How to Hit Down on a Golf Ball

by Steve Silverman

About Steve Silverman

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.


Hitting down on the ball is a phrase that is often heard in golf. It has to do with iron play but there is nothing mysterious about it. When you hit down on the ball, it is the normal descending angle of attack that golfers take. The physics of the game of golf means that striking the ball with a descending blow will make it jump up high with maximum distance. Trying to increase your angle of attack to drive home the point of hitting down on the ball will only result in a mis-hit.

Step 1

Align yourself properly with the hole when you are attempting to hit down on the ball. Make sure your left shoulder -- for a right-handed golfer -- is aimed directly at the spot on the green where you want the ball to end up. Your left foot needs to be underneath your left shoulder. Play the ball midway in your stance or perhaps one ball length closer to your back foot.

Step 2

Grip the club firmly but not too tightly. Many golfers tend to squeeze the club too tightly on iron shots, feeling they have to squeeze every bit of energy they can from their swing. That leads to tension in the hands, arms and neck and will prevent a smooth swing. Grip your club at a "six" on a scale of one to 10. That's the same as a firm handshake with a new business associate.

Step 3

Pick out a spot about 1/4 inch behind the ball where you want to hit the ground. This will allow your club head to make full contact with the ball as you reach the moment of impact. To find out exactly where to play the ball. Take practice swings at the driving range without a ball. Take five swings and then look at where you have contacted the ground. Now put the ball down and aim 1/4 inch behind it when you strike the ball.

Step 4

Finish your swing. When you hit an iron with a descending blow, your instincts will be to pick your head up and find out how your ball is flying toward the green. You don't want to do this. You want to keep your head down and finish your swing.

Items you will need

  • Golf irons
  • Golf balls
  • Golf tees
  • Golf shoes

Photo Credits:

  • Hemera Technologies/ Images

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or