– Welcome to South Florida. I’m Adam Bazalgette, founder
of Scratch Golf Academy, two time PGA Teacher of
the Year Award winner here in Florida. And today’s subject, one
that affects a lot of people, how to stop hitting behind the ball. Stay tuned. (upbeat music) Okay, so how to stop
hitting behind the ball, this affects a lot of people. I’m gonna show you at the beginning of the video here in just a moment, the two big variables
that really govern that. And then the bulk of the
video we’ll talk about, what are some of the mental obstacles, maybe give you a few drills
that I think would help. What are some of the ways
you can crack this thing and get over the hump once
you understand the variables? If you like this video, please
subscribe to the channel. Love to get you more free
content coming your way and of course,
is my home website, have full courses in
every aspect of the game, including a full course on iron play that has a lot of content
and details there. Okay, let’s get started. Okay, so what are these
two primary variables that would cause someone to
hit the ground behind the ball? Well, to me they’re these two, first off, and not necessarily
in a particular order, but first off is a premature
straightening of the wrists. I mean, even the most simple grasp of geometry would tell you that the sooner you straighten your wrist, the sooner the club gets
down to ground level. So an early release or
even a premature release of some degree is gonna make
you hit the ground sooner than holding more lag. We’ll get into that in just a minute. The other thing, of course,
your arms are attached to your body so it’s the
location of your body. The more your weight is
back on the back leg there, and the further over here you are, the sooner you’re gonna hit the ball. I’m gonna show you a couple of pros here in just a minute or two, briefly, and you will be amazed how far for an iron they are on the left side. So those are our two variables. They’re not that difficult. Put your body more here and release the club a little bit later, but clearly they are, in fact, difficult for a lot of people. So what are the barriers? What are the things that
cause people not to be able to do this consistently? That’s what the meat of this video, I hope, is gonna be about. Let’s have a look through one element here that I think is critical. Then we’ll look at a
couple of other things that might hold you up,
and a couple of suggestions as to how to sort this out. Okay, counted number one on my list, most people’s target
isn’t really the target. It’s the golf ball, that’s really what they’re
aiming their swing at. Now, the mind controls the body. You know that, but deep down
if you’re really just trying to make contact, and you’re
worried about hitting the ball, you’re not gonna move
freely enough in a direction that would be appropriate
to energy going out there to consistently hit in front of the ball. So take a risk, and by risk I mean, hey don’t worry about a bad shot. Loosen up a bit and say hey, if I really did not worry
one ounce about contact, could I swing in a manner
that’s related to the target. You maybe won’t make contact first try, but can I unlock that? Because if you can unlock that, you’re well, well on the way. And come back to check
in this once in a while, your mind will go back to
aiming at the ball again. So I’m gonna make a setup here. I’m gonna try in my mind’s eye to only think of creating
energy out there. Hopefully we’ll hit it,
we’ll see what happens. I felt a really free swing there. Happened to be a pretty good shot, but I felt some freedom that’s number one. Let’s check out the next things. Okay, so here’s another thing, and this is a biggie that
comes along with that. People don’t realize it,
but deep down most of us have a deep fear of not
making contact with the ball, not even not making solid contact, sometimes just not making contact at all. And when the mind’s too keenly aware that that’s gotta be
hit or those whatever, emotional damage, it’s gonna tend to strike at it a little bit more. You’ve gotta allow yourself some freedom to make some mistakes. Now, I’ll get into that in just a moment. Let me show you a couple of pros, and you will be amazed,
relative to most golfers, how much they’re moving
to their left side, and how much the hit is
out towards the target, not down at the ball. Check it out. So Lydia Ko, watch her lower
body slide forward there. Look at the wheel of that car. Now her head’s pretty still, I’m not suggesting she moves
her head in front of the ball. And look there, if you draw
a line up from the golf ball, look how much she is past that
golf ball with her lower body Even if the camera angles off a fraction, that gives you the idea. And look at how far past her hands get before she snaps those wrists straight. So it’s not like she just
doesn’t have any release, it just happens much more on
the front side of the ball than the average golfer would have. Sergio Garcia, always a
favorite example there for sure. Just move him up just a hair, and again, camera angle might be off a fraction, but you get the picture. Look at him move towards the hand of that guy that’s a martial, and look at how far past the
golf ball the handle goes before he snaps those wrists straight. Okay, here’s the thing, if you’re gonna make
a change in something, several suggestions for you,
and these are really important. They’re not difficult. Number one, you cannot make 100% of your mistakes on one side. If you’re learning to ride a bike, and every time you lose your
balance it’s on one side, there’s no learning going on. There’s no adjusting happening. But again, people’s fear
of missing the ball, I’ll bet you, if this is
a problem that you have, ask yourself have I ever really hit so far over there it’s
been a catastrophic mistake in terms of outcome? Probably not, probably 100% of the time you’re either
hitting a little behind it or maybe just getting up into
the zone of solid contact. You cannot learn that way, so don’t be afraid to
make some real mistakes. Mistakes as defined in
terms of unsolid contact and make a few mistakes
on this side of the ball. Let me demonstrate. That divot was too far forward there. I hit too much down on that ball. It was actually a manageable, sort of, 75 yard shot or whatever. I was just fooling around with it, but don’t be afraid to
make some mistakes here. So that you can feel the
proper kind of position. Second thing I would do is a drill, once you’ve made a few mistakes
on that side of the ball, you might hit the top of
the ball on the way down or something like that. Play around with ball position to learn some different feels. So let’s setup with a ball, maybe more in my middle of my stance. Hit a little pun shot there. Now let’s play the ball
way over here forward. Now the only caveat in this, you can’t come over the
top to get to the ball, and let’s see if playfully
I can move enough to get to that golf ball. I was able to get over
there and take a divot in front of the ball that time. No real swing thought,
just a playful intention, just making some adjustments. Here’s my final point,
and this is a big one. I guess I’ve said that for
every point in this video, but this is a big one. Don’t prioritize good outcomes, and solid contact at the beginning. Don’t try for good shots as a benchmark, try to make a broad change, make it playfully as we’ve showed you, and then let contact work its way in. You’ll probably find, if your mind’s free, and you’re able to change around and play with it a little bit,
it won’t be 15 to 30 shots before you’ll just start
noticing your subconscious is starting to make good
contact with the ball and start to find its way. So in summary, don’t
make the ball the target. The target’s the target. You know what the two variables are, and playfully make some mistakes on the front side of the ball,
move around a little bit. Do it on a small scale, pretend
you’re a 10 year old kid, no consequences of outcome. The driving range doesn’t matter, play with your ball position a little bit, and again, let solid contact
be the last thing to come. It’ll work its way in. Well, I hope that helps you, hope that gives you some thoughts and some strategies practice wise, as to how to stop hitting behind the ball. Hope you’ll have some fun with it. Please subscribe to the
channel if you like the video. Would love to get you more free content. Leave a comment if you
like, I’ll get to that. Love to have you go to
Scratch Golf Academy and check that out. Have a full course on iron play
there, as well as much more. Thanks again. (button clicking) (button clicking) (button clicking)


