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Should you really think about ‘hitting down on the ball?’ Be carefull

Most golfers, particularly those who have trouble making solid contact from tight lies, have been told to ‘hit down on the ball’. Well, technically it’s true, the clubhead should contact the ball before the ground; however, for most recreational golfers, deliberately trying to ‘hit down on the ball’ is a recipe for disaster. The thought or act of hitting down usually causes one to exert too much effort at the ball, which then leads to an ‘early release’. An ‘early release’, often referred to as ‘casting’, occurs when the clubhead passes the hands at or before impact, making it almost impossible to pinch the ball correctly, and usually leads to heavy and/or thin shots.

If this sounds familiar, try this practice drill – place a tee in the ground and push it down until it’s flush with the top of the grass, make several practice swings (start out swinging with a 50% effort level) and try to brush the grass or take some turf forward of the tee. The key is to focus more on swinging into a full, balanced finish and less on the physical act of brushing the grass. Continue to make swings until you can consistently brush the grass on the forward side of the tee. When you are able to achieve this (with no ball), you will be making swings that will allow you to hit solid shots from any surface. Next, place a ball on the tee (still flush with the ground) and focus on the same swing thoughts when there was not a ball there. The key, as it is with all great ball-strikers, is to ‘let the ball get in the way’ while focusing on the process of your swing such as finishing your swing, rhythm and balance.

Give this a try, I’m sure it will help; and remember – keep it simple and have fun.

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