golf ball striking drills

In this exclusive instruction video, Golf Monthly Top 25 Coach Andrew Jones offers some golf ball striking drills to help rid you of fat contacts with your irons

As with most issues in the golf swing, poor strikes usually stem from mistakes at address. The number one fault to beware of is setting the ball too far forward at address. This causes your hands to be too far back encouraging a ‘ground-first’ strike. So before we move onto the golf ball striking drills, check your ball position. The other issue to look out for is your posture fiundamentals. I see so many amateurs with unathletic, lazy postures which makes a good strike almost impossible. Make sure your back is straight at address – you should set your body over the ball by hinging at the hips. So start by checking your ball position is not too far forward and that you have an athletic posture. Nine times out of 10, this is where the problem lies!

Casting & falling back

Another very common fault to look out for is casting. This stems from trying to hit the ball too hard from the top of the backswing. You lose the angle in your wrists, widening the arc of the swing on the way down and the club reaches the bottom of its path too soon. A fat strike is almost impossible to avoid. Alternatively, the club will ‘bottom out’ early if you have a tendency to hang back through impact. The following drills will help you eradicate these issues but take note of the positions shown here and get a friend to video your swing from the same angle. The evidence will help you zero in on how to move forward.

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Golf Ball Striking Drills

As we have already mentioned, great ball striking requires a good posture to be set at address and then maintained during the swing. If you lift or dip your head, the club will either hit the ground too early or too late. In practice, hit a series of mid iron shots with the ball teed up by at least an inch. Concentrate on simply maintaining your height as you swing back and through. You should be able to clip the ball off the top of the tee without hitting it out of the ground. Hit several shots using this drill and then keep the same swing thoughts when you return to hitting shots off the ground. Your ball striking is guaranteed to improve!

‘Bottoming out’ drill

If casting or falling back is your fault, this golf ball striking drills a must. Place a tee in the ground about two inches ahead of the ball. All you are looking to do here is strike the ball and then clip the tee. Without having to think too technically about the swing, this simple drill should get your body into a much better position to deliver the club in the downswing. You should be able to strike the ball cleanly and then flick the tee with the club on the way through.

Neil Tappin

In July 2023, Neil became just the 9th editor in Golf Monthly's 112-year history. Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he has also presented many Golf Monthly videos looking at all areas of the game from Tour player interviews to the rules of golf. 

Throughout his time with the brand he has also covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSR2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons: PING Blueprint S (4&5), PING Blueprint T (6-PW) Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X