Golf Lessons – Stop hitting the ground before the ball

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Golf Lessons with Derek Hooper – Many players have trouble making solid contact with their fairway shots. Too often the club will contact the ground before i…

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DerekHooperGOLF says:

Hi Top Performance Golf, Glad you liked the video. A swing path which is
too much in to out can be the cause of fat shots. I am not certain that it
is the biggest cause as there are a few different ways to hit fat shots. I
would always be wary of assuming just because a player hits it fat they are
swinging too much from in to out. It is critical to start with an accurate
diagnosis and them implement an appropriate plan.

I hope that helped and all the best with your golf.


DerekHooperGOLF says:

Hi Kevin, Thanks for the question. If the club travels on too much of an in
to out path it can be a cause of hitting fat shots. This drill will help
with getting you to hit more solid shots but also be aware of your swing
path. No one drill will fix every possible fault, especially without
accurate feedback. Watch your divot direction and the ball flight to help
with getting the right feedback.

All the best with your golf


DerekHooperGOLF says:

Hi Kevin, Great to hear my video helped you hit the ball better.

Keep up the good work.


DerekHooperGOLF says:

Hi sc0b016, glad you liked the video. If you are having contact issues with
your chipping and pitching you are more than likely using too much hands
with your motion causing the club head to get ahead of the handle prior to
impact. In this video Golf Lessons – Chipping – Consistent, Solid Contact I
show a series of drills that will help you hit more solid chip shots. You
can apply the same process to improving your pitching.

I hope that helps and all the best with your golf game


DerekHooperGOLF says:

Hi ZeroSumJ1, thanks for the question. From your description it sounds like
you are loosening your levels during the swing – upper body is getting too
close to the ground. The best way to work on this is with slow practice
swings first, focussing on just clipping the ground. If you can do that
then swing a little faster, and gradually increase speed until you can go
about 75%.

Next tee up a ball on a low tee and with swings at half speed work to hit
shots with a shallow divot. Slowly lower the tee and increase the speed
before doing away with the tee completely. This progression will take some
time as you are working to learn a new skill. If you run into difficulty,
drop back a step until you have mastered that level then start to gradually
work through the progression again.

I hope that helps and all the best with your golf game


DerekHooperGOLF says:

Hi KC, the challenge you face is one I see regularly. It is usually the
case of it being too big of a jump from practice swing to hitting a ball. A
couple of things I would get you to try. First, make your practice swings
as close to your real swing in terms of speed as possible. Next, when you
do hit a ball I would have you hit into a net, or at the very least hit at
no target. The sole focus of the swing is to reproduce what you did in the
practice swing and the success of the swing is based on how well you do
this. Not on where the ball goes or how ell you hit it. Make 2 practice
swings then hit a ball. Assess your ability to to reproduce the practice
swing with a ball and build from there.

I hope that helps and all the best with your golf game


campdry says:

Great tip thanks

ZeroSumJ1 says:

I used to hit fat shots, but I have the problem fixed for the most part.
But now my problem is that I hit way too steep. I make good contact, but
it’s tearing up my wrists. Sometimes I hit into the ground so steep that I
don’t get a follow through. Ball goes straight but I lift almost 10lbs of
dirt. I’ve been working so hard on hitting ball first without interacting
with the turf, and I can’t get myself to clip the grass neatly or less
heavy out of fear of hitting it fat or thin.

Any pointers?

Jancen says:

When I practiced this drill today with the club parallel to the ground then
going back, I thought this will be a piece of cake. I was wrong. Even
though I shifted my weight to the left, I was chunking it because I was
releasing the club too early. I now become conscious of maintaining the
lag. A very simple yet very effective drill!

Mike Molloy says:

beginners lesson.

i wish all youtube vids were graded per level of player.

Ninja_Prime says:

Hi Derek, great advise I tend to do this a lot, I am still trying to be
consistent with “hitting” the ball and eliminating fat shots. I think my
main problem is my weight shift during the back-swing, your advise and
practice drills are helping a lot, cheers.

JAMES K says:

was i the only one that really want him to hit the ball

Jason King says:

I went golfing for the first time (virtual indoor) and I hit the ground
EVERY time! I double parred every hole! It was fun but I very frustrating.
Will definitely try this next time thanks. 

M Bernard says:

I really liked the stop hitting the ground before the ball, very good.

tomi Last says:

Derek, I found that having my wrist ‘cocked’ at the top of the swing and
maintaining that ‘cocked’ wrist on the downswing (lag) then releasing my
wrist naturally near my ball not only cured the fat shot but also allowed
me to transfer my weight through the shot. I still think one must apply to
what you are displaying.

Kevin Wing says:

Hi Derek, I sometimes hit fat shots and I have previously thought it is
because I am trying to hard to get the inside line (as some times I cut
across, causing a slice). Do you think this drill will work for that kind
of scenario too? Thanks.

