How to Stop Scooping the Golf Ball with Proven Tactics?

how to stop scooping the golf ball

Golf has been a love-hate relationship for me; there are days I feel like a pro and other days when my ball seems to be playing hide-and-seek in the grass. One of my biggest challenges has been continuously scooping the golf ball on my swings. It’s like I’m trying to launch it into space, but instead, it takes a nose-dive and lands at my feet. I’m not alone in this struggle, and that’s why I’m excited to share this expert guide on “How to Stop Scooping the Golf Ball.” 

So, get ready to learn some helpful tips and tricks to finally hit those soaring shots you’ve always dreamed of.

Understanding the Scoop

First, let’s understand what the scoop is. The scoop happens when the clubhead strikes the ground before making contact with the ball. The leading edge of the club digs into the turf and the clubhead slows down, causing the ball to fly high and short. 

Golfers typically scoop because they are trying to help the ball into the air. They fear the ball won’t lift off the ground and try to scoop it up using their wrists and hands, causing the clubhead to lose speed.

The scoop is most common with the short irons and wedges as golfers try to hit high shots onto the green, but it can occur with any club. 

How to Stop Scooping the Golf Ball?

Now that you understand what the scoop is, let’s discuss how to stop scooping the golf ball. 

1. Keep Your Hands in Front of the Ball

One of the most effective ways to stop scooping is to keep your hands in front of the ball at impact. This means that when the clubhead strikes the ball, your hands should be leading the clubhead. 

To practice, place a ball between your hands and take your grip. Swing the club back and forth without hitting the ball. As you swing forward, make sure to keep your hands in front of the ball, leading the clubhead into the ball. 

2. Focus on Your Weight Shift

Another way to stop scooping is to focus on your weight shift. This can also help with maintaining the proper swing path. 

At the top of your swing, your weight should be on your back foot. During your downswing, smoothly shift your weight to your front foot. This will allow you to strike down on the ball, instead of scooping it up. 

Practice this by taking practice swings while visualizing your weight shift. Once you master this technique, you’ll notice an immediate improvement in your ball striking.

Weight Distribution
PhasePercent on Front FootPercent on Back Foot
Address55%45%
Top of Backswing70%30%
Impact80%20%
Finish90%10%

3. Use the Correct Ball Position

The ball position is the key to hitting solid shots. The ball should be positioned in the middle of your stance for shorter irons and wedges and slightly further forward for longer clubs. 

If the ball is too far back in your stance, you’re more likely to hit down on the ball and scoop it up. If it’s too far forward, you may hit up on the ball and hit it too high. 

To find the correct position, use your feet as a guide. For shorter irons, the ball should be in line with the middle of your feet. For longer clubs, your ball position should be closer to your front foot.

Golf Ball Position Guide
ClubBall Position
Short IronsMiddle of Feet
7-ironSlightly Forward
5-ironForward
HybridForward
DriverForward/Off the Front Foot

4. Use a Shallower Angle of Approach

The angle of approach is the angle at which the clubhead comes into the ball. A steep angle of approach can cause you to scoop the ball. A shallower angle of approach will allow you to strike the ball more cleanly and get a good speed in the golf swing

To get a shallower angle of approach, try sliding your hips slightly forward during your downswing. This will help you to swing more from the inside, reducing the steepness of your angle of approach. 

5. Hit Down on the Ball

One of the biggest problems with scooping is that the golfer is trying to lift the ball up into the air instead of hitting it down. To fix this, practice hitting down on the ball with your irons. The goal is to make contact with the ball first and then the ground. To do this, place your ball on a tee and set up to hit a shot, making sure your hands are ahead of the ball at impact. 

Personal tip: I like to imagine that I’m hitting the ground below the ball, which helps me to focus on hitting down on it.

Common Causes of Scooping 

There are several reasons why you might be scooping the ball. The most common causes include:

1. Poor weight transfer: If your weight isn’t shifting properly during your swing, it can cause the clubhead to hit the ground before the ball.

2. Hitting up on the ball: Trying to hit up on the ball to gain more height can cause a scooping motion, which is why some golfers prefer to use expensive golf balls to maximize their distance and accuracy.

3. Poor angle of attack: If you’re coming in too steep or too shallow into the ball, you’re likely to scoop it.

4. Poor alignment: Poor alignment can cause problems with your swing and lead to scooping.

Drills to Stop Scooping the Golf Ball

There are several drills you can practice to stop scooping the golf ball. Here, I’ll be discussing four such drills that have helped me improve my golf game significantly.

