15 Insanely Easy Ways to Stop Topping the Ball

Dan Gold
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Section 1: Improving your ball skills is key to stop topping the ball

Few things in life are more humbling than in sharing the court with a player who can rock the ball to and fro until she sees fit to put it in.

Topping the ball is like iron deficiency, bad breath or an ingrown toenail – something we really don’t want others to notice.

In this ebook, you’ll learn the different reasons why people top the ball, and the simple and practical things you can do to prevent it.

After reading this, you’ll no longer think of stopping the ball as an impossible goal. No more sleepless nights covering and uncovering the ball in the middle of the night, trying to figure out the exact angle, force and placement of your hand.

Move the ball back in your stance

One of the most common causes of topping the ball is an incorrect ball position.

You should try moving your ball back in your stance and see if this helps you stop topping.

This ball position allows you to turn your body away from the target more easily.

This should give you more room to swing through the ball and hit it lower.

A ball position too far forward will force you to lift the ball up, instead of hitting it through the ball, which will result in trapping the ball above the ground.

Deliver your club on the right arc into the ball

Let’s face it: If you watch golf on TV and see a great player’s swing, it looks a little like an image out of a geometry textbook. The clubhead moves down the target line and back toward the ball a bit more to the right than when the forearms were parallel. This arc makes for straighter shots.

The trick is to get into the habit of creating this swing arc even when you’re in recovery mode and have stopped the swing. Your club will go up on the same right-leaning angle and down on the left again. The clubhead will therefore reach the ball on the same type of angle it left your hands. That way you will be better set up to follow through straight down the target line and hit your shots straight.

Drop in a few practice swings between shots to get into this rhythm, then bring the maneuver into your swing. Use it on the straightaway and on the tee box. And the more you practice, the more you will perfect this technique.

Don’t hit the ball too hard

When you are first getting started with your golf game, you are inclined to hit the ball hard in order to make sure that you go as far as possible. However, you need to be careful about this as it is essential for you to understand that the opposite is in fact the case. You should try to hit the ball with the proper club head speed if you want to go as far as possible. If you fail to do this then you may find that your distance is not as far as you would like it to be. Furthermore, you will need to strike the ball with precision if you are going to be able to control your ball as well. If you think that this may be a problem for you, you might want to see if you can take some golf lessons in hopes that this will help you out.

Keep your eyes on the ball

This is certainly one of the biggest problems with golfers of all abilities. You find yourself blowing up one ball after another, or hitting it in the trees for what seems like the hundredth time this year.

It all boils down to one thing, and that’s not seeing the ball properly. If you watch professional golfers, you will see that they have an effective swing and this is what makes them look so good. You might think you just aren’t good enough, but that’s not the case.

You can see the video below that offers techniques to maintain your focus on the golf ball and avert your gaze.

Section 2: Posture will make you top the ball if not done right

Have you ever gone to play on the pool table without any intent to beat your friends and then suddenly you are beating them?

And when you realize that you and say, hey that was not my intention but I just shot perfectly that part of your brain got activated.

So what was the neural activity that was occurring?

Your intention is the neural activity.

Audition gets aware of intention and then your brain’s activity goes to the action that you want to do.

Not only in the pool table but in your life as well, this is what happens unconsciously.

Come to think of it now and it also explains why you do not succeed for the most part.

Because you have intentions and then you do things without even being aware of the neural activity that takes place that makes you do those things.

For instance, you might intend to lose some weight and then tried some things to lose some weight and then you don’t lose any weight.

Why?

Because you are not aware of what takes place in your brain to create an outcome.

So what do you do?

You then go to another doctor then go and buy another diet program.

Why?

Because you don’t know what the intention truly is.

Maintain correct posture throughout your swing

As you walk through the park on your way to your local 9 hole course, you notice two guys hitting golf balls from the same tee box.

One of them is really struggling to get it airborne, whereas the other guy hammers it from A to B effortlessly.

The easily airborne one is using better equipment, but equipment alone is not going to save you if your fundamentals are wrong.

The fundamentals will never go away. You can have the best clubs in the world, but if, when playing, your posture is wrong, or your alignment isn’t correct, the fundamentals will limit you.

Don’t Look at Your Feet

Looking at the ground can make most people start to feel like a show-stopper. You feel like you can’t pull the trigger.

If you like to look at your feet, try to look at the target once you’ve started your backswing.

If you start to lock your knees and wrists, and feel like you can’t get any momentum off the ground, then focus on making your backswing looser instead of taking a long hard look at your feet.

Fix your poor weight shift

The next time you are at the driving range working on your swing, ask a friend to stand behind you. As you address the ball, your friend should push lightly against the thrusting muscles in your back. If he feels your thrusting the shoulders or upper body far away from the ball, you have a weight shift problem.

While these occur in the backswing, you can cause them in the forward swing, too. Fix it while still on the range, by keeping the shoulder and back in better position. Later, you can try to fix it in the swing itself.

Before the takeaway, make sure that you are standing tall. Then, as you turn back to the ball, you must shift your weight like a seesaw. As one leg and hip rise, the other leg and hip must drop into a lower position as you shift your weight from side to side in a figure eight motion.

