Battling Preconception: How to Hit Down on a Golf Ball?

Most of us know that golf is an old and complicated game, but for the ill educated people, it might seem really easy. Even though it is quite simple in theory, everything can seem to be more challenging in practice on a golf course.

How difficult can playing golf be? Why is it so hard to make a shot with a stationery golf ball? It is a lot more challenging when so many players have preconceived wrongly how to hit a golf ball into the air.

One of the most common preconceptions for making a shot with a wood or iron club is that you have to hit up at a golf ball, while in the reality, you have to hit down on a golf ball. Now this advice alone could seem to be rather counter-intuitive, how can a golf ball is going to have any height when you are hitting it down? The answer is so simple and mainly lies in the design of the club head.

Fairway wood as well as iron club can hit a golf ball into the air thanks to the way their club heads exert extra amount of backspin on the ball. Along with the dimples on a golf ball, it will lead to the lift that you would see in your strikes. The rate of spin put on the ball would relates directly to the height that a golf ball flies.

To create the necessary loft and produce this backspin, the club head needs to impact the golf ball on a descending direction. This is the main reason why you will always hear a lot of people saying that: “you have to hit down on a golf ball.”

I find that this advice is rather misleading and it would damage your swing without the right explanation. In addition, it would also turn a golf beginner away from the golf game altogether.

How should you hit down on a golf ball?​

A lot of people think that there is a couple special activities involved in the process of hitting down on a golf ball. However, this only makes people to come in too steep on their down swing, which would make them to strike it fat and take out the divot before they actually hit the golf ball.

To start hitting down and stop striking fat, you should have a try with this little useful tip in next time when you are at the range. Firstly, hit a couple shots with a 7 or 8-iron club and make note of the exact place where the divot starts or ends. As soon as the golf club comes to the ground, it would be on a downward swing path and vice versa, which means that it would be on an upward swing path when leaving the ground. As a result, the lowest point of your swing needs to be somewhere at the center of the divot.

​Now when you know that the lowest part of the golf swing path should be somewhere in the divot, make sure to put a golf ball 1 mm behind the starting point of the divots. By doing this, you would be able to hit down on a golf ball in a subconscious way. If you think too much about it, then you are going to come in too steep. Therefore, you should only put the golf ball a little bit back from where you often put it. And as a result, you will be able to hit a solid shot more frequently.

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