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Zeph

Tips on drills to practice hitting down on the ball?

21 posts in this topic

I've played golf for some years now, really got into it this year, played from hcp 36 to 22.5 so far.

I've been doing lots with my swing, and today found another thing to correct.

My ball flight has always been high, short and inconsistent. I had the ball between my left eye and shoulder earlier on the longer irons, but have lately moved it more to the middle.

I've never really thought about my ball flight, but known I've had problems with hitting down on the ball. Today I decided to overdo it to see what happened. I tried a few with the ball in the middle, but didn't get it right. Then I moved the ball all the way back to my right foot, there I found it.

I felt it instantly on the first shot I got right. The ball sort of popped out and went straight out, low angle and fell down further than before. I don't plan on playing with the ball that far back, but I had to exaggerate to get the right feeling. I then went on to hit a couple more, then some from the middle of my stance, really forcing myself to hit down on the ball.

Now I know there is something to fix, my question to you guys is how I should go about to do this. Do you have any tips on swing thoughts, hands, arms, shoulders, hips or even drills that I can use to stop hitting the ball on the way up and start getting those long irons and hybrids low and far?

I'm not completely sure what part of my swing is causing it, maybe my hands should be further ahead of the clubhead, arms coming down later.

It was a really weird sensation I'd say, the feeling of the first shot I knew I got right, after having played wrong for such a long time I must say it felt good.
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You could try forward pressing the but of the club toward the target at address. Also, try placing a little more of your weight on your front foot at address.
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This drill helped for me.

Place a golf towel 8 inches behind your ball. Now grab a six iron and hit some shots. The idea is to hit the ball without touching the towel.

For me, I was releasing my wrists too soon, and this helped fix it. But many factors can be at play.

Hope this helps!
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This drill helped for me.

I agree with this... I've done it and it helps immensely... but I put the towel only 3-4 inches behind the ball for my 5-PW and about 6 inches for my 3-5 irons.

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Thanks for the replies. I thought about putting a tee or something behind the ball, a towel should work the same.

I've used tee's and balls making gates to prevent an outside to inside swing path, putting a towel behind the ball will give instant results.

What do you think about ball placement? I've heard and read a lot about it, nobody really seems to agree. Some say you should place it on the same spot for every club, some say you should move it more forwards in the stance the lower club you got. Talking about irons and hybrids here, primarily.

I really haven't tested too much, but having it in the same place seems like a good idea, or at least not too far from each other. Is the reason that you should be hitting the longest irons closer to the bottom of the swing? You're still supposed to hit down on it. The hands will have to move more forwards for each club. Will this make it harder to practice hitting down on the ball?

Edit: Just thought of something I've seen on a video. The idea was to have the ball in the same position in reference to the left foot and move only the right foot more back. It will still be different for each club since the arms follow wherever the right foot goes. The only thing the ball will be constantly positioned in reference to is the left foot. Someone said you should keep the ball in the middle, or if anything, further back in your stance. The reason was that the bottom of the swing usually is around the left side of the chest. Putting the ball in that area, or even further ahead would make you have to manipulate and get the club further forward.

A lot of questions here now, but OK, you can answer if you want. :)

Another thing I picked up was that you're not supposed to have the weight transfer everyone talks about. For every club, except the driver and perhaps some woods, you should start 50/50, or if anything, 60-70 on the left foot. On the backswing you should keep left and during the downswing and finish still hold left. This would help hitting down on the ball.
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I hit most everything 2 inches inside my front foot... The longer my swing is (3W, 3H, 3I-5I) the wider my stance tends to be. Im not going to say this is the correct way but it makes sense to me... the longer the swing... the wider base you need to support it. So... this makes it look like I am hitting balls in the front of my stance, but it is in the same place in relation to my upper body eery time I strike the ball with any club. I had to find where that sweet spot in my stance was and once I did... I found greater success striking the ball.
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Google "Ben Hogan ball placement" or "Jack Nicklaus ball placement". I think both do the constant position off the left foot method with slightly different approaches to the stances. There are also diagrams out there that explain the method by which you move the ball around. Seeing those diagrams really help your understanding. You always have weight transfer but as you suggest the balance at address between right and left foot can vary. Some people like more weight on the front foot at address especially with the higher lofted clubs to make it easier to make a weight shift on the downswing.

Here is a Ben Hogan placement diagram: http://perfectgolfswingreview.net/Ho...llPosition.jpg

This article is interesting: http://www.easy2.com/tutorials/glf0103/index.asp

And another: http://golf.about.com/od/golftips/ss/golf_setup_3.htm

I basically do the second one which is move the ball and change the stance width.
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a drill that i used to do to hit down on the ball is the towel/tee behind the ball. another thing you can do to that makes sure u are hitting the ball first before any ground is to stick a tee in the ground next to your ball. hit it and ur divot should be of reasonable length and depth, and it should start about half an inch past the tee. a swing thought i always have on the range when i warm up is to exaggerate keeping my head still and my spine angle consistent because that will lead to less variation between distances and trajectories
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I tried out the Stack & Tilt today, it may have given me an idea to what I'm doing wrong. The results were pretty good, I had some shots off the path, but really got down and through the ball, it went high and further than ever. The impact felt really good compared to how I normally do. I don't plan on using S&T;, but I read how it really helped on getting down and through the ball, so I wanted to give it a try.

