Master Ball Striking in Golf: Top Drills and Tips for Consistent Performance

Colin McCarthy

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ball striking golf

Improving your ball striking in golf can transform your game, leading to lower scores and greater consistency. Many golfers struggle with this fundamental aspect, often trying to help the ball into the air rather than striking down on it.

Understanding the nuances of ball striking can make a massive difference, from finding the center of the clubface to optimizing launch angle.

Top 50 Coach Alex Elliott shares seven expert tips to elevate your ball striking. These insights focus on key elements such as impact position and hitting through a mark in front of the ball.

By mastering these techniques, golfers can achieve more accurate and powerful shots, ultimately enhancing their overall performance on the course.

Fundamentals of Ball Striking in Golf

Let’s delve deeper into the fundamentals of ball striking in golf:

Understanding Club-Face Contact

Club-face contact is crucial for consistent ball striking. Golfers should check where the ball hits the clubface to determine their strike pattern. Regularly hitting the center leads to more accurate and powerful shots.

To assess this, mark six golf balls with a dry erase marker or use face tape, then examine the imprint on the clubface after hitting each ball. This helps identify if contact is centered or tends towards the toe, heel, high, or low on the face, allowing for necessary adjustments.

Mastering the Swing Path

Mastering the swing path is crucial for effective ball striking, ensuring the clubface meets the ball squarely to reduce mishits. To practice, align a stick or tees in a straight line and make small swings, increasing speed while keeping the clubhead inside the fence.

This corrects over-the-top movements and promotes an inside-out swing path. Repeated practice builds muscle memory, enhancing your ability to strike the ball cleanly and consistently.

Common Mistakes and Corrections

Let’s discuss common mistakes golfers make in ball striking and how to correct them:

Correcting Heel-Biased Contact

Heel contact happens when the ball strikes near the hosel of the club, leading to weak shots. Players experiencing this tend to set up too close to the ball. To correct this, focus on setting up with the ball slightly further from the body.

An effective drill is to imagine a small barrier inside the ball and aim to swing over it, ensuring better centering on the clubface. Regularly check the clubface for impact marks to verify improvements.

Addressing Toe-Biased Mis-hits

Toe contact is disruptive; it causes the ball to veer weakly off course. Unlike heel contact, this issue often results from an improper stance where the player sets up too far from the ball or sways during the backswing.

To fix toe-biased hits, adjust your stance to be closer to the ball. Practicing with alignment sticks can provide a fixed reference point, ensuring a consistent setup. Focus on maintaining a steady rotation without excessive movement to keep the swing path intact.

Fixing Fat Shots and Thin Shots

Fat shots occur when the club strikes the ground before the ball, and thin shots happen when contact is made on the lower grooves. Both problems stem from improper weight shifting and poor club control.

To fix these, develop an awareness of the “runway” concept; the ground contact should begin right at the back edge of the ball, like an airplane landing on a runway.

Utilize drills that emphasize maintaining a forward shift during the swing and practice with marks on the ground to monitor your divots’ starting point. Consistent practice with these techniques will enhance your ability to strike the ball cleanly.

Essential Drills for Improved Ball Striking

Let’s explore some essential drills for improving ball striking in golf:

The Low Point Drill for Consistency

The Low Point Drill aids golfers in understanding where their club interacts with the ground. Place an alignment stick or golf tees to indicate the desired low point, and set up with your clubhead before the line.

Make small practice swings, aiming to hit the ground just after the line. Gradually increase the speed and length of swings, recalibrating if initial contact occurs before the line.

Once consistent, progress to full swings with a golf ball. This drill enhances weight shifting and results in a cleaner strike.

The Pressure Point Drill to Enhance Feel

The Pressure Point Drill increases a golfer’s sensitivity to grip pressure and shaft control. Hold a club and place a tee between the index finger and thumb of your lead hand. As you swing, focus on maintaining the same pressure on the tee.

This drill helps identify unnecessary grip pressure changes that can cause mis-hits. Practice with slow, deliberate swings at first. As you gain confidence, gradually increase speed while maintaining consistent pressure.

This drill fosters better control and helps ensure cleaner, more solid contact with the ball.

Advanced Techniques for Seasoned Golfers

Let’s delve into advanced techniques tailored for seasoned golfers looking to refine their ball striking:

Pre-Setting the Impact Position

Pre-setting the impact position promotes consistent ball striking. To achieve this, begin by setting up in your normal stance. Shift your weight slightly towards your front foot, ensuring 60% to 70% of your weight rests there.

Position your hands ahead of the ball to create a forward shaft lean. Execute a practice swing while maintaining these adjustments. The goal is to emulate the feel of a proper impact position right from the setup.

Optimizing the Angle of Attack

Optimizing the angle of attack significantly affects ball flight and distance control. Using a steeper angle of attack can produce more backspin, offering better control for irons and wedges.

To do this, ensure the clubhead travels downward at impact. Conversely, for drivers and fairway woods, aim for a shallow angle of attack to maximize distance.

Experiment with ball position and tee height to fine-tune your angle of attack. If issues arise, revisit fundamentals like stance and weight distribution to identify areas for adjustment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is hitting a golf ball called?

The act of striking a golf ball with a club is called a “shot” or “stroke.” Different types of strokes include drives, chips, putts, and pitches, each designed to achieve specific results based on the golfer’s position and the hole’s characteristics.

How to improve ball striking with a driver?

To improve ball striking with a driver, focus on understanding the descending blow, finding the center of the club-face with gate drills, practicing pressure drills, and refining swing sequencing. Pre-setting the impact position and optimizing the swing arc are also crucial.

How to hit more consistent golf shots?

To hit more consistent golf shots, put in the prep work, know your stats, focus on the basics, build your balance, and do more range drills. Adopt a consistent pre-shot routine, develop a strong strategy, and avoid letting a bad shot affect you mentally.

How do you measure ball striking in golf?

Measuring ball striking in golf involves evaluating a player’s combined abilities in driving and hitting greens. The PGA Tour uses a Ball Striking ranking derived from Total Driving and Greens in Regulation statistics.

How to be a good ball striker in golf?

Good ball strikers consistently hit the center of the clubface. Control is also key; while top players might miss slightly right or left, their distance control remains precise. Focus on both contact accuracy and consistent distance to improve ball striking.


Mastering ball striking is a game-changer for any golfer aiming to elevate their performance. By addressing common issues like heel-biased and toe-biased contact, and implementing drills such as the Low Point Drill and Pressure Point Drill, golfers can see significant improvements.

Expert advice from Top 50 Coach Alex Elliott on impact position and swing path adjustments provides a solid foundation for consistent ball striking.

Seasoned players can benefit from pre-setting the impact position and optimizing the angle of attack for better ball flight and distance control.

Regular practice with these advanced techniques will undoubtedly lead to fewer mishits and a more refined game on the course.

Additionally, using high-speed video analysis to review swing mechanics can identify subtle flaws that might be overlooked. Incorporating feedback from technology like launch monitors ensures data-driven adjustments for precision improvement.

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Colin McCarthy

Golf is about mastering your misses and learning from them. I seek answers on the how and why of the golf swing, gaining experience even when answers elude me. With over 11,000 hours of teaching and a hunger for learning, I welcome any questions. My goal is to introduce golf to as many as possible, simplifying the game for all to enjoy. Passionate, eager, and ambitious, I'm here to teach, listen, and learn. LinkedIn

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