  1. great video took it to the course had a play and found myself getting great contact and hitting the ball to the target….and relaxed ive never been so relaxed ….

  2. The other pro's say not to slide and also they say to move your weight to the right side in your back swing this causes you to slide to the right and you say in my drop 5 strokes not to sway to the right. I really thing this is why I hit the fat shots a lot. Thanks again for better instrutions

  3. The best !! Make mistakes in front of the ball !! Also, make the target the target, not the ball. Great stuff.

  4. Lots of problems with my swing. Your videos are really opening my eyes as to what the golf swing is all about. I'll be in Naples next week love to take a lesson or two.please contact me.

  5. Adam would love your insights and comment on this –…………i feel the upper body moving is not a great tip and has cost me so many problems over the years

  6. Adam, I have been playing this silly game for the better part of 50 years. Yes, you have hit the nail on the head. I have a lot of work to do and I have to come back to this one every day and listen to this over and over to get my mind to free up. I have taken the drop 5 strokes and this will do more for me then that course.

  7. Love the idea about trying to make a mistake on the other side of the ball. This is a great thought and action to correct the original mistake. Thank you

  8. Nicely explained. Your videos are helpful because you narrow it down to what to focus on, and what is important.

  9. Played poorly yesterday, directionally speaking, then last hole remembered this lesson. Forgot about the ball, and just concentrated on moving my CG towards the target with my lower half. So PAR'd the hole, GIR, three great shots into the green on a par 5. You were right, it creeps back in on us. Thank you Adam!

  10. Now this is how to make a good golf video. Notice there's no interfering wind noise, etc. You can clearly hear every word. And Adam clearly knows what he's talking about and explains it clearly!

  11. As far as golf is concerned, just do what my 14-year-old, 5-handicap nephew always says to me:  "just hit it real long down the middle."

  12. Thanks for all the great videos.and thanks for all the golfing wisdom that you share so freely.can tell you truly love the game 👏👏👏👍👍👍⛳⛳⛳

  13. Paid £1 for 1 month free membership did n't realise iv,e been paying about £15 amonth for last 6 months also no easy way to cancel .

