‘Elite golfers’ never top the ball, Jordan Spieth’s coach says. He explains why

Michael Greller, Jordan Spieth, Cameron McCormick

Jordan Spieth, center; his caddie, Michael Greller, left; and his coach, Cameron McCormick, in May.

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Pros go lower, Cameron McCormick says. 

Amateurs, meanwhile, go higher. 

And that’s why, Jordan Spieth’s coach says, “elite golfers never top it and almost never hit it thin.”

“It’s a little-known secret,” McCormick wrote this week on Instagram, “but essential to understanding for better ball-striking.”

All of it is worth a read and a watch, and you can do so here. The key to the instruction is the location of the handle of the club on the downswing. On an accompanying video on Instagram, McCormick started by demonstrating where pros position the handle, then where amateurs do. 

“This is the ball-striking secret of the pros,” he said  on the video. “And when you get it wrong, it’s likely the only reason you thin it, or even worse, top it. There are two arcs that we can talk about in the swing. There’s the arc the clubhead takes around your body, and then there’s the arc the handle takes around your body. Professional golfers on the downswing return the handle arc lower than where it left. In fact, that low point of the handle arc is right back adjacent to their back thigh, and it’s some 1 to 3 centimeters lower than where it left off, or than how it went back. 

“Amateur players return the handle higher. You can see that difference. I’m bending my elbows to return it higher. I’m extending my arms to return it lower.”

It’s here where we’ll pause for you to check what you do. We’ll wait. 

So what’s the fix?

On the Instagram video, McCormick said this:

While practicing, switch your hands.

“The drill is we’re going to reverse our hands on the club, and you’re going to make practice swings pushing the butt of the grip down to the ground,” McCormick said on the video. “Late in the downswing, we can turn it into a live fire drill, push down. 

“Reverse the grip — normal grip — push down, extending arms to the ground, flush iron shots.”

It’s here where we’ll stop for you to give it a go. We’ll wait. 

McCormick then ended the video with this:

“Tops and thins, gone forever.”

Editor’s note: To watch the complete video on Instagram, please click here. To watch additional instruction videos from McCormick on Instagram, please click here

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