One of the hurdles many beginner golfers face is getting the ball up into the air. The tendency is to “scoop” the ball with the club in order to get it airborne. This happens primarily because you don’t trust your golf swing or your club to make it happen on its own. But all of your clubs are designed with enough lofts to get the ball flying, without any scooping action.
Until you understand how golf clubs work you may continue to subconsciously keep trying to scoop the ball up, but this will only cause you to top the ball every time. At best you might hit a weak shot that veers to the right.
Here’s how to get the Ball into the Air
If you’re scooping the ball, you’re either shifting your weight backwards or not shifting at all. Instead, while making your downswing, you must transfer your body weight from your back foot to your front foot. You accomplish this by driving your hips first in the downswing.
When your weight shifts backwards and away from your target, your forward shoulder is pitched upwards changing the path of your swing. The correct swing path is a circle; with the ground being its lowest point, but shifting your weight backwards while trying to swing forward, your swing path becomes oval, with the lowest point somewhere 3 to 5 inches in the air.
This is why your swing sends the ball skidding along the ground instead of getting airborne – you’re only making contact with the top half of the golf ball. This may seem hard to learn when you’re just beginning, but in order to get the ball to fly skyward; your swing needs to come in from a descending blow. Trust the loft of your club to get the ball in the air.
Trust that when you swing downward at the ball and getting your weight over onto the left foot before impact, the ball will fly up into the air. Once you get this basic swing technique down you’ll see a few divots being made in the ground. This is good! You are now making your shots with the right kind of swings and hitting the ball, and the ground, at the same time.
Divots form at the front of the ball after you make contact with the back of the ball and then continue on for several inches. Too big of a divots before impact will slow down your club head and you will end up topping the ball.