How to Stop Hitting Behind the Golf Ball | Get the Basics NOW

how to stop hitting behind the golf ball

I’ll never forget the day I realized I had a problem hitting behind the golf ball. It was a gorgeous day at the course, the sun was shining and the birds were chirping. I walked confidently up to my ball, took a deep breath, and BAM! I hit the ground so hard, I swear I could feel the roots of the grass. My divot flew farther than my ball, and even the group behind me winced. I knew I needed to figure out how to stop hitting behind the golf ball. 

Lucky for you, dear reader, I’ve become a bit of a golf expert since then. So, take my hand, and let’s dive into the art of hitting clean shots.

What Does Hitting Behind the Ball Mean?

Firstly, let’s understand what hitting behind the ball means. This happens when your club strikes the ground too early, behind the golf ball, causing a fat shot. This results in the ball traveling less distance and not having the desired flight path. This painful experience can result from several factors, including poor swing mechanics, incorrect ball position, and a lack of weight transfer. 

Now, onto the good stuff – how to fix this issue.

How to Stop Hitting Behind the Golf Ball?

To stop hitting behind the ball, there are a few things that you can do. 

  • First, check your stance and make sure you’re not standing too close to the ball. 
  • Second, focus on shifting your weight to your front foot during your swing.
  • Finally, practice your follow-through and make sure you’re finishing with your weight on your front foot.

1. Check Your Ball Position

a golfer in a stance position and addressing the golf ball

The first step is to check your ball position. If the ball is positioned too far back in your stance, there is a higher chance of hitting behind the ball. On the other hand, if the ball is placed too far forward, it can lead to topping the ball. Find the right ball position for you and stick to it.

Recommended Ball Positions for Different Clubs
ClubBall Position
DriverOff front heel
Woods/HybridsOne ball length inside the front foot
IronsMiddle of your stance
WedgesOne ball length inside the back foot

2. Maintain Your Posture

Sometimes we lose proper posture during our swing, leading to hitting behind the ball. Make sure to maintain a consistent and balanced posture throughout your swing. Keep your weight centered and don’t lean back excessively on your backswing. Also, researchers have studied electromyography patterns to analyze muscle activity during golf swing mechanics, ultimately discovering that issues with timing and muscle activation can contribute to hitting behind the ball.

Tips to Maintain Proper Posture
Stay balancedKeep your weight balanced throughout the swing
Neutral spineKeep your spine straight and not arched or hunched
Bend slightlyBend forward at the waist slightly, do not stand up

3. Hold Your Finish

a golfer in a position of golf swing follow through

Holding your finish can help you feel the correct swing sequence and avoid hitting behind the ball. After striking the ball, hold your finish for a few seconds. If you’re not properly balanced in your finish, it’s an indication that you may have hit behind the ball.

Holding Your Finish Tips
BalanceFinish balanced on your lead foot
Arm positionCheck if your arms are fully extended, and your hands high
Head positionYour head should be facing the target and not down

4. Use Proper Weight Shift

Weight shift is a critical element in preventing hitting behind the ball. Ensure that your weight moves properly on your downswing, allowing your club to hit the ball first before the ground.

Tips for Proper Weight Shift
Start on the rightStart your backswing with weight on your right foot
Shift to the leftShift your weight to the left on the downswing, completing the weight transfer
Finish on the leftYour weight should be completely on the left side on your follow-through

5. Practice Your Swing

Practice makes perfect! Use alignment aids and practice drills to work on your swing and avoid hitting behind the ball. Make sure you are using an ideal golf swing plane as it impacts the contact point of the golf ball at the hitting position. Spend time at the driving range or work with a golf instructor to perfect your swing and technique.

Drills to Stop Hitting Behind the Golf Ball
DrillsStepsPersonal Experience
1. Takeaway Drill1. Set up as you normally would for a shot.
2. Take your backswing and pause with the club parallel to the ground.
3. From this position, take the club back further, keeping your wrists firm and your left arm straight.
4. Pause again and then slowly swing through to hit the ball.
This drill has helped me maintain my balance during my backswing and hit the ball more consistently.
2. Weight Transfer Drill1. Start by taking a comfortable stance.
2. Place a tee or a ball under your left foot.
3. As you swing back, transfer your weight onto your right foot.
4. As you swing through, shift your weight onto your left foot and strike the ball.
This drill has helped me maintain my timing during my swing and hit the ball more solidly.
3. Ball Position Drill1. Start by setting up as you normally would.
2. Take your normal stance and grip.
3. Move the ball forward in your stance, towards your front foot.
4. Swing through and hit the ball.
I found that this drill helped me make cleaner contact with the ball and get a better sense of my swing plane.

