The Underrated Secret for Incredible Golf Ball Striking

By Todd Kolb
September 22, 2022

This Secret for Jaw-Dropping Golf Ball Striking Seems Too Easy. But It Definitely Works.

You know that sense of anticipation when you’re expecting a day of solid golf ball striking?

Maybe you’ve made some great strides in your game recently. Or you just picked up some great swing tips and you’re ready to put them into action. Whatever the reason, you hit the driving range feeling good. 

And that makes it all the more devastating when you can’t seem to get solid contact with the golf ball. No matter what you try, you hit every shot behind the ball. You’re taking huge divots and losing yards. What the heck is happening? 

For all the advice you can find on golf ball striking, there’s one key concept that constantly falls through the cracks. Once you grasp it, making solid contact gets way easier.

I’m about to let you in on this secret. I’ll explain the reasoning behind it, share a simple drill for fixing the problem, and give you a tip to take along on your next round.

Let’s jump in.

Why You’re Getting Terrible Contact

First, if you find you have most of your golf ball striking struggles on the driving range, it might be a turf issue. Your ball will react differently depending on the surface you hit it from. 

Does your home driving range have you hitting off sand or a golf mat? Then the problem might be as simple as that. (Here’s some advice for practicing with golf mats, if you need it.) 

But suppose the issue isn’t the turf.

Dollars to donuts, the problem is your weight distribution. 

You may have also heard me talk about this as pressure in your feet. If you sway side to side right now, you’ll feel your body weight shift between your feet. Sway to the right and you’ll feel more pressure in your right foot. Sway to the left and the weight will shift to the left.

When it comes to golf ball striking, your weight dictates where the bottom of your swing is on the downswing. If you keep your weight on your trail foot as you swing down, guess what. 

You’re going to hit the ground behind the golf ball. 

A lot of golfers do this without even realizing it. If you’re having trouble with poor contact, let your weight be the first thing you check. 

For solid golf ball striking, you want your weight to shift forward into your lead foot as you swing down. You should feel like about 70-80% of your weight is in your lead foot at impact. This is especially key for compressing the golf ball on your iron shots.

When you shift your weight forward, you naturally hit the ball more forward. There’s nothing to think about—it just happens. 

So how do you pick up this new habit if you’re used to keeping your weight on the trail foot?

Glad you asked.

The Step Drill for Better Golf Ball Striking

If you follow me, you know I love a good three-setter. And this one is so easy to do. 

Here’s how it works:

  1. Step back from the ball so it’s out of your reach.
  2. Take your regular setup with no ball.
  3. Step your lead foot back beside your trail foot so they’re side by side, just a couple inches apart.
  4. Take a practice swing. As you swing forward and through, step the lead foot forward into its regular position.
  5. Repeat two more times.
  6. Step up to the ball and hit a regular shot with your feet in their regular positions.

Now, I love this drill for a couple reasons.

For one, it’s incredibly easy to do. You’ll find that you pick up the motion pretty quickly, which means you can pick up the skill quickly, too.

The Step Drill also helps you get out of your head and into your body. You can feel the rhythm of the weight shift and replicate it immediately in your golf swing.

As an added benefit, you’ll likely find that practicing this weight shift doesn’t just give you better contact. That side-to-side movement also builds speed, maximizes your power, and helps you get better distance.

Wins all around, right?

But how do you put this into practice on the golf course? If you’re still getting the hang of shifting your weight, you can’t exactly do a three-setter before every shot. Your fellow golfers will kill you.

Don’t worry. There’s a really easy way to keep working on your golf ball striking when you’re playing a round.

The Deceptively Simple Golf Ball Striking Secret

This tip is so easy you’re not going to believe me. Try it anyway. I promise it makes a world of distance.

Ready for this?

Make sure your knees touch on the finish.

Seriously. That’s it.

Take your shot with the intention of getting your knees to touch at the finish. When you do this, you’ll shift your weight to the lead foot because you have to. You can’t get your knees to touch if you’re weight’s on the trail foot.

Or if you can, something is seriously off in your stance or swing.

What’s great about this golf ball striking tip is that it’s much easier to move towards the goal of touching your knees than it is to consciously time your weight shift mid-swing. You’re tapping into what feels natural to your body instead of trying to teach it something that feels different.

And ultimately, that’s the best way to golf. Having worked with countless golfers over more than 25 years, I can tell you that the best ball strikers are the ones who find a swing that’s natural to them.

The more you work on shifting your weight, the sooner you’ll find that this side-to-side motion is natural to you, too. It’s a surprisingly effortless way to establish tempo, build speed, and—of course—master solid golf ball striking.

What Do You Think?

Do you think this advice will help you get better contact? Do you have any questions I haven’t addressed? What are your own favorite golf ball striking tips?

Jump into the comments and let us know what’s on your mind. We love hearing from you—and hearing where you’re from! Whether you’ve got a question or want to open up a debate, we’re always psyched to talk golf. 

2 Comments

  1. Thanks Todd,
    Your lessons and practice techniques are always valuable. But… what has happened to a persons golf game, which was in the mid low hdcp. area and now progresses to the teens hdcp, I have had to hip replacements and am 82 yrs. of age. I have shot my age several times but having difficulty getting back into the 70’s. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.
    thanks,
    Michael { Mick }

  2. Mick,

    Appreciate you posting. What part of your game is struggling? Many of golfers have found our latest book, The Bad Lie very helpful. Here is the link if you are interested https://www.badliegolfbook.com/

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