re definitely going to hit the ball a lot more solidly.
All the best,