How to Stop Topping the Golf Ball (Complete Guide)

By Chris Moore •  Updated on 04/04/22

Topping the golf ball is an inconsistency that holds a lot of golfers back from reaching their goals.

Whether it’s your driver, irons, or wedges, you need to fix it if you want to become a consistent ball striker and score well.

To solve this issue once and for all, try these tips we’ve put together for you!

What is a top in golf?

As you can probably tell by the name, a top occurs when you hit the top of the golf ball, creating a topspin that doesn’t allow the ball to launch properly.

Generally, the ball will go straight into the ground or you’ll get a lucky bounce and it’ll go 100 yards or so.

No matter what happens after you top the ball, it’s going to negatively affect your score so let’s go over what causes a topped golf shot, and how you can fix it!

What causes a topped golf shot?

There are a few different reasons you may be topping the ball, so let’s go into each scenario and diagnose your problem once and for all.

Your golf clubs are too short

Having golf clubs that are too short won’t allow you to hit the bottom of the ball and create the backspin needed to launch it in the air.

That’s why this is a major problem for golfers who top the ball.

You need clubs that allow you to hit the bottom of the ball so you can avoid topping the ball.

Lifting your body during your swing

While most golfers think lifting their head is the culprit for topping the golf ball, more often than not, it’s your entire body that’s causing it.

When you lift your body during your swing, it disrupts the downswing and takes away from how much power and depth you can generate with your swing.

This decrease in power will cause you to mishit, and ultimately top the ball more often than not.

Trying to lift the ball in the air

If you’re trying to scoop the ball into the air, oftentimes you’ll hit the top part of the ball which leads to a topped shot.

Instead, you should focus on hitting down on the golf ball and letting the loft of your club do the heavy lifting for you.

You want to focus on making solid contact instead of trying to lift the ball into the air.

Having an unfavorable lie

When you don’t have a flat lie in the fairway or rough, you’re at an increased chance of topping the golf ball.

This is because you’re hitting from a position that’s not comfortable and you’re not able to swing through the ball in a fluid way.

If you find yourself in this situation often, try practicing with different types of lies so you can get more comfortable hitting from those positions.

How to stop topping the golf ball

Now that we’ve covered some of the most common reasons for topping the golf ball, it’s time to share how you can stop topping the golf ball.

Move your hands forward

Having your hands forward when you make contact with the ball will let the club loft do the work, and you won’t feel the need to “scoop” the ball.

With the right attack angle, the ball will launch off the club into the air.

If this feels uncomfortable, you can move your hands forward before starting your swing, so naturally, they’ll be more forward when you hit the ball.

Hit down on the ball

Similar to the last tip, hitting down on the ball and utilizing your clubs’ loft can launch the ball into the air by creating backspin.

This is a more natural way to hit the ball and you won’t feel the need to scoop it up.

Just make sure you’re making solid contact with the golf ball, so you can generate enough power to get the ball into the air.

Keep your head steady

During your golf swing, your head should stay as still as possible throughout the entire swing.

If you do this properly, your club will come back to it’s original point and hit the ball properly.

A lot of amateur golfers move their head too much during the swing, so slow down and focus on the ball throughout the full swing.

Proper ball placement

Having proper ball placement could be the difference between topping the ball and not.

If the ball is too forward or behind in your stance, you’ll struggle to hit down on the ball and it won’t launch off the club as designed.

When hitting a driver, you’ll want the ball to be lined up with your inner front heel.

When hitting a fairway wood or long iron, you’ll want the ball to be about 3/4 towards your front foot.

And lastly, when hitting a shorter iron or wedge, you’ll want the ball to be in the middle of your stance.

Of course these are guidelines and not a one-size fit all, but it’s a great starting point if you’re topping the ball constantly.


As we’ve covered, there are a variety of reasons you may be topping the golf ball.

Whether it’s your equipment, you trying to lift the ball, having a bad lie, or lifting your body during your swing, we’ve given you a few quick fixes to try out and hopefully correct the problem!

While it may seem like a lot to take in at first, don’t overwhelm yourself, focus on what the issue is, and take the time to practice and fix it.

In no time, you’ll be hitting the ball in the air and straighter than ever!

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.