Are you supposed to swing down on the ball?

Answered by Jeremy Urbaniak

Are you supposed to swing down on the ball? This is a common question among golfers, and the answer might surprise you. While it may seem logical to think that you should be swinging down on the ball to get it up in the air, this mindset can actually be detrimental to your golf swing.

When you try to “hit down” on the golf ball, it often leads to problems with ball striking. Golfers who focus on trying to hit down will often tense up their bodies and swing with a steep angle of attack. This can result in fat shots, thin shots, or even shanks. It can also lead to a lack of power and distance.

So, why is this the case? The main reason is that the golf swing is a dynamic motion that requires a certain sequence of movements to be executed properly. When you try to forcefully hit down on the ball, you disrupt this sequence and throw off the timing and coordination of your swing.

Instead of trying to hit down on the ball, it’s more effective to think of the golf swing as a sweeping motion. You want to brush the ball off the turf, rather than digging into the ground. This mindset shift can help you create a shallower angle of attack and promote better contact with the ball.

To achieve this sweeping motion, it’s important to focus on a few key elements in your swing. First, make sure you have a proper setup. Position the ball slightly forward in your stance, with your weight centered and your hands slightly ahead of the ball. This will help you make contact with the ball on the upswing, rather than on the downswing.

Next, focus on maintaining a smooth and rhythmic tempo throughout your swing. Avoid any sudden or jerky movements that can disrupt the flow of your swing. Think of swinging the club back and through in one fluid motion, with a steady acceleration.

Another helpful tip is to imagine that you are swinging the club through the top of a tall grass or brushing the grass lightly with the sole of the club. This visualization can help you keep your swing shallow and avoid the tendency to strike down on the ball.

It’s also important to note that the concept of “hitting down” on the ball can vary depending on the club you are using. With irons, you do want a slightly descending blow to create the proper spin and trajectory. However, this should be achieved naturally through the proper sequencing of your swing, rather than by forcefully trying to hit down.

While it may seem logical to think that you should swing down on the ball, this mindset can actually lead to problems with ball striking. Instead, focus on a sweeping motion and think of brushing the ball off the turf. By making this mindset shift and focusing on the proper sequence of movements, you can improve your ball striking and overall golf swing.