Hitting embarrassing topped shots? Try these 4 easy fixes

One of the most common miscues for amateur golfers is topping the ball.

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Welcome to GOLF’s Top 100 Teacher roundtable, where some of the best instructors in the business answer the game’s most perplexing questions. The goal? To help your game and lower your scores ASAP.

Topping the ball is one of the most common mistakes recreational golfers make — especially beginners. It’s one of the most embarrassing misses (this side of a whiff!), and one that can discourage even the most optimistic of players. Worse yet, the causes for the tops can be wide-ranging, and figuring out the proper fix can be hard to find.

Luckily for you, we’re here to help. Thanks to the knowledge of GOLF’s Top 100 Teachers, we’ve put together four fixes for the flaw below.

1. Maintain your spine angle

Topping the ball normally comes from moving out of your spine angle. The spine is hanging over the ball on a diagonal, so if the spine stands up, there is a good chance you will top your shot. Topping the ball often is attributed to lifting the head, but it is really the spine. Maintain your spine angle through impact, and your tops will be gone for good. —Jamie Mulligan

2. Weight on the balls of your feet

Get more weight on the balls of your feet. Also, stop trying to help the ball into the air. Let the loft of your clubs do the work. —Jim Murphy

3. Drop your back shoulder

Topping is usually caused by a steep angle of attack with the club making a vertical contact when it should be more of a “sweeping ” angle thru impact. Dropping the back shoulder in set up and focusing on low takeaway and low sweeping motion through impact will usually fix this topping issue. —Brian Mogg

4. Lengthen your arms

Imagine you are throwing a heavy bucket of water to the right of your target. It will lengthen your arms, widen your swing arc and help keep you from topping the ball. —Cheryl Anderson

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Zephyr Melton

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF.com, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf.