Skulled Thin or Topped Shots


If you’ve been playing this game for a while I’m sure you’ve experienced hitting a thin or topped golf shot, but you don’t want to have that memory staying around too long. You’ll want to erase that shot from your mind. So get it fixed quickly!

A topped golf shot occurs when the golf club head makes contact with the top half of the ball (at or above the equator of the ball). Topped golf shots never get in the air much at all.

If you’re lucky it still advances toward your intended target (think positive), but when you top a wedge shot the ball may go skipping across the green blowing your chances for par.

Many golfers end up topping the ball because they are trying to help the ball get into the air. Don’t do this. Clubs are designed to get the ball in the air.

In order for a golf ball to get airborne, the club head must contact the ball at the low point of the downswing. The ball gets trapped between the club-face and the ground. The ball then spins up the face of the club, and the loft determines just how high the ball goes.

Don’t try to help the golf ball get airborne

The poor golfer not knowing or not trusting this will happen, oftentimes tries to help the ball get into the air, this will never turn out good.

How to Prevent Topped or Thin Golf Shots

While you set up to hit a shot look at a spot in front of the ball. Make sure you always hit the golf ball first (not the ground) with your hands ahead of the club head. The sequence of contact should be the ball then the ground, taking a divot past the golf ball.

Do not try to help the ball up. Instead, think about driving it into the ground pivoting strongly into the finish of the shot.

Like I explained above irons work best when you sort of pinch the ball between the club face and the ground. This is how golf irons and wedges are designed to work.

Other Causes of Topped or Thin Golf Shots

Weight Shift

Another common cause of topped golf shots is improper weight shift. Make sure you properly shift your weight from back to front on the downswing and continue this weight shift into impact.

Wrist Position

Improper wrist conditions at impact can also be a cause of topped shots. Proper wrist conditions are a flat left wrist and a bent right wrist at impact. You don’t want the opposite happening when you’re striking the ball. It can not only cause you to top the ball, but also cause tons of other problems (it’s the “Hackers” trade mark).

Ball Position

golf ball in middle of stance for an ironWhere are you playing the golf ball in your stance?

When hitting irons you’ll want to have the ball more towards the middle of your stance(picture on right), because you’re hitting down on the ball (impact occurs just before the bottom of the swing arc).

Woods are played more off the heel of the front foot (as seen below), because you are hitting the ball on a slight up swing (just after the bottom of the swing arc).

If your ball is too far forward on an iron shot the bottom of your swing arc will be behind the ball. You will end up catching the ball on the upswing. This often causes you to catch the ball thin, topping the shot.playing the ball forward using a wood

As you swing a golf club it will naturally want to fly up due to the laws of physics — so your job is to figure out a way to take it down into the ball making a divot –letting the club find it’s natural low point. When you do the work with a strong pivot into the ball the club will do the up work for you. So your job is to think down — let your pivot and the club loft get the ball into the air.

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