Topping the golf ball occurs when your swing fails to hit the flat surface of the club directly across the middle of the ball. This results in a swing that only hits the top of the ball causing your swing to unnecessarily increase the force on the top portion of the ball. If you’re constantly topping the ball and you’re unsure of the reason in your technique that causes this, you may end up being frustrated.
Fortunately, there’s a few ways you can easily end avoid this common mistake.
Move closer to the ball
Either by moving closer to the ball or moving the ball back towards you, you’ll be able to avoid having the ball too far from you while setting up your stance. A common mistake that happens to amateurs developing their technique is being too far from the ball. This causes your swing to move upwards instead of down and hitting above the equator of the ball. When this happens too much force is placed on the upper portion of the ball leading to a failed and frustrating swing. If you’re looking to understand the mechanics of your swing and learn more about common swing mistakes these golfing tips may help you. The Left Rough offers more detail on topping issues if you’re really struggling.
Focus on impact area
It’s difficult to top the ball with a driver due to the larger head. However, you might run into this issue with long irons. Focus on ensuring your swing arc introduces the flat head of the club against the ball. While this may sound like common knowledge, switching between the ease of using a large headed driver and your long iron might be throwing off your ability to complete this technique properly. With the added difficulty of potentially having a club that may be shorter than you’re accustomed to you’ll want to focus on switching your technique between clubs.
Eyes on the ball
If you’ve ever played sports in high school, I’m sure you’ve heard your coach say across various spectrum of sports “keep your eyes on the ball”. This is true even among golf advocates. It makes sense for golf even more than many other sports; you’re aiming to hit the ball, why would you be looking anywhere else? If you’re having to constantly look down at your form to ensure that you’re doing it properly, chances are you need to practice your form more. You should be able to adjust your form according to club length, head size, and distance, and then pay attention to the ball while allowing your technique to come into play. If you’re not looking at where you’re about to hit it’s no wonder if you end up topping the ball.
Ego inhibits golf game, not just your personal game, but across a variety of sports to many athletes. Sometimes we must wheel things back to the basics and focus on posture. Posture plays a role in golf as much as, if not more, than other sports. Flex your knees, bend at the waist, keep your back straight, eventually this will come as second nature and you won’t even think about your posture. Run a checklist through your mind every time you set up your posture and keep these things in mind. Running a checklist through your mind every time you set up your posture is worth the effort if topping your ball has become a constant or recurring problem for your game.
Shift your weight to the left
If you’re shifting your weight to the left on your backswing, and then adjusting most of your weight onto your right, you’re going to run into issues with slicing and topping your ball. This issue sort of play into the posture, but is more about the action of swinging than the set-up. If you’re unsure if you’re doing this take a few practices swing just on the green. Where do you place your weight before, during, and after your swing? If you’re swinging in reverse pivot, you’ll have to get out of this nasty habit in order to tackle your issues with topping.
Topping the ball swing after swing is a messy experience. It makes it difficult to be patient after it happens a few times, and you may have trouble focusing on avoiding topping. Take a breath, focus on your posture, make sure the ball is a reasonable distance away, that your swing introduces the flat against the equator of the ball, and that your weight is shifted appropriately. Run through this little checklist in your head before attempting to take your next swing and eventually you’ll get over this obstacle in your golf game.