How to Stop Hitting the Ground Before Hitting the Golf Ball?

Golf club hitting ball on sand, blurred motion, Saipan, USA

One of the problems that many golfers have is the tendency to hit the ground before hitting the ball. Tee shots are usually not a problem because the ball is elevated, but hitting from the fairway is often a completely different story. Taking a big chunk of dirt and grass instead of the ball is more than a little frustrating, but you can remedy the problem by making some minor swing adjustments.

Move the golf ball a bit farther back in your stance. This enables you to hit the ball first on your downswing.

Loosen your grip on the club, so it is relaxed and you are not squeezing. Loosening your grip helps relax your arms and shoulders and provides a smoother swing.

Refrain from swinging too hard when you take your shot. Trying to get a little more power often causes your back shoulder to dip, which can cause you to hit the ground first.

Practice hitting the ball first by standing on your front foot and hitting golf balls at the range. Standing on one foot causes you to hit down on the ball, which helps you to hit the ball first.


When you hit a fairway iron your clubhead should strike the ball first, and then continue downward to take a divot. Try to sweep the ball off the ground without taking a divot when you hit a fairway wood.


If you take a divot -- whether it's in front of the ball or behind -- put the turf you dislodge back onto the bald spot you created in the fairway. Failure to replace your divots is a violation of golf etiquette.