Drill 1: The Towel Drill

The towel drill is a popular drill that can help you correct your scooping technique & even help with topping the golf ball. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Place a towel on the ground in front of the golf ball.
Step 2: Address the ball with your club and position it on the towel.
Step 3: Release the club with your normal backswing and try to hit the ball without touching the towel.

This drill will force you to hit down on the ball, preventing you from scooping it. Practice this drill several times until you are confident enough to hit the ball without touching the towel.

Drill 2: The Balloon Drill

The balloon drill is a fun and effective way to improve your ball striking and prevent scooping. Here’s how you do it:

Step 1: Inflate a balloon and place it about a foot off the ground.
Step 2: Take your club and try to hit the balloon without popping it.
Step 3: Repeat this drill until you can hit the balloon consistently without popping it.

This drill will help you develop a downward angle of attack. It will also help you understand the importance of hitting down on the ball, preventing you from scooping.

Drill 3: The Impact Bag Drill

The impact bag drill is a great way to practice your ball striking and prevent scooping. Here’s how you do it:

Step 1: Set up an impact bag or a padded bag in front of you.
Step 2: Address the bag with your club and take your normal backswing.
Step 3: Swing down and hit the bag as if you were hitting a golf ball.

This drill will help you develop a downward angle of attack, preventing you from scooping the ball. It will also help you understand the proper impact position.

Drill 4: The Pitching Drill

The pitching drill is a simple and effective way to improve your ball striking. Here’s how you do it:

Step 1: Place a golf ball on the ground.
Step 2: Take your pitching wedge and position it behind the ball.
Step 3: Practice hitting the ball without hitting the ground behind it.

This drill will help you develop a downward angle of attack, preventing you from scooping the ball. It will also help you improve your overall ball-striking and control.

I have personally tried and tested all these drills, and they have helped me improve my golf game significantly. However, it’s important to remember that mastering a technique requires consistent practice. So, be patient and keep practicing these drills to develop a proper technique.

Stop Scooping the Golf Ball: The Recap

Well, that brings us to the end of my ultimate guide on how to stop scooping the golf ball. We all know how frustrating and embarrassing it can be to have the ball roll a few feet after your swing. But fear not, dear readers. With the tips and tricks I’ve shared, you’ll become a pro at hitting the ball straight and true.

Remember, proper technique is key. Keep your weight centered, and wrists solid, and hit through the ball with a descending blow. Practice makes perfect, so get out there and start honing your skills.

Lastly, don’t forget the importance of putting in golf. Remember to stay steady and confident during your putt strokes – it’s all about the follow-through!

Keep on golfing and be sure to follow Golf Ace Nation for more expert tips and tricks. Happy Golfing!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What causes scooping in golf swings and how can I identify if I am doing it?

Scooping is the tendency to lift the golf ball into the air during impact, leaving it with a weak and ineffective shot. Often, scooping occurs when golfers try to lift the ball into the air using their hands and wrists instead of using the proper technique to strike through the ball with power. To identify if you are scooping, look for signs like hitting the ball thin, hitting it off the toe, or hitting the ground before the ball.

Q2. What should I do to stop scooping the golf ball?

To stop scooping, focus on using the proper technique for a golf swing, which is to strike the ball with a downward motion, hitting it before taking a divot from the ground. Work on your golf swing and the contact you make with the ball by sapping at the ball, rotating and engaging the lower body to power your swing, practicing continuous strikes without any scoop, and most importantly, choosing the right golf ball. Don’t go with cheap or very old balls.

Q3. Can proper weight shifting also help me to stop scooping the golf ball?

Yes, proper weight shifting can play a significant role in helping to stop scooping the golf ball. Often, scooping occurs when golfers shift their weight to the back and then attempt to lift the ball in the air to gain height and distance. 

By learning how to shift your weight correctly, you can maintain a steady trajectory of ball striking, ensuring that you lean into the ball in the follow-through, helping to prevent scooping.

Q4. Can a change in equipment help me to stop scooping the golf ball?

While the majority of people use standard golf equipment, a change in equipment can indeed help some golfers avoid scooping the golf ball. The lie angle on the club’s face and the club’s flexibility can help or harm in preventing scooping. 

Seeking advice from a golfing professional with an analysis machine, seeking equipment that provides flex to help contact and better surface grip on the clubface to prevent too much torque, and can have a significant positive impact.

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