Maintain your spine angle

Although this may seem like an obvious drilling tip, I see players making this mistake on a daily basis.

Remember when we talked about keeping your coil loaded off the ground?

This is where that will take effect. Keeping your spine angle below the level of the ball will put you in a good position to swing freely, with your weight back towards your heels, while also allowing you to stop and control the ball with your lower body.

Keeping the spine angle above the level of the ball will place your weight too far forward.

That’s not to say that you can’t hit hard with your weight on your toes, because you can. The issue is that keeping your weight too far forward puts you at risk for loading through your low back, which can result in a herniation in your neck spinal discs that could end your career.

Preventing Neck Problems

Neck pain, headaches, and other injuries are often the main cause for players stopping their careers, so this issue must be addressed.

Strengthening and stretching the muscles of the neck will help you in keeping the spine angle low and improved your ability to hold your head still during your swing.

So stretch and strengthen!

There are numerous products on the market that can help in this area as well. One that I am a big fan of (and proud to have had a hand in creating) is the Neckline Lite.

Straighten your left arm

Many a time golfers try to make up for an incorrect swing pattern by slipping in an extra muscle movement. This distracts the golfers and spoils the rhythm, making it even more difficult to strike the ball. Straighten your left arm as you hit the ball so that it does not deviate from target and follow the ball’s target line.

Section 3: The way your body is positioned can be a real killer

In most situations, you are aiming to be aligned in a straight line with the direction the ball is travelling in. This is the only way you will keep the ball above the table as you look to play every shot. So, to get into that position, there are some essential elements you should know about and be aware of.

The first is to be aware of how your body is positioned to the table and the rest of the world.

Do your elbows face the direction the ball is travelling towards?

Are your knees and hips—and in turn your trunk—closed or at a right angle to the table?

Is your head leaning towards the ball you are about to play?

Are you looking down the table or where the ball needs to go (at least a bit)?

Are your eyes level with the cue ball? (But please don’t let your eyes cross!)

Is your chin raised or your neck bent forward?

These are just some of the crucial elements of your positioning. Once you get these basics right, you will be amazed at how much the rest of your body position will change to suit the ball.

Section 4: Swing kills: the hidden issue behind topping the ball

The main focus of this entire post has been trying to eliminate the problem that is responsible for causing over 50% of your shots to go high.

The complete solution will be to stop your body moving so much before the ball is struck.

If you look at the basic mechanics of a slice shot, you would understand why.

When you slice the ball, you are effectively swinging your clubface away from the target and into the ball at it’s lowest point.

Unfortunately, your hand and body are still managing to move forward at full speed on the downswing.

When you hit the ball at its lowest point, your club head will always contact the ball either underneath the ball or to the right of the ball. We call this a ‘thin’ or ‘fat’ shot.

Both are low impact shots that fly very high.

In more severe cases of this, the topspin is so severe that it causes the ball to fly very high in the air and looks like it will clear the back of the green.

Watching professionals play, this is a very common sight.

But, you may not have seen it for what it is.

And yet, this is one of the main reasons why people say to me: “I just can’t stop topping the ball!”

However, there is another reason why the ball goes high.

Initiate your swing starting down from the ground up

This works whether you are driving for line, taking out a footballer or scrambling to catch a ball taken on the full.

If you initiate your swing from the ground up it will be almost impossible to be caught in this trap because your hips will already be open.

Using the earlier example, let’s say a player takes the ball on the half way line. If the receiver has to position himself to take that ball on the half way line because he’s not expecting it, he will first come onto the balls of his feet and introduce something called ‘dead ground’. This stops the feet from moving in a straight line. The hips can’t possibly be open if they’re not moving in a straight line. So he will cramp up in the hip and be unable to get his arms in front of the ball.

Staying Low

Handling is the hardest part of a football player’s game. It is extremely important that you are strong enough to hold on to the ball, as well as place it.

Many players without a strong grip will see the ball slip out of their hands. This is because they get lower to the ground than any other part of their body. Therefore the last part of the body to come down, the arms, are lifted the highest.

Check out the following image:

Swing everything back together and keep your head steady

As you make the downswing. This will help to open up your hand angle at impact. Do not allow your left wrist to roll during your downswing.

Keep your head and shoulders level through your swing

Your first focus needs to be on keeping your head and shoulders level through your swing. This will buy you the most time for your body to get in position before you make contact with the ball. The best way to do this is to set up in a balanced position. If you don’t have a balanced setup, you’re starting out misbalanced and will look to swing your hands wildly towards the ball. What you’ll find is that while you are swinging wildly, you are putting too much pop into your hit and will usually top the ball.

Don’t lift up during the swing

If possible, try to keep your hips, shoulder and elbow aligned. If you’re straining and not keeping your body aligned, the ball is likely to pop over the top of the clubface.

Many beginning golfers keep their hips lower during the swing, but high hips by themselves won’t necessarily cause the ball to pop up. This is why hip position is often overlooked by most beginning golfers.

The correct ball strike uses your weight to drive the club through the ball.

And the hips are the key to triggering the proper sequence of events in your body during the swing. The hips are the gate wire in an electrical fence.