Stop Topping and Thinning It

 thin topped shots drill

For players who suffer from an overly flat swing, getting solid impact below the equator of the ball is often difficult. Especially with the irons, a steeper swing path into the ball is needed to produce better contact. In case you don’t understand the difference between a flat an upright swing, here is a quick rundown.


A flat swing is more horizontal or base-ball like (green and white shirt). This student has a swing that can lead to topped and thinned shots.

An upright swing is much more vertical to the ground (purple shirt). This swing type can lead to chunked, fat shots.

upright swing planeflat swing plane

If you often suffer from thin or topped shots – its likely your swing path is too flat. To help get away from a flat swing path, give this drill a try:

Use a mid or short-iron and set the ball up on a tee. About four inches back of your teed ball, set up another tee as shown in the picture. Address the teed ball and try to make a normal backswing – the back tee should nick your club on the way back. To avoid it, you’ll have to lift the club up steeper on the takeaway. Once you can do this properly, complete your swing like normal. If you come in too flat into the ball you’ll likely hit both tees. If your angle of attack is steep enough, you should make solid contact, and miss the back tee. That’s the goal. With some practice – you’re swing should slowly begin to steepen, and your ball contact should improve.

An added benefit of this drill? Lag production. This back tee will reinforce a steep angle of attack, and retaining your wrists cock – like all the golf say – will produce higher swings speeds and more distance.

Give it a try!


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  1. i need help to find a drill to fix this:
    I am a college athlete who just recently started topping everything. Wourst feeling ever. I found out that i am sliding ahead of the ball with my head. I figured the cause is because i put all my weight on my left side to early. Is there a easy way to get all my weight on my right side?

  2. Hey Katie – thanks for the comment. I’m assuming you’re right handed – and that you’re getting ahead of it so to speak.

    Let me preface this by saying you don’t want your weight all on your right side either (its about a 20/80 split at the top of your backswing however). I bet you’re lower body is over-active, which is leading to you getting ahead of the ball. We have some great drills in our pushing section on how to slow down your lower body.

    The bucket in knees drill will help you out. Or consider placing a shaft in the ground in-line with your lead hip. If you’re getting ahead of it – your lead hip will make contact with the shaft.

    I hope that helps, and let me know how it goes.

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