Topping the golf ball can be a common error for many amateur golfers. I have written some posts on this in the past but today I came across a drill by Michael Breed that I hadn’t seen before and thought it was awesome! Topping the golf ball comes from allowing the club to catch up to the hands in the golf swing and by trying to hit the ball in the air. You need to remember that the club you have in your hand is lofted. The loft of the club will get the ball in the air not you scooping the ball. Scooping the ball actually lifts the blade of the club and because the golf ball is so small it is so easy for this blade to hit the middle of the ball….and that causes a skinny or topped shot.

The key is to hit down slightly on the ball. This means you hit the ball first, then the ground. You will actually take a divot after the ball. In order to do this you need the hands to be forward of the ball when the club impacts the ball. This makes is near impossible to blade the ball. This drill will help you to do this and you can really start to improve your swing.


In order to complete this drill you need an old club shaft and the club you want to practice with. In the video above, Michael Breed places the shaft on the ground and demonstrates what you don’t want to be doing. When you play a scooping shot into the shaft you have placed on the ground, the shaft will lift off the ground and may even flip over. This is exactly what you don’t want.

What you do want is the shaft to remain on the ground but move straight forward. This can only happen if your hands remain in front of the club at impact. In order to practice this simply place the shaft of the ground (pointing towards the target). Take your club and only make a very small back swing. From here hit the shaft with your club. If you ensure that your hands are in a forward position at impact the shaft should move slightly forward without lifting off the ground.

Once you have practiced this a few times you can then play a few shots with the ball. It is important to keep the hands forward of the ball at impact. This will help you to not only stop hitting the ball thin (or topping the ball) but will also help you increase the distance of your shots.

Filed under: Golf Lessons

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