How to Hit the Ball then the Turf with Irons

July 29, 2021

Learn How to Hit the Ball Then the Turf for Better Contact

If you find yourself chunking the golf ball, hitting behind the ball, or hitting thin shots, just know you’re not alone.

We all KNOW we’re supposed to hit the ball then the turf.  That’s not the issue, right?  If it was that easy, we’d all just make ball first contact.

So how can you make proper contact with your irons?  Here are 3 super simple concepts to help you learn how to hit down on the ball for better contact and better golf shots.

Golf Ball Position

In order to hit good iron shots, you need to hit down on the ball.  This is the easiest thing you can look to fix to help you hit your irons better.

To get the proper ball position for irons, start by putting your feet together with the ball in the middle of your stance, and simply separate your feet an equal amount on each side.  That’s about it.

For a good reference tool, we like to use the Rimer Ball Position and Alignment Trainer to help golfers not only see the proper ball position, but also REPEAT it.

If you feel yourself hitting behind the ball or hitting thin shots, simply move the ball a little bit back in your stance to help you compress the golf ball.

Golf Shaft Lean

Another way to hit the ball then turf is to check the position of your hands.  Once again, we’ll put the ball in the middle of the stance, but instead of moving the ball back a little bit in our stance, we simply move the handle slightly forward in our setup.

The forward shaft lean is going to help create more of a descending blow, which will help you compress the golf ball at impact and get that crisp contact you’ve been looking for.

As an added bonus, having a little forward shaft lean actually might help you add some distance.  Often amateur golfers are adding loft at impact, so this tip will reduce some loft on the club. And the improved contact will only help you hit the ball farther as well.

Pressure Shift in the Golf Swing

The final tip is certainly the most advanced, and requires a little more effort to master.  And that has to do with pressure movement during the golf swing.

If you’ve followed our content in the past, you probably know we like to promote a 60/40 golf setup, where you start with more pressure on the lead leg at address.  This allows the body to create some side to side movement. This ability to unweight as you start your swing provides a better rhythm and tempo, can create some more club head speed, and can help you move into the ball during impact for better contact.

Now I  know your first question: Isn’t that just going to create a sway or slide in my backswing?  The answer is no, if you are properly shifting the pressure:

  • Start with a 60/40 pressure split at address
  • As you begin the backswing, you should start feeling the pressure shift to the INSIDE of the back foot
  • While your pressure shifts, you should feel your back pocket work around the body instead of back in the swing
  • Let the trail leg release slightly to help with a proper pivot (you should see daylight between your knees down the line)
  • As you transition into the downswing, transfer that pressure back to the trail leg to release the energy at impact

Here’s a great video showing you how to do it:

And this Magic Move will help you make a proper transition:


If you want to learn how to hit the ball then the turf, you need to understand a few simple concepts. Learning proper ball position and having a little shaft lean are easy ways to help you hit down on the ball, and learning a proper pressure shift can help you maximize your distance.

Take these golf tips to the range, give them a try and you will be hitting your irons flush in no time!


  1. I cannot see the whole picture the top of the screen is covered with the logo. How do I fix this problem?

  2. Really like all your golf tips! Need to ask you proper set (ball and hand) position when hitting off set driver. Have always liked off set wood and drivers. But now just a little trouble with the new ones. Thanks

  3. Always enjoy your videos alway very informing, thanks. Always likes off set drivers and woods. However struggling just a bit with new ones. Need proper set up and hand position

  4. What if as you move your swing bottom forward on the down swing, you hit the top of the ball instead of hitting the back of the ball.

  5. Hi Todd,

    Does this lesson apply to and work for hybrid irons as well?

  6. Rick,
    Great question…for hybrids you want to catch the ball at the bottom of the swing. This is not a downward motion but a sweeping motion. You can accomplish this by moving the ball slightly forward in the stance. Hope that helps.

  7. Two things to start, make sure the ball is not too far forward. Second, make sure when you finish all your weight is on your lead foot. Hope that helps….

  8. Of the four techniques for compressing the ball then hitting the ground, which is the one you favor the most-ball back or club lean. I understand the step up or step through are drills. Thanks

  9. Hi Todd,

    Just starting golf as an “older” golfer. Love the content/drills as they also mesh well with the Vertical Line Swing (which you mention).

  10. Doug,

    Awesome! Appreciate you taking time to comment. Here is another great video–cI

  11. Does this apply to the 3 wood or is that a sweep motion without downward blow.

  12. Yes, the 3wood is more of sweeping motion when the ball is on the ground.

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