Stop Topping It: Two Tips to Hit Crispy Iron Shots
By Brendon Elliott, PGA
A very common and frustrating occurrence for many players is hitting topped shots. There are several reasons why this happens, but we have two quick tips that will help you to hit crisp iron shots and lessen the chance of hitting that dreaded top.
In your Set-Up…
Many golfers overlook how their bodies are set up at address. From weight distribution to posture and everywhere in between, what we do before we actually swing the club has everything to do with HOW we swing it and the result that follows.
Poor weight distribution is common among amateurs. You should strive to have your weight ever so slightly forward in your setup…maybe 55% to 60% favoring your lead side. Although it’s true that you need to work your weight back into the trail side as you attempt to get loaded up at the top of your swing, it’s very common for folks to get started with their weight too heavily on that trailside. Most of the time, players keep their weight back as they come down from the top and into impact. As you work into impact, keeping your weight back on the trailside prevents the club from being delivered properly into the ball, or released correctly post-impact. This slight setup change will help with this common flaw.
Another flaw that often leads to topped shots is when players try to help lift the ball with their hands and wrists at impact. More specifically, the lead wrist gets what we call cupped…this is a result of engaging the hands too much at impact with almost a scooping motion. The loft on golf clubs is designed in such a way that the engagement of the hands and wrists will only be detrimental to a properly struck shot. It’s critical to have the lead wrist flat at impact so the shaft can be leading as you come into the ball. This is the proper way to deliver a club into the ball because it allows the design of the club to do what it was meant to do, which is to get the ball airborne.
These two simple tips…watching your weight distribution at setup, as well as keeping your lead wrist flat at impact, will help reduce the number of topped shots you hit.