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LI Hacker

Topped every shot at the range yesterday

33 posts in this topic

Hey Guys -

As you may or may not know I'm still basically new to the game but I've had a fair share of range sessions and yesterday was by far my worst, ironically the first one after I had spent more time than ever working on my backswing.

I literally topped every 9/10 shots and must've topped about 15 or 20 straight at one point and they were all topped and slicing to the right. From that flight I'm guessing I'm coming in too steep and over the top resulting in my swing plane being too flat which I took a look at when I got home on video.

The only positive I took from this is that my miss was consistent each and every time so my swing was repeating. Not a great silver lining I know.

My question is what are some drills to work on the plane specifically, I have read a lot about getting the club over your right shoulder it just doesn't feel natural and I have to work to get it there. I was having issues getting my left arm even to my shoulders but even after correcting that the club looked too flat.

Also maybe I'm completely wrong so any other advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

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I first have to say your determination is outstanding. I would have packed it up after about five topped shots in a row! :)

What do you mean by "range session". Were you working on something specific or just bangin balls? That could be your first issue. Here is my advice. Work on your grip at home to make sure that is solid before you try anything else. Then work on posture and alignment with a mirror at home. Next, call a pga instructor for a lesson to instruct you on a specific area of your swing. Next, work on only that specific thing until you have it down pat. Next, get another lesson to find the next area that needs improvement. Repeat.

Range sessions aren't about hitting pretty golf shots. They are about fixing a specific swing issue. Don't worry about where the ball goes.

Crawl before you walk, and you will be running in no time!

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I've been mulling over getting a lesson and know it will probably be more than worth it. I had been working on my takeaway a ton at home in addition to my setup my position both in a mirror and by video taping my swing. I never really worked on the downswing portion though and through video I can see I come over the top and cut right across, I'm in a good position at the top but almost feel stuck and don't know how to get down correctly.

I went to the range to be honest to see if my backswing would translate into nice easy downswing resulting in good shots which couldn't have backfired more lol.

I checked out the video and I took the club away nicely and got into a good position on plane (not perfect of course) but my downswing is a disaster.

I feel like the lesson may be worth the time and money? I've made big strides in my backswing but that process has taken me a long time doing it myself.

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Put your camera away for awhile and take a lesson. I guarantee you will figure out more from a couple lessons than you will from a year of video tape. Right now you are trying to think your way to a good swing. You need a pro to help you feel your way to a good swing. BIG difference!

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Well just to clarify I've only taped my swing a handful times, 99% of the time I'm watching pros swings/analyses of their swings. Maybe it doesn't help but I enjoy watching what they do well and trying to incorporate that.

I do agree though that I need to probably break down and spend the money to get the lesson/s. Not sure prices elsewhere but by me its 110 bucks for an hour but hopefully that money will save me a lot in lost balls, etc...

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First, check ball position. Is the ball to far forward or back in the stance? Yes i said, back in the stance, because i played golf for years with a backward ball position, and i can top shots with the best of them.

Go check out the "Swing Thoughts" sub forum here, and check out the 5 key's videos. There are some great tips in there. For you, once you solidified your ball position you need to work on the following

1) Weight forward

2) flat left wrist at impact

This will take care of topping the ball because it will promote a swing arc that bottoms out ahead of the ball. From there, its nearly impossible to hit a topped shot.

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Thanks Saeval, I'll def try to work on those things as well as check out all of the 5 keys videos. I've seen a couple and there is definitely a lot of great stuff.

If you don't mind me asking what are your thoughts on getting lessons because I hear a lot of mixed reviews in terms of you dont always get good advice? I'm asking because I've watched/read a ton of information but I feel like I may need someone to watch what I'm practicing and tell me if i'm even doing it correctly.

I've definitely progressed, albeit quite slowly going the "self-taught" method.

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Have you played a round recently Ll Hacker?  I feel like I've seen you talk a lot about your swing at the range, maybe you need to stop 'hacking' so to speak and get to the course.

I had a rough day at the range last week, focusing a lot on my iron swings and trying to drive home some good technique, but the day after I played great on the course.  I like to think some practice paid off but I think a lot of it is having other shots to play and not worrying so much on hitting the perfect 5 iron shot 100 times.

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Like saevel said, top shots are very simple to understand. They aren't this big mystery miss.

1) The swing's low point is behind the ball. Topping a shot is essentially an extremely "thin" strike. Fat shots and thin shots are the product of the exact same problem.

2) You're flipping your wrists (dorsiflexion in the lead wrist if you want to look it up and see exactly what I mean).

3) You're not applying enough pressure into your lead foot on the downswing and getting your weight "forward enough."

Guy who flips (see the significant bend in his left wrist?) and never gets his weight forward enough will top, thin and fat shots when his timing is bad.

A pro who gets his weight and pressure forward consistently along with a flat left wrist will never top a shot:

Not the difference in spinal alignments as well between the two golfers. The good golfer has some "tilt" going on because his hips slide forward enough to move the swing's low point forward as well.

Here are two videos that are helpful in starting a better understanding of this:

Topping, thinning, and fatting shots are as common as problems get in this game.

