If you watch professional golf, you’ve already seen golfers hit the golf ball down to get it to move up. This is counter-intuitive and is not commonly understood by amateurs,
yet it is a super-efficient way of playing long shots in golf and has a lot to do with the shape and construction of golf clubs.
This is why golf teachers and coaches would tell their players,
“Don’t try to lift the ball!” on the golf course. Another, “Hit it hard!”
In this post, we’ll look at what causes the ball to fly into the air. We’ll also look at how the term “hit down” might be harming your game.
What Is the Meaning of Hitting Down on the Golf Ball?
It is not always easy to understand hitting down on golfing, and some terms are more common than others. One such term is “hitting down on the golf ball.”
The meaning of this term is fairly straightforward.
The golf swing has evolved over time to become more efficient and create less stress on the golfer’s body.
The golf swing is broken down into two phases:
- Follows through
The takeaway phase begins with the takeaway, which is the process in which the golfer turns their hands away from their body in order to get into a position to take the club back. This phase is important because it determines how much force will be applied in hitting down on the ball.
The follow-through phase is when the golfer releases their grip on their club, usually by letting go of it, but it can also be when they push off for control for balance purposes. This phase occurs after hit down on the ball and ends when they release grip.
Similarly, Hitting down on the golf ball means that you need to hit it low and hard. This will ensure that the ball lands with a lot of power and initiates a speedy trajectory into its destination.
The technique can be used when you want to get your opponent into trouble, or when you want to put a lot of distance between yourself and your competition.
Why hit down and not use an iron to lift the ball up?
When we want the ball to move higher in golf, our natural impulse is to hit it such that the club lifts the ball. Despite the obvious logic, this does not function effectively since clubs are not built for such an upward impact.
This is a common source of misunderstanding for newbie golfers when they consider striking down on the ball.
The clubface of iron is designed in such a way that it comes with a pre-built loft angle. It is tilted rearward such that the clubface points slightly upward when the club is held perpendicular to the ground.
Knowing this little aspect of club construction, you should be capable of understanding why striking down is sufficient to cause the ball to rise and why a direct upward force is not necessary.
How to Swing the Club to Hit the Ball Down?
Practice is essential for learning to swing the club correctly and hit down on the ball. Take a step back before a shot and make sure your standing position is such that the bottom of your swing is falling on the front side of the ball.
In order to hit down on the golf ball, you must start with a “swing” position. This stance is an open stance, with the hands and club in front of the body.
The weight should be distributed more toward the back foot, at a 45-degree angle. This will prevent any miss-hits from swinging too high or too far to one side.
The grip should be neutral, with both hands around the grip of the club. The shaft should not be too close or too far from your body. Your arms should then extend away from your body while rotating your left arm clockwise and your right arm counterclockwise for a full revolution each.
In order to keep your wrists straight, remember to keep them in line with your forearms while rotating them forward and backwards.
Move near the ball and become ready for the real shot once you’ve mastered the physical technique and theoretical understanding of what happens at the club-ball interface. Lift the club all the way back and take the swing with balanced arms and shoulders on a stable stance.
Read More: Best Golf Ball for Slice.
A few tips to help you hit better iron shots:
- Assuming you get into a proper backswing technique with your weight on the instep of your back foot, your next step down should be a forward hip bump that moves your weight towards the target.
- Then maintain your position as you rotate through the shot.
- You have the impression that you are turning down and through.
- Making your dominant palm face down as you approach the ball in the delivery zone is a good way to enhance your downstroke. This is critical for compressing the ball with your downward strike.
- Maintain some flex in your knees at contact, specifically your backside knee. This contributes to the formation of a downward strike.
Downhill Lie Golf Drill for Consistently Hitting Down on the Ball
This is a golf drill designed to help players hit the ball with the proper swing path.
Downhill lies golf drill is a great way to get players to consistently put their club on the ball with the right swing path.
The player will take a full swing and make contact with the ball while standing on a downhill lie. Just as they follow through, they will step back into that downhill lie and then repeat.
Step 1: Put your stance in front of a level surface and get ready to swing at a tee or an object on the ground.
Step 2: The object should be about 10 yards from you and have one foot downhill from where you are standing. You should take your club, place it perpendicular to your left foot, and then place it behind your right heel with both hands on the grip end of the club. Make sure that both feet are parallel with each other while still maintaining an upright body position.
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