How to Stop Topping the Golf Ball

a golfer topping the golf ball

Ok, you want to learn how to stop topping the golf ball…. You dream of hitting a strong straight drive down the middle of the fairway, but in return your drive produces a weak bobble after you catch the top half of the ball.

Let’s start with:

What Causes Topped Shots?

There are several reasons why you may be hitting a topped golf shot. The main reasons that could be behind your topped shots are:

  • You’re lifting your body up at impact or just before. This causes your club face to rise increasing the height in which you contact the golf ball (produces a ‘nearwhiff’ attempt). The ball then trickles off from the tee to the front of you.
  • You’re using a steep golf swing which produces an inside out approach. This approach can cause the clubhead to bounce on the ground before contact with the ball. This is known as a ‘dropkick’ in golfing terms.
  • You’re swing is again on a steep plane but this time it’s on an outside-in plane. This then results in a ‘thin skim’ of the golf ball, causing it to scurry away in front of you.

How to Stop Topping the Golf Ball

Before we carry on, here’s a great video on how to stop topping the golf ball – I hope it helps you!

The Near-Whiff (Raising up at impact)
To make sure you stay down throughout the shot, you need to keep you knees flexed and relaxed throughout the swing movement, while also keeping your back foot heel on the ground for as long as you can.

Try not to scoop the golf ball, instead concentrate on swinging smoothly throughout the swing, turning your right shoulder ( if you’re right handed) under your chin. Remember, you do not need to do the work to get the ball in the air, the club will do that for you.

topping follow throughThe Dropkick (Your swing plane is too inside-out)
Now, an inside-out swing plane can be goo din some cases, such as when you’re trying to add distance by attempting to hit a draw shot for instance. However, if you’re trying to hit a straight drive, it becomes a big hindrance. It’s here when you overdo it it can lead to a topped golf shot.

To stop topping the ball here you need to try and hit the inside quadrant of the golf ball, and then as you follow through your club needs to be parallel to your target line. A good way to make sure your club is parallel is by pretending you’re trying to throw your club at the target on follow through (As pictured on the left).

The Thin Skim (You have a steep swing that is too outside-in)

Here you need to keep your right shoulder from pulling across the ball which leads to a topped shot. Start by making sure your right shoulder is lower than your left on setup. (Left lower if you’re left handed).

Your right elbow (left if your left handed) needs to be bent in slightly, so it’s closer to your torso than your left elbow. These small changes in your driver setup will help you stay on the correct swing plane throughout the golf swing, cutting out any topping and creating a straight solid drive.

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