Extension Drill: Eliminate Top Shots

I see this shot a lot in golf… and it’s not good.

But the Top Shot can be avoided easily as long as you concentrate on proper extension.

Check out today’s drill to start working on it when you get out on the course this weekend.

Posted in Golf Swing Drills
45 comments on “Extension Drill: Eliminate Top Shots
  1. mark says:

    CJ, I have asked several times for a drill that prevents shanking the ball to the right on short chip shots to the green but have never heard back from you.
    This problem costs me at least 5-6 strokes in a round.

    • CJ Goecks says:

      Mark,
      thanks Mark for the question. I remember this and did reply, but no worries lets try again. This shank on short chips can be caused by several reasons, but most commonly because the club is coming too much from the inside. Try videoing your chips and see if this is the case. Either way you need to get the club more outside on the backswing and steeper on the downswing. Let me know if this helps.
      Keep em Long and Straight,
      CJ

  2. Troy Vayanos says:

    A good tip CJ. Not something I suffer from but definately one for those high handicappers out there.

    Cheers

    • CJ Goecks says:

      Troy Vayonos,
      Thanks Troy for your comments. Hope all is well with you and hope you have a Merry Christmas.
      Keep em Long and Straight,
      CJ

  3. John Gentry says:

    You have sugggested looking at Bobby Wilson. He suggests taking the driver back along the target line as far as posible (not breaking eht wrists). You suggest taking it back but break the wrists to the “L”.
    How do you reconcile the two views? Before watchin your tapes, I was trying to accomplish Don Trahan’s vertical swing. I am doing a lot of hooking right now. Help! Thanks, John

    • CJ Goecks says:

      John Gentry,
      Thanks John for the question. Bobby’s stuff is very good and he will give you some great ideas to try and implement in your game. The wrist hinge that I promote will take a bit longer with the driver due to the length of the club in and of itself. Because of this reason the L may not be formed at halfway back and therefore Bobby’s theory is compatible with the PCGS.
      Keep em Long and Straight,
      CJ

  4. Don says:

    If I start topping the ball during play, I throw away the old rule of keeping my eye on the ball, and concentrate on an imaginary ball two inches in front of the real ball, and try to strike there. This also helps to get rid of a push or pull shot, too.

    • CJ Goecks says:

      Don,
      Thanks Don for the blog post. I am not a fan of the old rule of keeping your eye on the ball, but I appreciate your comments and I hope someone reading those may try your suggestion and it may help them. Best wishes and Merry Christmas.
      Keep em Long and Straight,
      CJ

      • John Iringan says:

        Cj,

        Ball topping has always been a problem of mine. I hope this drill will help me correct this mistake.
        Also, I am confused by what you said not being a fan of looking at the ball. How do you do it then?

        Cheers!
        John

        • CJ Goecks says:

          JOhn Iringan,
          Thanks for the blog post and please let me know if this drill helps you. What I mean by looking at the ball is fixating on the ball and trying to keep your head down. Let your head follow the ball and that will allow your spine to rotate which will help eliminate injury.
          Keep em Long and Straight,
          CJ

  5. Tony says:

    CJ,

    I am having problems with my hand and fingers. They are always sore after I come from the driving range. Can you help me on this please?

    Thanks,
    tony

    • CJ Goecks says:

      Tony,
      Thanks Tony for the question. I would love to help, but I need more information. Are you gripping the club too tight? Do you have arthritis? Is the club slipping in your hands? Are the grips worn on your clubs? Without any knowledge I know that new grips and or even larger grips or softer grips may help you out. If you are hitting a ton of balls that may be the problem. Also is it just callous’s ? let me know.
      Keep em Long and Straight,
      CJ

  6. Gordon says:

    Hi CJ

    You mention that the move from half-way back (the L position) involves just a little more turn but no arm lifting. In you video “Top of Swing” from the Signature Series, you do “appear” to lift your arms (37 secs in). Great series.

    • CJ Goecks says:

      Gordon,
      Thanks Gordon for the question. From halfway back there is a turn while your hands work up the shaft from that position. there may be a tiny bit of lifting, but please don’t overdo it. Everything in moderation sir. When I say lifting please remember that I am dealing with millions of people here and the majority of amateur golfers really extend their arms away from their body and thats what I need to have stopped. Best wishes and let me know your thoughts.
      Keep em Long and Straight,
      CJ

  7. keith morrison says:

    C.J.
    Sir, what do you call the disgraceful performance issue when hitting off of a tee(wood or iron) the ball hits the ground 4″-6″ away from the tee before flying straight for 100 yards or so? It grounds and the first bounce is substantual; the mark the ball makes in the tee box is significant.

