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Correct Golf Answer Drive the bodyweight forward

A topped golf shot is one where the golfer swings too high into the ball meaning that the bottom of the golf club makes contact with the top of the golf ball at impact. This causes the ball to run along the ground only for a very short distance.

Most golfers, and particularly beginners, suffer from this problem throughout their golfing lives. The main cause of the shot occurs from the golfer trying to slide the golf club under the ball by leaning back and lifting the golf ball up into the air.

Unfortunately, an iron golf club has not been designed to get under the ball to lift it. In quite the opposite fashion, it has instead been designed to produce maximum lift and distance by descending downwards and through the ball on impact. The club face should therefore contact the golf ball before reaching the bottom of the arc of the swing, and then drive into the ground. The loft of the club face can then produce the lift and back spin needed to make the ball climb into the air.

For maximum distance and control, the golf club should descend into the ball and then continue its downward journey into the ground.

To achieve this action, the bottom of the swing arc needs to be positioned just in front of the ball at the impact position as this is where the golf club will strike the ground. It is the bodyweight that dictates where the bottom of the swing arc is. Lean back and it will be behind the golf ball and forward (80% at impact is the ideal) it will be in front of the ball.

Get your bodyweight driving forward with this drill:

1. Get a mid iron such as a 7 iron and put a tee peg in the ground at a point opposite the front foot. (This is normally far too far forward for this golf club)
2. Take some practice swings and try to clip the tee peg in the floor.
3. In the pause between the back swing and the down swing feel that the hips drive sideways towards the target, positioning the body weight on the front leg before the down swing.
4. Keep the weight on the front foot through the down swing and it should be much easier to clip the tee peg opposite the front foot. Also, you should find that it is easier to turn through the ball and finish the swing in a classic position - stood tall and facing the target with all of the body weight on the front leg.
5. Put a ball on the forward tee peg and hit some shots.
6. Bring the ball back to a normal ball position but keep the weight moving forwards with the hips in between the back and down swing.

Use this drill to drive the body forward and strike downward through the ball and never hit a top shot again.

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Keeping the weight on the front foot in the back swing is called a reverse pivot and causes all sorts of problems in the down swing. It is important to let the weight shift backwards in the back swing motion as it gives the golfer solid balance and enables a generation of coil in the back swing for a release of power into the ball. It is important for the weight to be forward at impact but not for the entirety of the golf swing.

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Using the arms in the swing usually causes the golfer to pull up at impact creating more likelihood of a topped shot. As the arms can only bend at the elbow, in using them all that can happen is to shorten the distance between the body and the ball meaning that the club head rises through impact and connects with the top of the ball.

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Good posture is critical at set up. Just because you are topping the golf ball does not mean that your posture is incorrect. In fact leaning forward too much will mean that you do not have enough room to strike the ball and so you are more likely to either stand up or pull up through impact resulting in the increased chance of a top shot.