Swing down to go up

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Editor’s note: Steve Charters is in his 10th year as a pro at Twin Pines Golf Course. Born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Charters competed at Central College in Pella and has been a pro for 17 years in Dubuque and Cedar Rapids.

Too often, especially in beginners, I see players hit a thin shot or top the ball. The leading edge of the club strikes the ball in the middle or above the middle of the ball.

The most common reason is the urge to “help” the ball into the air, which usually results in the opposite of what you hoped would occur. Club have loft, so let the loft do the work.

Instead of lifting at impact to help the ball into the air, think of hitting down on it and trying to take some turf when you swing. This gets the club under the ball, the ball rolls onto the face of the club, which gets the ball into the air. Backspin, dimples and physics take over from there.

So next time you top one or hit it thin, take some practice swings before the next swing. Concentrate on taking some turf or making a divot to ensure the club gets under the ball.

When you swing you want your body to stay level as you turn the club back. Imagine your sternum is the center of your swing. Anytime it moves up, you’ve moved the center of your swing up as well. That means where your swing bottoms out has moved up as well and won’t be able to get back to its original position, resulting in blading or topping the ball.

— Steve

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