    • CJ Goecks says:

      Keith Morrison,
      Thanks Keith for the question. Please don’t give up hope. Ultimately what you are hitting is a top shot. Couple of quick pointers then let me know if they work and then we need to do some real work, but it will be easy. First check your ball position. this shot can be caused by the ball too far forward or too far back. Second, make sure you feel your arms extended through impact. Let me know if that helps and we will delve into some other work.
      Keep em Long and Straight,
      CJ

  8. tony castillo says:

    Dear CJ,

    What is the best pressure on the grip. If lose, the club turns and my fingers hurt most especially my left ring finger up to the back opf my hand. If tight, my hands become tired and sore early on. I do not have arthritis for sure. Any help on this is much appreciated.

    Thanks CJ,
    Tony

  9. Roland says:

    CJ,
    I purchased the 3 DVD’s, Perfect Connection Golf Swing, several months ago. I practiced in the livingroom and at the driving range. I was seeing some good results. However, I cannot take what I have learned to the golf course. It’s like I have never played before. HELP!!

    • CJ Goecks says:

      Roland,
      thanks Roland for the time to write in the blog. Lets keep talking and I know I can help you. Please tell me what your struggling with. first my thought is that your going to the course and trying too many things and have become so technical that you cannot get out of your own way. Work on only one thing and try to master that and only that and then move on. Remember that people struggle with lessons because they have many faults and thus many compensations. When you fix a fault and leave the compensation that results in bad shots. It will take time, but you need to stay diligent in your work ethic on the problems you know you have. Hope this helps.
      Keep em Long and Straight,
      CJ

  10. JOHN L says:

    Hi CJ,
    I have a problem taking a divot in front of the ball. I usually pick it clean and would like to know a drill to take a divot in front of the ball.
    Thanks

    • CJ Goecks says:

      John L,
      Thanks John for the question. Please give me a bit more information about your game. Do you hit pushes and hooks? Do many of your irons go the same distance? Please give me as much information as possible as this will help me give you better advice.
      Keep em Long and Straight,
      CJ

      • JOHN L says:

        Hi CJ,
        Thanks for the follow up. As to my problem it is nothing new as I have always had this problem. Usually I hit pretty straight very rarely to the right. If anything I tend to pull the the ball a little but keep in the left side of the fairway but not very long as I have two bad knees. Yet even when I was healthier I never took a divot, occasionally hit in back of the ball. Hope this gives you a better idea.
        Thanks for your consideration.

        • CJ Goecks says:

          John L,
          Thanks for the question. Make this simple and just see if you can do it. Try teeing up some balls in a line and simply try to take a divot in front of the ball while leaving the tee in the ground. See if this drill works for you and let me know.
          Keep em Long and Straight,
          CJ

  11. johan says:

    Hi CJ

    I am in need of help big time. For some reason i have started shanking the ball. I have no idea why this has krept into my game. Please help.

    • CJ Goecks says:

      Johan,
      Thanks Johan for the question. Please check your distance away from the ball. Fist and a thumb if you have seen my video. Other than that please tell me some info about your golf game i.e. misses and shot shape. this will give me more info to help you with my advice. Best wishes and talk to you soon.
      Keep em Long and Straight,
      CJ

  12. JERRY KONKOL says:

    CAN YOU TELL ME WHY I CAN’T GET ANY DISTANCE WITH MY IRONS. I’M 79 YRS OLD AND I CAN’T HIT MY IRONS MORE THEN ABOUT 125YDS. I HAVE A 11 WOOD THAT I HIT ABOUT 140 AND A 9 WOOD ABOUT 150. HELP

  13. rick says:

    Hi CJ love your program ive been making great progress my driver is the longest and most consistant that it has ever been but ive got a issue with my irons i hit the ball left and i can see the cut from the divot heading that direction as well , ive been having the occasional fat but more thins which is leaving me short or front edge i feel well connected and use the wall drill weekly to stop my swing from getting lazy any advice would be amazing

  14. Kathy says:

    Hi C. J.:

    I have major problems of using irons. I cannot get under the ball even though I focus on a dimple low on the ball. I have problems with depth preception with my left eye and I wonder if that is part of my problem. Its frustrating me to where I sometimes just want to stop playing, but I’m addicted to the game. Can you give me any helpful pointers here?

  15. I cant get the ball air born on the tee shot Ive tried moving the ball forward in my stance. Iive tried teeing it higher. I need help could my shaft be the wrong flex I have a regular flex.

  16. Lloyd says:

    Hi CJ friends tell me that I’m not using my lower body in my swing only my arms when i try using my lower body i pull.

  17. Justin Rakes says:

    Hey Cj,
    I’m 14 years old, and shooting an average 38/39 everytime. But my problem is slicing. Especially on my driver. It’s like I have to rely on my irons to get it out of the deep rough, or under trees to punch out to get on GIR. I’m just confused and have watched may videos but non has helped me. So I really need your help

  18. Terry says:

    I understand moving the ball foward when practicing at the range to make you reach for the ball to prevent “topping” the ball. Are you suggesting that you do the same during a game or go back to the normal set up with the ball between the feet?

