For many golfers, topping the ball is a serious problem. Not only are worm burners
the ugliest shots to watch in golf, but they invariably put your ball into horrendous
situations from which to escape.
When a student comes to me fighting the tops, the first thing I do is help him or her
understand that, on all full swings with an iron, it’s crucial to execute a downward
strike on the golf ball, not an upward lift or scoop. Anything but a descending blow
increases the likelihood that you’ll catch the ball above its equator, a scenario that
produces the top. Of course, your motion may need more help than simply to hit
down on the ball. Nonetheless, the following Break The Tee drill works wonders.
Set a tee in the ground so that the top of the tee rests just above the turf. Assume
your standard address position and make your swing with the primary goal being to
clip the tee out of the ground. This is not as easy as it seems, especially for a
chronic topper. The key is to really go down after it, with no lifting or flinching at
impact. The proper forward shift of weight targetward on the downswing also is
required to steepen the path.
After a few swings, you should be able to not only clip the tee, but to break it and
send it flying from the turf along with a healthy divot. Now, place a golf ball on the tee
and continue the drill. If you make the same downward swing, your top shot will be
replaced by one that rises quickly with plenty of backspin. After a dozen or so solid
strikes, take the tee out and continue to ingrain the feeling of “breaking the tee.”