KC Zhong says:

Hi Derek, You precisely pointed out my problem. Weight shifting is my key
problem. I would do it better in my practise swing. When I stood up to hit
the ball, it came back, due to the tension in my mind. How would I fix it?
My swing coach said that I need a psychologist. I am hopeless!

Justin Anderlik says:

Love your videos another good drill I use is making a line with spray paint
and put a line of balls down 1-2 inches behind the line and try to start my
divots at the line while hitting the ball really improved my striking

Mark Marr says:

thank you! really helpful


here is the tip

Kevin Yeo says:

Saw your video today and tried it on driving range. It works and helps in
my swing consistency. Ball was higher and farther. Thank you for your tip.

Top Performance Golf says:

Derek, thank you for posting this. Do you believe that a poor path has the
biggest influence on thin/fat shots. I have always found that most people
who struggle with clean contact seem to come too far from the inside or
over-the-top. Thoughts?

Brad Morris says:

My fat shots come from neglecting to set my wrists properly in the back
swing. This generally comes from letting tension creep into my fore arms.
This not only causes fat shots for me but even if I manage to drive my body
forward enough to hit the ball, there is no lag and the shots are usually

rick says:

where’s the swing?

Hieu Dinh says:

I like your video very much. Thanks for postng this.

john lucas says:

Thanks Derek great drill I too have a habit of creeping forward. I have
been doing the drill for about 4 practice sessions and have seen
improvement in ball compression and striking. Thanks again

Kiran Mangrulkar says:

Great tips! Eliminated fat shot

revman417 says:

Great advice thanks..

DerekHooperGOLF says:

Thanks for the comment Anthony. You are correct that shoulder position and
spine angle will move the swing’s low point. But if you sequence the motion
correctly, as I outlined in the video, this will correct the majority of
those errors. All the best with your golf game. Derek

ntrickn says:

Thank You for taking the time and effort presenting these videos. These
really help. I’ve been playing for the past 8-10 years and I’ve benefited
more from these videos than from lesson from local “golf pros”.

Dean Bosniac says:

very good !! useful.

joefagolf says:

Antony, get a clue! His first point was to make swings to denote where the
grass should be struck in relation to the ball prior to actually striking

Dave Segal says:

Thank you.

Anthony Campagna says:

You should mention that a high right shoulder and improper spine tilt will
move the bottom of the swing arc to the left of the ball creating a fat

David Price says:

Great drill for fat iron shots

claypool28 says:

very instructional to the point and clear thanks

Romeolo888 says:

what about the longer irons or hybrids, do you hit down on the ball with
these to?

aaron yeo says:

Wow! It works.

Trenton Kielion says:

Im one of those players who plays the ball in the front of my stance If I
move the ball ball back in my stance I blade it really bad’ or hook it.
What a I doing wrong?

duojet1959 says:

Great video – thanks

Antony Paulson says:

he is completely WRONG. people hit the ground for one main reason. they
stand too close to the ball, and never take a practice swing or 2 prior to
the real swing

DerekHooperGOLF says:

Hi Anthony, thanks for taking the time to comment. Standing too close to
the ball can lead a player to hit the ground before the ball, but if this
was the only reason surely players would have figured that out pretty
quickly. I have seen many players who stand too far from the ball yet still
manage to hit ground first. The golf swing is a complex motion and there
can be a variety of causes for poor shots. The key is to know why you hit
your poor shot and what you need to do to correct it. Derek

DerekHooperGOLF says:

Hi Brad, I agree that too much tension in the hands and arms will kill club
head speed and shot consistency. Try getting to a range and hitting a few
shorter shots, no target, just see how little tension you can have in your
hands and arms and still hit the ball. The only way you have too little
tension is if the club goes sailing down the range. You might be surprised
how little tension is required and that will be the catalyst for you to
remove the unwanted tension. All the best Derek

Dennis Petruzzelli says:

Excellent lesson. Well explained.

mike ives says:

thanks for that !

DerekHooperGOLF says:

Romwolo888, thanks for the question. As long as the ball is sitting on the
ground it is preferable for the low point of the swing to be on the target
side of the ball. Thus the club will be traveling down as it strikes the
ball. The amount of downward movement of the club is slightly less with the
longer clubs due to the length of the shaft, but it still works down. I
hope that helps and all the best with your golf game Derek

aaron pulley says:

Thank you sir, you are my new coach! 🙂

Justin Estabrook says:

Very well said. It’s all about reps.

isukgolfcrew says:

Great advice! At we call that hitting the big ball first!

DerekHooperGOLF says:

Hi Justin, great to hear you are enjoying my videos. I like the drill you
describe, it will work well in helping you to hit the ball and then turf.

All the best with your golf game


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