Professional Guide: Drills to Compress the Golf Ball

How to Stop Hitting Behind the Golf Ball with Driver and Irons?

Hitting the ground with a driver or irons is a common problem among golfers, but the good news is that it can be easily fixed with some simple adjustments to your stance, swing, and follow-through. As a golf expert, I’ve had my fair share of struggles with hitting behind the golf ball too.

Here are my personal tips on how to stop hitting the ground with the driver and irons, so you can improve your game and see better scores on the course.

How to Stop Hitting Behind the Golf Ball with Driver?

1. Tee the ball up high: When using a driver, you should tee up the ball a little higher than you would with an iron. This will help you catch the ball slightly on the upswing, which will prevent you from hitting the ground before the golf ball.

2. Maintain a good posture: Keeping a good posture will help you maintain your balance and move through the ball correctly. While addressing the ball, make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart, with your weight evenly distributed.

3. Proper ball position: With a driver, you should position the ball slightly forward in your stance. This will allow you to catch the ball on an upward trajectory, reducing the risk of hitting behind the ball.

4. Swing through the ball: When swinging with a driver, you should focus on swinging through the ball, not just hitting it. This will help you avoid hitting behind the golf ball while also generating more power.

How to Stop Hitting Behind the Golf Ball with Irons?

1. Check your club fitting: One of the main causes of hitting behind the ball with irons is an improper club fitting. Make sure you’re using the right size and length of clubs for your height and body type.

2. Keep your weight forward: When swinging with irons, you should keep your weight forward and centered on your feet. This will help you strike the ball first & you will not hit the ground before the golf ball.

3. Position the ball correctly: Depending on the type of iron you’re using, you should position the ball correctly in your stance. For shorter irons, the ball should be more toward the middle of your stance, while longer irons should be positioned more toward the front of your stance.

4. Maintain a consistent tempo: When swinging with irons, keeping a consistent tempo is key. Focus on making a smooth and controlled swing, rather than trying to swing as hard as you can.

YouTube Video via ChrisRyanGolf

Why Am I Hitting Behind the Golf Ball?

With years of experience on the course, I know how frustrating it can be to consistently hit behind the golf ball. It’s a common problem that many golfers face, but there are several reasons why this may be happening.

IssuePossible CausesSolutions
Improper ball positioningThe ball is too far back in the stanceAdjust the ball position more forward in the stance
Poor weight distributionWeight too far back or leaning back during a backswingFocus on keeping weight centered or slightly forward during backswing
Swing plane too steepThe club is too steep on downswing, hitting the ground before the ballPerform swings at a shallower angle and better follow-through
Struggling with hitting down on the ballOvercompensating for trying to lift the ball into the airPractice controlled downswings that prioritize hitting down onto the ball
Faulty clubUse of clubs not suited for the current course or swingAnalyze the correct club for each shot and match it to the swing

As for me, ball positioning has always been an issue. I used to place the ball too far back in my stance, which caused me to hit behind the ball consistently. I learned to adjust my position more forward and saw a significant improvement in my swing. 

Swing Like a Pro and Stop Hitting Behind the Golf Ball

“Swing and a miss!” is not a phrase any golfer wants to hear on the course. But fear not, my friends. I have shared with you some expert tips on how to stop hitting behind the golf ball. Remember to maintain proper posture, keep your eye on the ball, and swing through it like you’re slicing a delicious pie. And if all else fails, blame it on the divots. 

As the great Bobby Jones once said, “Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots.” So keep swinging and stay tuned for more pro tips on Golf Ace Nation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why am I hitting behind the ball with my fairway woods?

It’s frustrating when you keep hitting behind the golf ball with your fairway woods. But don’t worry, it’s a common problem that many golfers face. There are a few reasons why this might be happening. 

  • One possibility is that you’re not shifting your weight properly during your swing. 
  • Another possibility is that you’re not making solid contact with the ball. 

Whatever the reason, remember that golf is a game of persistence and practice.

Q. What is it called when you hit behind the golf ball?

As you are struggling with golf hitting behind the ball, is known as a fat shot. This creates a large divot of turf before the ball and sends it rolling only a few feet forward. Golfers use a variety of techniques to avoid hitting behind the ball, such as keeping their weight forward and striking down on the ball. 

Q. What do you focus on when hitting a golf ball?

When hitting a golf ball, there are a few key things that you should keep in mind. 

  • Firstly, focus on your stance and make sure that you are properly balanced to ensure a strong and stable swing. 
  • Next, concentrate on your grip and make sure it’s not too tight or too loose. 
  • Finally, your eyes should go to the ball and keep your head down and swing through the ball rather than at it.

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