Is there anything more frustrating than topping the ball?? You take a mighty cut at the ball and it goes rolling over the ground…like a putt…and it always seems to happen when you need to get the ball in the air….like when there is a water hazard or a sand trap in front of you. If the above scenario decribes you, not to worry we have the info you need in your golf performance to cure thin shots.
All of your well-meaning friends and even some so called experts will tell you… “you lifted your head” or “you looked up”…etc. In fact I believe that if you ventured to the deepest darkest rain forests in South America and found one of the lost tribes sheltered from civilization, even they would have heard that in golf the most important thing is to keep your head down….it’s that pervasive. Well I’m here to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth… in fact if you keep your head down you are more likely to top the ball.
There are a couple of key factors at work when you top the ball:
- Make sure your posture is correct. This means that at address you should set more angle from your hip joint forward with the upper body (kind of a bow to the ball) and less flex in the knees. Too often I see the “sitting on the barstool” posture at address which influences the club to swing on too flat of a plane so you have trouble finding the bottom of the ball. The correction for this is to tilt more at address and let the club swing up on the shoulder plane and back down to the ground on the through swing.
- Keep turning through. If the posture is correct the plane angle will be correct but if you fail to turn through, the left shoulder works up and the club goes with it. As for the whole keeping your head down thing…think “keep your eyes on the ball” instead. Once contact is made let your eyes trace the flight of the ball and that will allow you to keep turning through to a beautiful finish.
Make a few practice swings and you should start to find a little turf at the bottom of the swing….that’s what you are looking for.
Remember, golf is challenging and sometimes we need an extra set of eyes or hands to help us with our performance from time to time. We recommend a lesson from a qualified swing coach and a manual therapy session once a month at a minimum just to maintain your current level of play.
Correct core and collateral strength along with proper mechanic and strengthening is the key to longevity in any sport and solid performance.
Dave Bisbee, Director of Golf 7 Canyons-Sedona/ Michael Rende OTR, TPI-MP3