How to Hit Down on the Golf Ball – Swing Tips

If your ball striking is struggling, one of the most common tips you’ll hear instructors tell you is that you need to hit down on the ball more. But many amateur golfers have a misunderstanding of what hitting down on the golf ball actually is and they do it wrong. Compressing the golf ball is the actual term that should be used.

The problem is that most golfers fail to translate such terms as ‘hitting down on the ball’ into an actual swing move.

It might be explained to them by their local teaching pro; they will nod their head in approval, and then when they go to swing the club they end up hitting these terribly fat shots that go nowhere.

They end up striking the turf before the golf ball, which is the exact opposite of what you want.

Hitting “down” is not something that most golfers can simply choose to do or not do — it requires a downward angle of attack.

What Does Hitting Down on the Golf Ball Mean?

But what does hitting down on the golf ball actually mean?

If the golf ball is struck before the club head gets to its lowest point, we are hitting down on the ball. This also means that we have a downward angle of attack.

How do we hit the ball earlier in the arc, or before our swing plane’s low point?

Your first swing thought would probably be to move ball position back in your stance to hit downward and earlier in your arc, or to move the ball forward in your stance to hit upward or later in your arc. But that’s not it at all.

You can have a back ball position and still have an upward angle of attack and a front ball position and still have a downward angle of attack.

To hit down on the ball, your hands must stay in front of the club head and your weight center must be over the ball or slightly ahead of it.

If you’re setting up with a wide stance and your spine is tilted “back,” or angled away from the target, you will have difficulty hitting down on the ball.

So narrow your stance, keep your hands ahead of the club head and try to feel like your sternum is over the ball if you want to hit down on it.

Here are few pointers to help you hit down on your iron shots:

  1. Assuming you get into a good backswing position, with your weight on the instep of your back foot, your first move down should be a forward bump of the hips that transfers your weight toward the target.
  2. Then stay in your posture and turn through the shot.
  3. Feel like you’re turning down and through.
  4. And keep some flex in your knees at impact, especially your back knee. That helps create a downward strike.

Downhill Lie Golf Drill to Hit Down on the Ball Consistently

Find a hill with a moderate-to-severe downhill slope. Hit balls off that lie — all day long.

Typically, I use this golf swing drill with more skilled players, but it can help anyone who does it.  If you reverse weight shift in the downswing or flip the club head past the hands into impact, you will hit the hill every time.

Soon you’ll feel what leading with the hands feels like.

Overall, try the tips and golf drill discussed today to help you properly compress the golf ball when you hit down at a downward angle of attack. Lead with the hands and work on avoiding the chunk golf shot that may result from trying to hit down on the golf ball.

Thanks for reading our blog post today on how to hit down on the golf ball.

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