  19. Ted Marconi says:

    I like your tip addressing the dreaded ‘chicken wing’ … I am occasionally plagued with this problem .. My own fix is something similar … I’ll hit balls with the ball in the center of my stance as it usually is, but I’ll stand a good 4 – 6 inches farther away from the ball forcing me to reach/extend to get to the ball … Any thoughts or comparisons on the my fix vs yours !!??? Thanks

  20. Michel says:

    Hullo, cj
    Your extension drill seems to be spot on for a topper like me.
    Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait quite a bit to try it out at the practice since it is way under freezing point here and all is covered by 10 inches of the white stuff (no, not heroin, cj!).
    The one thing I can do is trying to groove the movement in indoors for another fortnight at least.
    Best advice I heard to this day, anyway.
    Thanks again.
    Michel, brussels, belgium

    • CJ Goecks says:

      Michel,
      Thanks Michel for the blog post and correcting me on my first thought lol. Practice indoors is the best practice anyway when making changes to your swing. Keep on doing it and you will be up and running well ahead of your buddies.
      Keep em Long and Straight,
      CJ

  21. Karl says:

    CJ,

    I enjoy your stuff. I have a decade long problem that I would love help with. If I had a $1 for everytime I’ve heard “your practice swing is awesome but why don’t you take it back farther on your real swing” then I could buy a new driver. Pretty sure it is a mental glitch but there has to be a physical cue as well. My practice swing is smooth and free flowing, with my shoulders making a full turn. When I actually have to hit the ball though, it as if my muscles tighten during the takeaway. I have videod my swing and I still get my shoulders turned pretty well but my left arm seems to lock and/or stop around a parallel line with the ground. Somehow I stay down thru the ball well and get good distance (especially for what amounts to a 3/4 swing at best) but it certainly affects my consistency and ball striking.

    If you have any pointers that can help me remain loose and not to stop my backswing so early I can’t tell you how appreciative I would be! Thanks!

    • CJ Goecks says:

      Karl,
      Thanks Karl for the blog post. To make your swing longer we have to determine why it isn’t longer. Are your arms working across your body and not up? is your left knee pointing behind the ball in the backswing? These typically are two of the main reasons why someones swing gets short. Try focusing on one of these thoughts and see if it works. Forget about ball and only grade yourself on these and forget about ball contact while working on these. Let me know if this helps.
      Keep em Long and Straight,
      CJ

  22. Jan Heidt says:

    Do you have any suggestions on slowing my tempo as I am not getting the pause at the top of the swing to get my hips moving.
    Jan heidt

  23. vincent harris says:

    Hi CJ.
    Is there a drill I can do to stop my Right arm pulling “into” my hips?
    I shank the ball every 3rd drive and i realized this is what i do on watching some videos my friends took of me.

    Anything you can help with please?

    P.S I love your videos, got me to drop from 115 avg to a 99 avg in 2 months. and still getting better. THANK YOU CJ!

    • vincent harris says:

      This is on my down swing.

    • CJ Goecks says:

      Vincent Harris,
      Thanks Vincent for the question. To create width in the downswing I want you to tee the ball up and hit a lot of shots with your right arm only. Practice this and get the feeling. Let me know if this helps.
      Keep em Long and Straight,
      CJ

      • vincent harris says:

        Hi CJ.
        I’ve been to the range. only played once though, but this seems to help, I’ve lost about 5 meters in doing this,but its going to take time. i hit straight even getting my draw fade “amount” correct. thanx for the advice. will keep you informed what happens

        • CJ Goecks says:

          Vincent Harris,
          Thanks Vincent for the post and please do keep me informed. Best wishes.
          Keep em Long and Straight,
          CJ

  24. Bob Jacobson says:

    Ok, I’ve been watching little pieces of your information for some time now. But I’ve been seeing little pieces of everybody else’s similar stuff. I think I respond to you better than the others, but I need to put it all together from the ground up. I am 85 years old, not strong, short and slight of build. How do you recommend that I start? Is there hope for me to at least get into the 8o’s (I want to shoot my age before it gets too late). Send help!

    • CJ Goecks says:

      Bob Jacobson,
      Thanks Bob for the question and yes there is hope for you. Your 85 and may not be strong, but you have wisdom and that will help us shoot in the 80’s easily. We don’t need to bomb it or even hit it 250 to accomplish this feat. The key is to have a great short game. You don’t need strength to hit a good chip shot or hit a 40 foot putt close and tap it in. Have you seen my short game Series? Let’s start with your short game and work on it with the games that I describe in the video. Think about this for a second… You don’t have a lot of speed and therefore you won’t hit the ball off line that far. We can play on long par 4’s to get the ball near the green in two and try to get up and down and if you work on your short game you may do this 50% of the time. As long as we use your wisdom and don’t try difficult shots from the fairway we should be able to break 85. That is 13 over par so I want us to hit about 4 greens a round which gives us 14 opportunities to get it up and down. If we get up and down 50% of the time then we just shot 79. I know there will be some doubles maybe, but that’s why we should be able to shoot your age. Let’s keep talking and let me know about your short game and what your struggling with.
      Keep em Long and Straight,
      CJ

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