Tips to Stop Topping the Golf Ball

By Sandy LaBauve

A shot that women complain about often times is topping the ball. I did not get under it and it is rolling along the ground.

What Causes a Topped Golf Shot?

Typically there is some lifting and lowering going on in your golf swing that we want to get out of there. Now certainly a person could top a ball by just chopping into it, but I do not see that happening as much as a person who is really lifting their body and coming out of their spine angle. If a person is swinging in a two-plane manner and they start with a more upright stance, their shoulders should still match on their turn, it will be a more level turn but it should match. There should not be a loss of spine angle, it should be a smooth move.

How to Fix a Topped Golf Shot

I like to do a drill with the club behind your back and you just start in your beginning posture and you practice winding back and through. You feel yourself trying to stay in your posture. A two-plane swing will have a more level shoulder turn. If you have a one-plane golf swing, remember that you are more bent over and your shoulder angle will be steeper. Your turn will be pointing higher on both sides of the swing. What you will feel while you are practicing is that your shoulders are turning much more vertically as opposed to turning more level where they are more horizontal to the ground. When you put the club behind your back it is a good representation of what your shoulders are doing. When I go back, I can see how the club is pointing to the ground and when I go through I can see how it is pointing to the ground. There is no bobbling up and down, it is just a smooth move.

Practice Your Swing

When you go and hit balls I want you to consciously as your arms are swinging across your body, if you are swinging in the one-plane manner, feel your shoulder turn under your chin. Then as you are swinging through and your arms are going across, again your shoulder will be under your chin and you want to feel your arms extending left as your shoulder is turning out over your front foot. Watch my shoulders steepness as I swing, you will not see a lot of up and down head movement. If it were to look at that swing and see the shoulders change plane, often times that would be a top and you would think you did not get under the ball but in essence you just did not stay down. It is very important that you stay in your spine angle no matter what kind of swing you try to make. It is imperative if you are a one-plane swinger that you stay bent over in order to find the ground.

Category: Fat & Thin Shots
Sub Categories: Posture, Shoulder Turn, Swing Plane

About the Instructor

Sandy LaBauve
Sandy LaBauve
Kierland Golf Club
15636 N. Clubgate Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
Tel: 480-922-9283

Sandy LaBauve is one of the world's best beginner, junior and women's instructors. She is listed as one of Golf Magazine's Top 100 Teachers and is Founder and Creative Consultant for the LPGA Junior Girls Golf Club.