Hitting Down on the Golf Ball
One misconception some golfers have is when they are instructed about how to hit down on the ball. Some golfers take this too literally, which can cause them to hit the ground before they strike the ball, this is called hitting the ball fat. Another problem with hitting down on the ball for beginning golfers is that they believe they have to lift the ball up to get it into the air. However, this is what the loft of the club is used for.
Instead of hitting up on the ball, which will cause you to top the ball and make it run across the ground, you want to hit down on the ball. Do not take this too literally. Hitting down on the ball only means to make contact with the ball on your downswing. You want to make contact with the ball first and drive it into the ground, where it compresses before shooting up in the air and with backspin. The more loft a golf club has, the higher ball flight you will get.
Hitting down on the ball is only done with your iron swing. This is where your iron swing is different from the swing you use for your woods.
As you picture your golf swing, you start the club head behind the ball at your address position. The club moves back and then up during your backswing. The club gets to the top of your backswing and then you start your descending blow, keeping a similar arc. You make impact with the ball and continue that swing until you finish your follow through.
Each golf swing has a low point. When hitting down on the ball, it means that you are making contact with the ball before your club reaches that low point. This means that the club is still moving down as you hit the ball and still has to go lower, which is why you take a divot in front of the golf ball.
Some beginning golfers believe that hitting down on the ball means they have to change their swing to make it steeper, which cause them to dig into the ground as if they were plowing a field.
In order to figure out how you hit down on the ball, go to your local driving range. Take out your favorite iron, such as a 5-iron or 7-iron, whichever one you hit the best. Take several swing, but pay attention to where the divot starts as compared to your stance. Now you know where to position the golf ball in your stance. The divot should start right after the spot where the ball was located.
Set the golf ball slightly behind where the divot starts in your stance. Then start hitting some golf balls. You will soon find out that you will get higher ball flight and more distance. This is how you hit down on a ball.