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Gosly - I actually haven't played a round in awhile. Not a ton of my friends play so it is hard to get a group together and at my current level I'm embarassed to get paired up with random people and have them watch my mess if you will.

I know its silly because everyone was probably there at some point but I typically only play when I know I can get out as a single. Less than ideal especially where I live as those times are few and far between and I definitely need to play more because I actually find I am better out on the course than the range for whatever reason.

JetFan - Those bad pictures definitely look like me, I've known I tend to flip and come over the top which I see is what was causing the topped shots to the right. Appreciate the videos/photos, definitely something I will try to work. I think its becoming more and more clear I need to just get myself working with a pro and be shown what I need to be doing and have someone there for feedback.

Btw I'm a Jet fan myself, absolutely brutal

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As a fellow hacker, topper, slicer, etc., I'd like to offer an opinion. I am really starting to gain confidence in the 5 simple keys method. I will probably end up buying the DVD set once I get some extra cash. The reason being that it's the only method that has stuck (that's just from watching the video's at this site). In the past, I had a tendency to find a good swing but once it was lost, I couldn't get it back.

I would give that a try as you indicated you might do. If you get the basic keys down - even the first 3 - this will give you an opportunity to learn and develop the last two. It's kind of hard to work on ball flight when there is none. I hope this works as well for you.

As far as lessons, I was inclined to blame the instructor for my lack of progress but more than likely it was my inability to learn. If I could afford to have him present at more practices and rounds, I'd probably be a better golfer for it. I think most PGA instructors know what they're talking about. Just my opinion.

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Dont know if this will help, but I know when I hit it thin or top a shot, it is caused from me standing up.  If I feel like I keep my chest down towards the ground through the shot, I never hit one thin.  Hope you get it figured out.

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Originally Posted by LI Hacker

Gosly - I actually haven't played a round in awhile. Not a ton of my friends play so it is hard to get a group together and at my current level I'm embarassed to get paired up with random people and have them watch my mess if you will.

I know its silly because everyone was probably there at some point but I typically only play when I know I can get out as a single. Less than ideal especially where I live as those times are few and far between and I definitely need to play more because I actually find I am better out on the course than the range for whatever reason.

Yeah I know the feeling, luckily for me my friends and I are pretty much at the same level and I can usually get at least one to play every week, although I'm definitely more into it than they are.

I never go to the range without something to practice, if I know I'm topping balls I google it or come here.  Even if I spend an hour on the range and only hit a handful of great balls if I can force myself to work on a few simple mental triggers to keep my head down or align my stance or hit down, etc. that kind of seep into my play on the course and it usually leads to a better round.

It's early this year though I'll have to let you know how I feel after this week lol.  Keep at it.

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Originally Posted by LI Hacker

Thanks Saeval, I'll def try to work on those things as well as check out all of the 5 keys videos. I've seen a couple and there is definitely a lot of great stuff.

If you don't mind me asking what are your thoughts on getting lessons because I hear a lot of mixed reviews in terms of you dont always get good advice? I'm asking because I've watched/read a ton of information but I feel like I may need someone to watch what I'm practicing and tell me if i'm even doing it correctly.

I've definitely progressed, albeit quite slowly going the "self-taught" method.

Depends on the teacher, some are good, bad, in-between.

You can teach yourself with a camera, but you better know what your looking for, and it takes time to figure out what you have to feel to get the club in the position you want. I like mirror's a lot more, you can go slow motion, don't have to stop, you can check clubhead positions a lot easier this way.

I know a lot of people will say, take a lesson, but sometimes those can do more damage than not. Its kinda like buying a car, figuring out which is a lemon or not.

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Depends on the teacher, some are good, bad, in-between. You can teach yourself with a camera, but you better know what your looking for, and it takes time to figure out what you have to feel to get the club in the position you want. I like mirror's a lot more, you can go slow motion, don't have to stop, you can check clubhead positions a lot easier this way. I know a lot of people will say, take a lesson, but sometimes those can do more damage than not. Its kinda like buying a car, figuring out which is a lemon or not.

This is what I'm worried about, wasting a couple hundred bucks and getting nothing from it.

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Originally Posted by LI Hacker

Quote:

Originally Posted by saevel25

Depends on the teacher, some are good, bad, in-between.

You can teach yourself with a camera, but you better know what your looking for, and it takes time to figure out what you have to feel to get the club in the position you want. I like mirror's a lot more, you can go slow motion, don't have to stop, you can check clubhead positions a lot easier this way.

I know a lot of people will say, take a lesson, but sometimes those can do more damage than not. Its kinda like buying a car, figuring out which is a lemon or not.

This is what I'm worried about, wasting a couple hundred bucks and getting nothing from it.

Well, ask yourself these questions: What makes a golf instructor good? What makes a golf instructor a waste of your time, money, and effort? If you can scratch the surface of those answers, then you will exponentially increase your probability of finding the right teacher for you.

There are a lot of instructors out there who teach with only smoke and mirrors. You gotta learn how to spot them.

re: the Jets. Yea. Don't I know it, my friend.

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Maybe I am naive but having never had a lesson before I am not sure if I know what to look for. I did some research and think I found an instructor with some positive reviews (Bob Posillico at Eisenhower Park) but I guess its still a roll of the dice.

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