This article will give you the tips and advice that you need to keep from topping the ball when you are swinging your golf club. You will also learn what causes you to come over the top and how to correct it.
What is topping the ball in golf:
Coming over the top is usually defined as taking the clubhead on a high, underneath plane into impact with the ball.
In other words, your driver, or whichever club you are hitting, will be sitting higher than it should when you make contact with the ball.
This occurs because of an issue in your swing where you muscles and tendons are not able to release properly as you make contact with the ball. What this means is that you are holding onto the club head too tightly and pulling it upwards, rather than letting the clubhead come through by itself on a smooth plane of motion when your hands are relaxed.
Why do people come over the top in golf:
First and foremost, topping a ball happens because of tension.
If you are holding onto your club too tightly for comfort, you will have nervous energy that causes tension throughout your body.
This tension can be felt in your arms and hands, as well on the club face. This tension leads to what is known as a "violent" release through impact with the golf ball.
Golfers who are constantly topping their shots will almost always have very tight forearms and wrists during their swing motion, which adds to the tension they feel through impact.
In order to cure topping a ball, you will have to rid yourself of the tension that is causing you to over manipulate your shots.
How to stop coming over the top in golf:
1. Relax your arms:
When you are holding the club tightly, there is no way for your muscles to release naturally as you make contact with the ball.
Minimizing tension in your forearms and wrists will allow for a more natural movement of your arm through impact and a smoother swinging motion. Relaxing your arms will also eliminate that feeling of tightness in your hands that you normally experience when you are coming over the top.
2. Relax your grip:
A tighter grip will cause you to push or pull your shots through impact because it is difficult for your wrists and forearms to release naturally with too much force from gripping your club too tightly. The feeling of tightness in your wrists should be eliminated when you try to relax your grip a bit.
3. Think ahead:
The reason why golfers come over the top is because they are constantly thinking about their swing and how it feels as they take each shot. If you are trying to focus on swinging perfectly, this will usually come at the expense of relaxing your body and arms.
Instead, try to make peace with the fact that you will always have some tension in your muscles because it is a natural part of swinging a golf club. All you should think about before taking any shot is what direction you want the ball to go, how hard you want to hit it, and where you want your body to set up.
4. Set up properly:
To avoid topping a shot because of tension in your arms and hands, you will need to find the right grip setup when addressing the ball at address. If you are gripping the club too tightly on either side (right or left), you will need to adjust your grip so that you are gripping the club more in the middle of
your hands. This will allow for a smoother swing motion with less tension throughout impact.
5. Practice a proper swing:
A relaxed arm motion from setup to impact leads to fewer topping shots in golf, so don't try to rush or fix flaws in your swing when practicing or playing.
All you should be focusing on when practicing is moving your body in a smooth, rhythmic motion that leads to the ball flying as far as possible. If you release naturally through impact, your hits will feel smoother and more accurate.
You may still have some topping shots every now and then if you make an error, but a relaxed motion will help eliminate the tension that causes your hands to pull the club upwards on impact.
Drill To Fix fix topping a shot in your golf game
A great way to fix topping a shot is through the use of a drill known as the "club up drill"
This will help you eliminate tension through your shoulders and arms, which will allow for a smooth swing without coming over the top on your backswing.
- Take 8-10 balls with you out to the range
- Stand 10-20 feet behind the ball (depending on your yardage) with your club face pointed at the target.
- Start with having your arms straight down to your side and hit several balls in this position, trying to feel as if you are making a swing without swinging the club.
- When you feel comfortable with this, gradually start to swing your arms back along the arc of a proper backswing (while still holding the club in the same position) until you are at full extension and hitting balls again. This drill will feel strange the first time that you do it, but it will help eliminate tension from your upper body and will lead to more consistent, accurate shots from the tee box.
5 Practice this drill for a few minutes at a time until you are confident that you can stop topping your shots while on the range or course. As always, make sure to practice in front of an instructor if you are not sure about how far back you should start or if you are topping your shots off the tee.
- Use a rangefinder:
One of the most effective ways to eliminate topping shots is through the use of a rangefinder. This will make sure that you hit each shot with the same power and angle, which will allow for much more consistency in your game. If you are consistently trying to muscle the ball or hit it too hard into the wind, your rangefinder will tell you how far that shot would travel and what club should be used to fix any inconsistencies in your game.
- Practice at home:
While a rangefinder is a great tool for fixing topping problems, they can also be expensive and hard to use for beginners. If you are not sure about how to properly set up your rangefinder or understand some of the readings that it gives, consider using a towel to practice hitting tops and bottoms at home.
Place a towel on the ground in front of you, halfway between your feet and a target with something behind it such as a wall or even a chair. Then, set up your rangefinder so that it is measuring the distance from your club face to the towel when you swing through impact. Once this is done, take several swings at the bottom of the towel aiming to hit it as softly as possible (or with tops, hitting about halfway down the towel) and see how it feels and how far the ball travels.
Fixing topping a shot in golf is not as hard as it seems! All you need to do is break down each part of your swing and practice the motion that leads to the ball flying straight and far. Take some time every day if possible, or even once per week, to go out on the range and practice hitting balls with a club up. This will help take some time off your shots and ensure that you are not hitting them too hard or too far to the side.
If you have any questions about what was covered in this article or if you want to suggest additional ways to help stop topping shots please comment below! I would love to hear your thoughts