So, I've been thinking about weight transfer. When I used the S&T; swing I often fell forwards, had to take an extra step in the follow through. This could be because I've got too much weight on the right foot normally, it's a different feeling. I've never had the problem of falling backwards after a shot, but I think my weight is too much on the right leg during downswing and impact. My hips could probably wander more against the target before impact. I read on some site about an easy thing to try out. At the top of the backswing, your right leg is straight, at the time of impact, the left leg is straight. It could of course have a slight bend, being fully extended would maybe be too much, but it may be a good drill for me. I think my weight is too much on the right foot during the downswing and at impact. This makes me hold back in the shot, making it hard to hit down on the ball and getting solid impact. I try to hit down on the ball, but I really have to force it. It's hard to feel how and, more importantly, when my weight transfers over to the left side, but I think it's too late. The club has already gone through the ball.

So, know of any tips on how I should work on weight transfer? At first I'll probably overdo it to find out if it is a problem, but if it's something I must work on, any tips would be helpful.
If there are some pictures of videos that show, in % or something, how much weight should be at each leg throughout the whole swing.

Thanks for all the help so far.
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I've got a couple of things for you. Take a very narrow stance with your feet almost together, maybe about or 4 inches apart at the heels then hit the ball with some 1/2 to 3/4 swings. Your weight will transfer without thinking about it much. Easy to transfer weight when your feet are so close together.

Here is another thing not meant to become a permanent part of your swing. When you take your club back on the backswing, keep the right knee flexed and try to screw your right foot into the ground inward. You should really feel the tension on the inside of your right leg. That is weight transfer. Just before you get to the top of your backswing, try and screw your left foot into the ground and then execute the downswing.

Now, this is just to get you to actually feel tension in your front leg as you come forward and to help post up the front leg. Your roatation axis needs to be your front leg on the downswing otherwise your are basically just spinning out and coming over the top.

In the end, only a properly executed backswing and initial move down is going to allow you to properly shift your weight. You don't want to be thinking about weight shift consciously.
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TOWEL drill. Obviously, you can only do this on the practice range (not on the course). The towel drill will force you to adjust your swing to hit down on the ball, which will ultimately result in better ball striking. Better ball striking=better consistency and control=lower scores.

"Don't forget to bring a towel."
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I stick a piece of tape on the mat instead of a towel.  I put the tape down and place the ball directly in front of it . .probably an 1/8 to 1/4 inch.  When I tried to do that with pennies or tees it was sometimes hard to tell if I really hit it or the flex of the mat caused it to move.  Not to mention I lost like a dollar in pennies in my garage!  It's fun to put the ball right on the tape - even touching just a little bit and see if you can still miss the tape.  Also - see how many times you can miss the tape in a row.  Fun practice!

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Originally Posted by AmazingWhacker

I stick a piece of tape on the mat instead of a towel.  I put the tape down and place the ball directly in front of it . .probably an 1/8 to 1/4 inch.  When I tried to do that with pennies or tees it was sometimes hard to tell if I really hit it or the flex of the mat caused it to move.  Not to mention I lost like a dollar in pennies in my garage!  It's fun to put the ball right on the tape - even touching just a little bit and see if you can still miss the tape.  Also - see how many times you can miss the tape in a row.  Fun practice!

Or put the tape 3" in front of the ball and try to hit/scrape it of with your divot.

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That's a good idea, putting the tape 3" past the ball and try to hit it.  I am thinking that I might be able to do it just because seeing the tape there will make me aim for it . .I definitely do not put a real divot 3 inch past the ball.  Would like to, tho.

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Originally Posted by AmazingWhacker

That's a good idea, putting the tape 3" past the ball and try to hit it.  I am thinking that I might be able to do it just because seeing the tape there will make me aim for it . .I definitely do not put a real divot 3 inch past the ball.  Would like to, tho.

Well, I don't know if what I'm doing is right or just a bandaid, but, I put what feels like 75% of my weight on my front foot and leave it there. I also keep my trail foot flat till after impact and it makes it fairly easy to move my divot well past the ball. I don't if my recent success is permanent or fleeting, however, I was hitting my 5iron 200yrds (with rollout) this week and that would have been just a dream with my old swing.

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what helped me figure it out is get your sand or lob wedge and put the ball in the middle of your stance with your feet shoulder width apart.  now put all of your weight on your left leg and keep it there trying to move only your upper body and hitting 15 to 20 yard shots with your left arm (for a righty) connected to the side of your chest.  you'll get it pretty quick and learn not to fall back on your right side or you'll hit it thin.   then just graduate slowly to a longer, more full swing with your weight more centered as you get the hang of it.

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Originally Posted by Ernest Jones

Well, I don't know if what I'm doing is right or just a bandaid, but, I put what feels like 75% of my weight on my front foot and leave it there. I also keep my trail foot flat till after impact and it makes it fairly easy to move my divot well past the ball. I don't if my recent success is permanent or fleeting, however, I was hitting my 5iron 200yrds (with rollout) this week and that would have been just a dream with my old swing.

Honestly it sounds right to me.  I noticed that the more I put my weight on my front foot, to the point where I actually feel like my body is in front of the ball but my arms still behind it, the further ahead of it the divot gets and the longer and more solid the shot.  I am also hitting my 5 iron far - about 190 lately . .am just giddy about it, too. lol.  Only 2 months ago the 5 iron was my "150 yard club".

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