Golf theory often does not make sense and in a lot of cases tends to work in opposites.
One of the big misconceptions by golfers is to try to lift the ball to make it go up into the air. Actually, if the golfer drives the golf club downwards into the ball the ball will travel upwards. Find out why and how with this tip.
The ideal ball flight for a golf shot, the one that will be seen when a professional hits a golf ball, is one that travels forwards and upwards through the air gently rising to a peak before dropping down nearly vertically and stopping not far from where it landed. Conversely, when most golfers hit golf shots, the flight of the golf ball looks more like a ‘u’ shape. This is one that is straight up and down causing the ball to keep bouncing and rolling once it hits the ground rather than stopping. A ball flight such as this often means that the ball travels too high rather than being driven forward causing a loss of distance.
To generate the correct ball flight with an iron club, the golfer needs to drive the club head downwards through the back of the ball and into the ground. An action such as this means that the golf ball rolls up the face of the club which generates huge amounts of backspin as the ball drags on the club face. It is this backspin that gives the ball lift as it makes the ball rise into the air. When struck in this way, the ball will start fairly low as it has forward momentum from being struck downward. Then as the ball travels through the air, the backspin on the ball provides lift and makes the ball rise, peak and then drop. Following the strike of the ball, the golfer should find that the club head drives down into the ground approximately two to three inches after the ball and takes a divot (lump of turf) out of the ground.
If the golfer performs the opposite and tries to get under the ball and lifts the ball into the air, the initial launch of the ball is too high and there is less drag of the ball on the club face. This means that the ball begins it's journey too high with not enough backspin to keep it in the air. This action costs distance and control as the ball falls out of the sky early and then the ball bounces forwards when it lands rather than stopping.
There are many reasons why a golfer does not strike down into the ball and ground. Often these are due to misunderstanding how the ball should be hit, being scared of hitting the floor for fear of hurting themselves or that they may have had bad experiences of hitting the floor too early before the ball, creating a poor shot.
An exercise to help get the correct strike action is to place the ball on the floor and put an object approximately two inches in front of the ball on the line connecting the ball and the target. If the practice takes place on the driving range, the object could be a very small stone, or on grass it could be a tee peg placed in the ground. Focus on the object rather than the ball when taking a swing to practice hitting through the ball and down into the floor, making sure that the club head drives through the stone or tee peg.
This exercise will improve the consistency of the strike of the golf ball which leads to better shots more often with more distance.