Understanding the Myth Behind Topped Golf Shots || EJS Golf Academy

Read all the way to the bottom for your FREE Practice Guide. Also, know that you can find reviews and more instruction from me at Swingyard. Hi friends and golfers! My name is coach Erik Schjolberg coming to you from Scottsdale, AZ. I teach at, EJS Golf Academy, located at McCormick Ranch Golf Course.

If you’re an avid golfer, chances are you’ve experienced the frustration of topping a golf shot. It’s a common issue that many golfers struggle with, and it often leads to poor results on the course. But what if I told you that the solution to topping your shots isn’t what you’ve been led to believe? In this article, we’ll debunk the myth behind topping golf shots and provide you with a clear understanding of why it happens and how to fix it.

For years, golfers have been told that topping shots is a result of lifting their heads during the swing. Coaches and fellow golfers have likely repeated the mantra, “Keep your head down!” as a solution to the problem. I can tell you right now that I have not seen one single head look up, peak or anything of the kind in all my years of coaching.   I show this to golfers almost everyday of the week when they claim it happens I show them the video evidence.   So why does topping happen if it’s not related to head movement?

The key to understanding why topping shots occur lies in understanding the club’s motion during the swing.  The swing is moving on some kind of circular motion thoughout the golf swing. Golfers tend to make a motion called “casting,” where the club is thrown outwards early in the downswing. This casting motion closes the clubface and causes the low point of the swing to be behind the ball. As a result, the golfer ends up hitting the top of the ball, resulting in a topped shot.  They hit the top of the golf ball because if the low point of the swing arc is behind the golf ball, guess what, it has to come up then from that point and then it is on the way to catching the top of the golf ball.

To fix this issue, golfers should focus on achieving a negative angle of attack and having the club’s lowest point in front of the ball. This means hitting down on the ball and making contact before the lowest point of the swing arc. Schjolberg offers several helpful drills to train the body to achieve this desired impact position.

The first drill involves placing a quarter or a small tee in front of the ball. The golfer’s goal is to swing in a way that allows them to hit the quarter or tee instead of the ball. This drill helps train the body to shift the low point of the swing forward and achieve a negative angle of attack.

If you don’t have a quarter or small tee, you can use an alignment stick or a golf club instead. Placing the stick or club behind the ball helps create a visual reference point for the golfer. By aiming to hit the ball in front of the stick or club, golfers can again focus on achieving the desired impact position.

Either online or at my academy I emphasize that the key to successful ball striking is getting the low point of the swing in front of the ball consistently. This consistency allows golfers to make more solid contact, leading to improved distance and accuracy. By eliminating fat shots and topped shots, golfers can elevate their game and enjoy a more fulfilling golfing experien

It’s essential to understand that topping a golf shot is NOT due to lifting your head during the swing. This misconception has led many golfers down a path of frustration and confusion. Instead, focusing on achieving a negative angle of attack and getting the club’s lowest point in front of the ball offers a more effective solution to topping shots.

Next time you find yourself struggling with topped shots, don’t blame your head movement. Instead, reassess your swing mechanics and work on achieving the correct impact position. By adopting this advice, you can overcome this common issue and take your golf game to new heights.

In conclusion, the myth that topping golf shots is a result of lifting your head isinaccurate. Topping shots happen due to early casting and improper impact mechanics. By understanding the true cause of topped shots and implementing the correct drills and techniques, golfers can improve their ball striking and enjoy better results on the course. So let go of the misconception and focus on the real solution to topping shots. Your golf game will thank you.

From Topped Shots to Triumph: Frank’s Journey at EJS Golf Academy

Golf is a game of precision, patience, and perseverance. For many, it’s a lifelong journey of mastering the swing and perfecting the game. At EJS Golf Academy, I’ve had the privilege of coaching countless golfers, each with their unique challenges and triumphs. Today, I want to share the inspiring story of one of my students, Frank, who transformed his game from topping shots to striping them with confidence.

The Beginning of Frank’s Journey

When Frank first walked into my academy at McCormick Ranch Golf Course in Scottsdale, AZ, he was a golfer struggling with topped shots and a dwindling sense of confidence. At an 18 handicap, Frank’s game was riddled with inconsistencies, and the frustration of topping the ball frequently left him questioning his skills and love for the sport.

“Coach Erik, I just can’t seem to stop topping the ball. No matter what I do, it keeps happening,” Frank confessed during our first meeting. His frustration was palpable, and it was clear that he needed a change—not just in technique but in mindset.

