Pro Ballstriking: How to Cover the Golf Ball

Dan Gold
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How to Cover the Golf Ball at Impact

It’s virtually impossible for all of us to hit the golf ball straight and hold a decent angle. but it’s quite possible for us to cover the ball at the right time and make a low shot.

Covering the golf ball means that the club should be on top of the ball when hitting it. This ensures that the ball flies below the plane of the body (due to a lower clubface) and also hold a more consistent angle. This trick can be especially useful when playing on the shorter clubs and save us from the dreaded push.

To do it, there are a couple of things that we need to (a) get the club back low on the downswing and (b) maintain the angle at the bottom of the backswing.

So after hitting the downswing, you want to “hold up” the club. To do this, you need to keep your left arm extended as you swing back. It’s a very important swing thought on the takeaway from the left side.

What that does is it brings the club high on the backswing. This keeps the angle constant from the inside.

Covering the Golf Ball Definition

Before we go into the right drill to improve your swing’s ability to cover the ball, it is necessary to know exactly what this terminology means.

Typically, the golf ball positioning is presented by using two distances.

One distance is the distance you maintain from the golf ball on the back swing. The second distance is about how far you bring the club back to here the ball. Those two distances have to be equal. Or, as they say, the back swing and the down swing should be the same distances.

This is a vital fundamental to have the ability to hit good golf shots.

If you are able to cover the golf ball well, you will be able to hit a variety of shots. As your body comes into contact with the golf ball at the bottom of the swing, you will be able to have more control over the golf ball’s quality and distance.

What Most Amateurs Do

Most amateur golfers have one common problem — they hit shots that land on either the heel or toe side of the ball.

Far too many amateurs who play the ball right of center in their stance, and consequently, hit the ball with left of center.

Note that all pictures are from a right-handed golfer. The left-handed golfer’s stance looks the same as your right-handed golf swing.

Start With Your Lower Body

There’s something about sports that makes the words “upper body” more desirable to the ears than “lower body.” “Upper body,” “power,” “strength.” The words can have a romantic ring to them, like a man’s rippling abs when he’s suited up for battle.

But the reality is that you create power and strength with your lower body in golf. It’s true that you can drive your legs with your arms, hands, and shoulders in any way you can think of. You can try hitting every shot with your left arm or your right leg or your hips or you can split your legs apart in a half-split and tear up the golf course.

But what the mind can conceive and imagine, the body can perform. And such is the function of your lower body when you play golf.

The best golf ball strikers all have one thing in common. They all set up to the golf ball the same way. It’s called the square position and what it means is that the shaft of your club is right in front of your shoulders, your chest is over the ball, your head is behind the ball, and your eyes are looking down the shaft of the club.

It’s an imperfect science but a good place to start. It’s a balanced position, and from this position you have the best chance of making a solid, on-line, in-control strike. So the very first thing you should do is concentrate on getting into the ideal position.

Keep it simple and easy at first, then make minor adjustments to improve it a little more. The key is to build this consistent setup so that it becomes automatic.

With practice, this becomes a natural position to be in and gives you a chance to look at the shot and your target while in a balanced and relaxed state.

As I’ve said over and over again, it’s not about the power, it’s about the ballstriking.

Keep Your Palm Down

One of the most common issues for a beginner in golf is hitting their shots too fat.

The end result is a less than optimum launch angle and a fat, low shot. There is a simple fix for this problem, in theory anyway. All you have to do is remember to keep your palm down as you swing the club.

The small problem is that a lot of beginners have a tough time remembering to do this. If you’re struggling with the same thing, the easiest way to remember is to practice a simple drill.

Stand a few feet away from a wall and get the same setup as you would for a golf shot. Turn your body and swing the club. Do not swing hard.

As you get the feel of it, gradually increase the speed of your swing. Your goal is to make contact with the wall.

Just before you get into impact, put your palm down to your side. When you do this, you should feel two things.

First, you’ll feel where your palm is resting on your side. Remember this feeling. Second, you’ll notice the club head reaching the bottom of your swing arc just moments before the wall.

Keep Moving Your Weight to the Left Side

Modern ballstriking is the primary reason for the change in the way the modern golfer views the golf ball.

For example: The old Ben Hogan approach meant that pressure was applied to the inside of the golf ball by shifting your weight to the inside. In addition, this shift was followed by a sweeping motion of the clubhead to the right.

In modern ballstriking, the majority of weight has been moved to the left side of the ball, with the clubhead aimed at the left side of the ball. This is to create as much room as possible in the short space between the face of your handle and the inside of your left arm.

Covering the Golf Ball Drills

Always an issue in golf, covering the golf ball is a great of skill that develops internal brain/muscle coherence, a minimal target area and good swing rhythm. The ability to cover the golf ball is as important to your long game as hitting a series of solid irons.

The following drills will give you ideas, form and feeling of how to swing smoothly towards the golf ball (actually a ball mark on a mat) and stop the clubhead at impact. The single most important factor in golf is timing a good swing with a good swing, not missing balls or hitting them too hard.

You must have a fluid, connected swing to get good results…assuming good execution of the other 24 fundamentals. A smooth swing will give you confidence to attack the golf ball. Use the body and follow through with the arms trailing the body and still maintaining coherence of the body movements. The worst thing you can do is to slow down your swing.

Before reading further, check your form…make perfect L-shaped casts with your arms on the downswing, not slinging them forward and tangled over the top of your body.

Have a friend videotape every swing…there are few things more revealing.

Final Thoughts on How to Cover The Golf Ball

A golfer has four basic directions to cover a shot, and the direction you should choose typically depends on the shot distance.

A medium-short iron shot will have you covering the ball from the forward direction.

A medium-short pitch shot will have you covering the ball from the back of the ball to the front direction.

A medium-long pitch shot will have you covering the ball from the front to the back direction.

For ball hitting from the back of the ball, you will cover it from the back to the front direction.

So the way you cover a shot depends on the distance of the shot and it’s the preferred method for most of the professional golfers.

Additionally, you should always remember that the club head moves at the same angle as your feet. So if you’re addressing the ball from a close stance putting you at a disadvantage, be sure to aim the club head and feet in line with each other.

And remember that it’s important to focus more on the ball and the shot instead of any other distractions. It’s tough, but try to avoid looking around you such as fans screaming behind the green or a caddie without giving too much attention to the shot. Stay concentrated.