How to Stop Topping the Golf Ball (“Stop the Top!”)
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It’s infuriating to prepare for a shot and take a good swing only to watch the golf ball dribble in front of you instead of flying across the fairway.
Many say that topping the ball is embarrassing, and although it may feel that way, it’s entirely normal for many players. And, luckily, fixable with this “how to stop topping the golf ball” guidance.
To stop topping the golf ball, you’ll need to figure out why you’re doing so in the first place and correct your position, posture, or swing. You may be holding your club wrong, or it could be too short.
Other issues include tempo, reverse pivoting, and an unsteady head.
Most golf topping errors are simple fixes and solved with a simple tweak. Here’s how to stop topping the golf ball:
- Standing in the correct posture
- Standing in the correct position
- Keeping your swing in mind
- Using the tuck-your-shoulder trick
- Stopping reverse pivoting
- Ensuring you don’t sway
- Getting your tempo right
- Holding your club correctly
- Using the correct length club
1. Stand In The Correct Posture And Position
The proper posture can take some work to get right, but it will cure most topping, thin, and fat shots.
If you’re looking for the best golf lessons, you’ll want to start with the fundamentals. The correct posture, for example, entails keeping your knees flexed (not bent), while keeping your back straight and your arms loose.
You should also strive to keep your chest centered between your evenly-spaced heels.
2. Stand In The Correct Position
The ball must be in line with the center of your chest or an inch or two to your left (if you’re right-handed). To create a good relationship with the golf ball and iron club, you should start with the handle slightly angled in front of the ball.
3. Keep Your Swing In Mind
Swinging in golf is an art. Your aim is to hit down on the golf ball in the center for it to go up, as your club will do the work to get it airborne. Your club should only touch the ground after you make contact with the ball.
Your swing should act like a pendulum and curve downward before moving up again, where the lowest point of the curve is a few inches in front of the ball.
You should distribute your weight slowly onto your front foot as you swing downwards so your lower body can lead the shot.
4. Tuck Your Shoulder Trick
Your shoulders play a crucial role in your swing, and positioning them can be tricky, but luckily there is an easy way to get it right. To start your shot and use the tuck trick, you should keep your body straight and your weight evenly distributed.
Start your backswing by moving your arms backward, tucking your left shoulder under your chin if you’re a righty, and pause for a second. Then you should swing forward by untucking your shoulder and moving your weight into the left foot.
5. Prevent Yourself From Reverse Pivoting
As you take a shot, your weight distribution could cause you to top the golf ball. A reverse pivot is when you distribute your weight opposite to what you’re supposed to – a common occurrence due to instincts getting in the way.
Your weight should start evenly, move to your back foot on your backswing, and move with the club onto your front foot as you approach the golf ball.
6. Ensure You Don’t Sway
Swaying while taking a shot could be a topping recipe, so you’ll need to practice taking them correctly by means of practice drills.
Swaying happens when you move your hips laterally as you take the shot, for example, swaying backward on the backswing and moving your hips towards it.
It would be best to let most of your effort come from your arms rather than your hips. To help stop you from swaying, you should lean into your back knee on the backswing and takeaway to restrict your hips from moving.
7. Get Your Tempo Right
Coming into the swing too aggressively could be your topping downfall. It’s natural to want to go all-in when playing golf to watch the ball soar, but a cool and calculated shot will get you further.
By taking a shot too intensely, you could be gripping your club too tightly, throw off your weight distribution, and mess up your arm and shoulder timing. It’s best to take it easy for a better, more relaxing game.
8. Make Sure Your Club Is The Right Length
It’s easy to get your swing wrong and top the ball if your club is too short. You may need a closer stance to the ball if your club is shorter.
Otherwise, it might be time to buy new clubs! Short clubs could also cause you to bend and eventually cause back problems.
You can measure your clubs and compare them to a chart or get a professional fitting done.
9. Hold The Club Correctly
If you experience many topping fails, you could be choking down on your club. Although choking the club is useful sometimes, overdoing it can cause problems. Try holding your club closer to the top of your grip for a quick fix.
If you already hold your club near the top, it could be too short for you, which causes your swing to fall short.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best topping cure is prevention, so you’ll need to diagnose why you keep topping so you can hit the nail on the head regarding your faults. It helps to know why topping happens and things you can do to help solve the issue.
Why Does Topping Happen?
Failing to make consistent and proper contact is the frustration of many golfers in their beginning stages.
Topping happens when your clubface hits above the equator of the golf ball, causing it to dribble a weak couple of feet away from where the shot took place.
Topping occurs because your swing hits the lowest point before or too much after it contacts the golf ball or does not reach the ground as it should. If your club does not contact the ground during your swing, your arc is too high in relation to the ball.
If you hit the ground before or way after topping the ball, it could be the cause of multiple reasons, such as position, posture, or swaying incorrectly.
What Are Some Drills To Stop Topping From Happening?
Practice makes progress and eventual perfection. Golfing drills are your best buddy for fixing almost any issue you have, especially topping.
There are many tutorials on drills to cure the topping nightmare, so it may be time to get out there and warm up before your next game.
Stripping back to the basics may seem tedious, but it helps you master your shot and find out where you go wrong. These simple golfing drills will help you put an end to your topping issues, along with thin shot issues.
Practice Using A Guideline
You can use a golfing mat with lines in your drill or duct tape to create one to visualize your shot as you practice. Stand in front of the line so that it is parallel to you.
You’ll want the line to be centered or up to three inches off-center to the left (if you’re right-handed), depending on the nature of your swing.
Stand ready to take your shot, keeping good posture. You will be practicing your swing, so you can start without the ball and bring it into the drill at a later stage.
Start practicing your shot while visualizing the ball, and aim for the lowest point of your swing to meet after the line by a maximum of three inches.
Start small with chipping shots and work your way up to half, three-quarters, and full shots as you’re satisfied with your progress.
Your aim in this practice is to have your shot hit the ball first and the ground second, so the line is in reference to the ball, and where your club hits the grass is the bottom of your arc.
This drill will help you get used to the weight and feel of your club when you take shots.
Perfect Your Arm Position
This drill works better if you’ve done the first drill a few times. The combination of perfecting your swing along with this body arm position drill should lead you to topping-free shots.
The straighter your arms are, the less likely you are to top your ball, so the drill is to practice ghost shots and concentrate on keeping your arms straight while aligning your shoulders, weight, and body movements.
You can keep practicing ghost shots until you’re confident enough to bring in the golf ball and admire your progress.
Conclusion: How to Stop Topping the Ball in Golf
It might take a simple fix to stop topping your golf ball and a bit of practice. You’ll need to ensure correct posture, ball position, and weight distribution.
You should keep the physics of swinging in mind so that your arc meets the ground after you hit the golf ball.
The answer could also be the need for a longer golf club or to place your stance closer to the ball.