How to Hit Down on the Golf Ball: A Guide for Beginners

By Chris Moore •  Updated on 02/15/22

Most amateur golfers have a misunderstanding that you should hit the ball on the upward part of your swing to get it in the air.

But when you watch the professionals, you see they hit down on the ball and it flies rapidly through the air.

That’s because they’re compressing the golf ball, which helps create a ton of spin and distance on their shots.

So if you’re looking to hit your iron shots better, you’ll want to hit down on the ball and compress it just like they do.

And in this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know to hit down on the golf ball so you can hit those pure iron shots as well!

What Does Hitting Down On The Golf Ball Actually Mean?

Hitting down on the golf ball means your swing is on the downward motion when making contact with the ball.

That’s why you see professional golfers take a divot after the ball, meaning their swing was still on the downward motion when they made contact.

This is in contrast to hitting up on the golf ball, which is one of the biggest mistakes among amateur golfers.

Why You Should Hit Down On The Ball Instead Of Hitting It Upwards

It’s important to remember each of your clubs comes with a specific loft, which is the angle formed by a line that runs down the center of the shaft and a line running down the face of the club.

While a driver may have a loft of 9.5″ or 10.5″, a lob wedge may have a loft of 58″ or 60″. So even though you’re hitting down on the golf ball, the loft of the club will allow it to launch it high and far!

Okay, that’s cool and all, but why should I hit down on the ball instead of hitting it upwards?

When you hit up on the ball, your swing is going more towards the sky and less through the ball. This makes it harder to get spin on your shots and results in a lower trajectory.

And when you hit down on the ball, you compress it which creates more backspin and a higher trajectory.

This helps the ball launch farther, land softer on the green, and gives you a lot more accuracy on your approach shots.

4 Steps To Hitting Down On The Golf Ball Every Time

Step 1

Get in a shoulder-width stance, with your weight equally distributed on both sides of your body and golf ball directly in the middle of your stance.

If you’re hitting a long iron, it can be moved up a few inches in your stance towards the front foot.

Step 2

Take your backswing, focusing on your hips rotating backwards and creating a hinge with your wrists.

Most of your weight should be on your back foot, with a 90-degree angle from the club shaft to your front arm.

Step 3

Swing the club downwards, turning your hips towards the target and coming down on the ball, keeping that club lag (or wrist hinge) until right before impact.

Keeping that angle intact will help you hit down on the ball properly, coming through it.

Step 4

Make contact with the ball and take a small divot after contact, while continue to open your hips and releasing your wrists for maximum distance.

If you took a divot in front of the ball, you successfully hit down and compressed the golf ball, congratulations!


In conclusion, hitting down on the golf ball and compressing it will help you hit the ball further, higher, and more consistent than ever before.

While I hope this guide helped you understand everything you’d need to hit down on the golf ball, I understand some of you may learn better through visuals.

If that’s you, here’s a drill you can use to practice at home:

Chris Moore

Hi, I'm Chris Moore and I'm the guy behind As an avid golfer since 2010, I decided to create this blog to share everything I've learned over the years. Whether it's golf equipment, swing tips, or anything in-between, I want to make sure you have everything you need to become a better golfer.