Have you ever been told that you are casting, or hitting from the top?
If as I suspect the answer might be yes, what exactly does it mean. The term casting, simply means that you are throwing the club away from your right shoulder; usually with your right hand/arm straightening, at the very start of your downswing.
Think in terms of a fisherman standing in a river and throwing his line away from his right shoulder into the water. That is casting, but does not necessarily mean that he is coming over the top. Golfers can cast all day long and still bring the club back down on a good plane.
The term hitting from the top normally means that the player is too keen, anxious,or desperate to return the club back down into the ball.
When this happens the power comes in much too early, normally resulting in hitting the ground before the ball, or thinning/topping.
Take a look at the first picture and I will show you a simple way to help cure both of these faults. Note how I have placed a plastic lie board down on the ground. Then I have positioned the ball two club head lengths in front of it. With my ball set slightly left of centre in my stance, and my weight favoring my left side on a 60-40 basis, the idea now is to strike the ball without touching the plastic board.
If you are a casty, hitting from the top type of golfer, then you will tend to strike the board at first, until you quickly learn to hit the ball slightly later on the arc.
Now have a glance at the second picture. This time I have struck the ball without any board contact producing a lovely click sound, with lots more power.
In technical terms, I have moved the low point of the swing further forward to create a sensation of ball then turf, with a nice shallow divot being taken just after the ball.
One of my mates, the other DP (Douglas Patrick) has been practicing this drill recently and has greatly improved his ball striking. So there we are, a simple way to generate more power and control into your game - try it out - you might like it! Next week: Shaft lie down/stand up.
pics sent b&c taken at 21.51