How to Hit Down on a Ball to Get it Up in the Air

By John Wagner
Hit down on the ball to launch it up.
Hit down on the ball to launch it up.

Many beginning golfers mistakenly try to lift the ball up in the air during their swing. More often than not this is simply because they don't understand that you actually need to hit down on the ball to get it in the air. Every golf club has a certain amount of loft, which helps get the ball in the air. Loft is the angle from the leading edge of the club to the top edge. The loft on each club will get the ball in the air when you strike down on the ball. To properly hit down on the ball a golfer needs a good setup, wrist hinge and weight shift. Learn these fundamentals and you will have no trouble launching the ball into the air.

Set up to the ball with a shoulder-width stance and your weight equally distributed between the left and right foot. Position the ball 3 to 4 inches inside your left heel (for right-handed golfers) for all full-swing iron shots. Position the ball in the middle of your stance for shorter iron shots, such as a chip or pitch.

Swing the club back with your shoulders and hinge your wrists up as the club swings back. Rotate your hips and allow the majority of your weight to shift to the inside of your right foot as you swing back. Stop your backswing when your left shoulder is under your chin. At the top of your backswing you should have a 90-degree angle from the club shaft to your left arm.

Swing the club down by turning your hips toward the target. Shift your weight to your left foot as you turn your hips to the target. Hold onto your wrist hinge until just before impact. This will give you the proper angle of attack to hit down and through the ball.

Hit down on the ball and make a small divot after contact. Continue to turn your hips toward the target and shift your weight to your left foot. Finish with almost all your weight on your left foot and your hips turned to the target.

About the Author

John Wagner is a certified golf instructor and professional golfer with more than 10 years of experience. As a certified GolfTEC, TPI Level 3 and Chuck Cook Golf Instructor, he has given more than 9,000 golf lessons.

Photo Credits

  • Mike Powell/Lifesize/Getty Images
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