Understanding the Real Cause

The common misconception among golfers is that topping the ball is due to lifting the head during the swing. However, as I always emphasize, the true cause lies in the mechanics of the swing. Frank’s issue was no different. After a brief analysis, it was evident that his swing was plagued by an early release or “casting,” causing the club’s low point to be behind the ball.

“Frank, the key to fixing this issue is understanding the low point of your swing needs to be in front of the ball,” I explained. “We need to focus on achieving a negative angle of attack and ensuring your club hits the ground after making contact with the ball.”

The First Lesson: A Turning Point

Armed with this new understanding, Frank and I embarked on our first lesson. We started with the Quarter Drill, where a quarter is placed just in front of the ball, and the golfer’s goal is to strike the quarter after hitting the ball. This drill helps shift the low point forward and instills the correct downward strike needed to prevent topped shots.

Within that first lesson, Frank’s transformation was remarkable. By focusing on the low point and utilizing the drills, he no longer topped the ball. The immediate improvement boosted his confidence, and he left the session with a renewed sense of hope and determination.

“Coach Erik, I can’t believe it! I haven’t topped a single shot since we started this drill,” Frank exclaimed, a wide smile spreading across his face.

Consistent Practice and Progress

Success in golf, like any other sport, requires consistent practice and dedication. Over the next six months, Frank committed to regular lessons and practice sessions, incorporating the drills and techniques we worked on at EJS Golf Academy. He practiced the Alignment Stick Drill and the Divot Drill diligently, ensuring his swing mechanics were solid and consistent.

Frank’s progress was steady and impressive. Each week, his confidence grew, and his ball striking improved. The once-dreaded topped shots became a thing of the past, replaced by solid, crisp contacts that sent the ball soaring down the fairway.

The Role of Technology in Frank’s Improvement

At EJS Golf Academy, we leverage advanced technology to provide detailed feedback and analysis. Frank’s journey was no exception. Using the Trackman 4 Launch Monitor and 3D Video Analysis, we were able to break down his swing and identify areas for improvement.

The data from Trackman showed a significant change in Frank’s angle of attack and club path. His swing was now more efficient, and the club’s low point was consistently in front of the ball. The 3D Video Analysis allowed Frank to visually see his improvements and understand the mechanics behind his successful shots.

“Seeing the data and video really helped me understand what I was doing right and where I needed to improve,” Frank noted. “It made a huge difference in my practice and performance.”

Achieving a Single-Digit Handicap

As the months went by, Frank’s hard work and dedication paid off. His handicap dropped steadily, and by the end of six months, he had achieved an 8 handicap. The transformation was nothing short of remarkable. Frank, who once struggled with topped shots and an 18 handicap, was now playing some of the best golf of his life.

“Coach Erik, I can’t thank you enough. I never thought I’d see the day where I’d be an 8 handicap,” Frank said, his gratitude evident. “The drills, the technology, and your guidance made all the difference.”

The Impact of Frank’s Success

Frank’s success story is a testament to the power of proper coaching, consistent practice, and the right mindset. His journey from frustration to triumph serves as an inspiration to all golfers facing similar challenges. At EJS Golf Academy, we believe that every golfer has the potential to improve and achieve their goals with the right approach and dedication.

Frank’s story also highlights the importance of understanding the true causes of swing faults and addressing them with effective drills and techniques. The myth of lifting the head causing topped shots is debunked, and the focus on the correct impact position is emphasized.

Final Thoughts

Frank’s journey is a shining example of what can be achieved with perseverance, proper guidance, and the right mindset. His transformation from topping shots to striping them with confidence is a story of dedication and success. At EJS Golf Academy, we are committed to helping golfers like Frank reach their full potential and enjoy the game to its fullest.

If you’re struggling with topped shots or any other aspect of your game, remember that improvement is possible. With the right coaching and practice, you can overcome your challenges and achieve your golfing goals. Join us at EJS Golf Academy and let us help you on your journey to better golf.

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Coach Erik Schjolberg

EJS Golf Academy

Scottsdale Golf Lessons

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Peter Sandor

I'm Peter Sandor, with over 15 years of experience in club fitting and golf expertise. I'm here to guide you through the maze of golf equipment, offering unbiased reviews, fitting insights, and invaluable tips. My mission? To equip you with the perfect clubs, empowering you to unleash your best game, now and in the future. Let's embark on this journey together and elevate your golfing experience to new heights.

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