Topping the ball is one of the most frustrating shots the average player can hit. You will often hear that the cause of topping the ball is that you are “looking up” or “raising your body up too early”. Although this is true, you have to ask yourself the question, WHY are you looking up? If you can answer this question, you will finally eliminate the topped shots from your game forever!
There are a couple of reasons why you would look up. In this tip, we will look at what is causing you to look up before you even take the club back (in the next tip we will talk about what causes you to look up when you are actually hitting the ball). This is a problem I bet you didn’t even realize that you are doing … until now.
If you look at the color picture of me in my set up position you will see that when I look at my target, I do so, through tilted eyes. The black and white picture depicts how the average player looks to the target with level eyes.
Why Looking at Your Ball Through Tilted Eyes is So Important
If you take your set up position and look at your target through level eyes you’re telling yourself that this is the way you want to watch your ball fly through the air once it is hit. Unfortunately, this will cause you to raise your body up through the shot and finish with your eyes level (black and white picture below). If you raise your body up through impact the club will come off of the ground slightly causing you to top the ball.
Now, if you could set up to the ball and look at the target through tilted eyes each and every time before you hit the ball, you will be telling yourself that this is the way you want to watch your ball fly. If you watch your ball fly through the air this way, you will maintain your spine angle throughout the shot. If you maintain your spine angle throughout the shot, your club will make consistent contact with the ball and you will finish on a tilt as seen in the color picture below.
Why Do You Want to Look Through LEVEL Eyes?
The reason to watch your ball fly through “level” eyes as opposed to “tilted” eyes is quite simple, it’s because you walk around in everyday life looking through level eyes. This means that you naturally want to see things this way. If you walked around everyday with your head tilted to one side you wouldn’t even be reading this tip. Unfortunately, watching your ball fly through tilted eyes is easier said than done because it goes against what you want to do naturally. Now that you know how important it is and how it effects your golf swing, you will want to get used to it no matter how uncomfortable it may be.
How to Work On It?
The best way to work on watching your ball through tilted eyes is to do some practice swings towards a mirror or while watching your reflection in a large pane of glass. As you take your set up position, take a look at the reflection of yourself imagining that you are looking at your target. Make sure that when you do, you see that your eyes are tilted like the picture of me at address.
Now, take a swing and stop when you have hit the finish position. Again, take a look at yourself and check to see that when you finish, your eyes are also tilted (this tilt should only be slight DO NOT be too tilted or you will put too much pressure on your lower back). You should be watching the ball fly through the air with tilted eyes as I am in the follow through position (color picture). If you notice that after you swing through your eyes are level you are going to have to keep practicing until you have mastered tilted eyes. If you do, you will finally be on your way to stopping those topped shots.
All the best,