  14. "emotional damage"… i laughed out loud at that one. nice video, makes a lot of sense. we shall see how it works out in practice…

  15. this is my 3rd year playing golf and my score has been getting a lot better this year. actually shot a couple 40's on 9 holes this year which is a huge improvement form my normal score near 100.
    this is my next challenge tho. a friend told me about "compressing" the golf ball, as in hitting the ball first then the ground and ive watched many videos on it. ive been to the range a couple times since and ive tried to focus only on hitting the ball first then the ground and i just fall back into my old habits where im hitting behind the ball again and its SO FRUSTRATING.
    im sure it just takes more time and practice.
    one thing that helped me alot too was i was pushing all my irons to the right and i couldnt figure out why. i wasnt slicing it, well i mean i was doing that too sometimes, but usually just pushing it like 50-100 yards right of where im aiming. and then i started to rotate my hips more towards the target, as you say, get your body opening and flowing toward the target and not be stiff and tense. and once i started doing that my irons actually went where i wanted them to and thats when i shot my 40 on the back 9.
    it was a glorious day indeed.

  16. I love the way you explain things. Such a calmness in your voice. I can tell you really love the game. I will be watching all your videos, good sir. Thank you.

  17. I always learn something from Adam's videos. I struggle with iron shots and this sounds like exactly what I need to practice.

  18. Tried this today, not to hit at the ball but to hit to a target on the range. After hitting a few skinny, I got the feel of it, and have to say it’s been a long long time since I’ve hit the ball so powerfully and clean. I’m almost 62, and getting back into golf properly after about 12 years. So thanks.

  19. I was inadvertently kinda sorta trying this. But what I did, was move the ball BACK, causing me to hit the ball first, which was probably causing my wrist to break late. I'm going to try shifting forward in my swing. Let's see how easy that is!! ; )

  20. I like the attitude of being playful and open to making mistakes in the direction of what you want to end up doing. Very helpful

  21. This problem hitting behind the ball has been driving me crazy for the past two months. This is a video certainly help me understand what I was doing wrong! Thank you Thank you Thank you

  22. My biggest problem is transferring my weight I'm basically arms and over top I'm 52 been trying too play for the past 10 yrs not really improved much Ego is my biggest problem and what people think the sad thing is I love golf but can't enjoy it because too worried about this and that

  23. Brand new to golf, went to a driving range the other day and in the beginning I was worried about not hitting the ball. I would miss behind and the readjust and miss over the top. After a while I let loose a little bit and didn't think of hitting the ball and it helped so much. I was making solid contact. Then by my second lot of balls I was aiming for targets and getting close. This video is great. Wish I seen it before I went.

  24. What's your take on ball position? Should it be just to the right of the sternum for iron shots and then figure out where the sternum is located as it moves in the downswing or place the ball on the left heel like Nicklaus or under the logo like Harmon?

  25. Far too much waffle. "The target is the target" – What is that supposed to mean? The flag is the target or the green is the target for example.

  26. Adam has got to be one of the best ball strikers I’ve ever seen…his swing is effortless and amazing as well as his instruction

  27. I'm learning those 75 yard shots too far in front of the ball are way more playable than the 20 yard balls I have topped. Great instructional video.

  28. This is a great video and great tips about placing swing energy where you want the ball to land and not worry about hitting the ball. Doing this well has to improve every facet of a golfer's game.

  29. Does it make a difference if you are practicing this at the range hitting it off Astro as you don’t get a divot?

  30. Great video. Really looking forward to trying this on the range. I have often hit behind the ball with my wedges and hopefully this drill will get me hitting the ball more solidly.

  31. I enjoyed that you said to not be afraid of making a mistake(poor contact) and free yourself up to enjoy the process.  I have always been fixated to the outcome and not always enjoying the process.  Thanks Adam

  32. Better Teaching Technique = Tell Them, Show them, Have them Try, Tell & Show Again, Then Review & Test Them

  33. This is great advice. You need to be visualizing that your swinging through the ball. Great points about shifting weight toward the target before contact.

  34. Great tips, was a major frustration of mine, really demoralising when it happens especially after a good drive

  35. I just recently fixed the worst slice I’ve ever seen anyone have (Me) from the most minor adjustment and now they’re straight hitting about 240. Been playing like 2 times a year for 8 years but this past year I got some friends into it finally now it’s twice a week. We are all learning and hitting mid 90s but these videos are the best.

  36. I really appreciate your teaching style and how you have reduced the parameters to a basic 2. I don't frequently get a chance to get to the range so when I do, having to remember too many factors or adjustments is overwhelming. Definitely going to use this video to help with my iron strikes. Really appreciate this lesson…golf can be unbelievably frustrating when you can't get to it enough and practice…

  37. You just don’t know how much this one video will help me! I’ve bee playing golf for 25 years and have struggled so often out of fear to not make good ball contact. It only takes a millisecond to screw up the whole shot sequence. I haven’t been willing to make mistakes on the left side of the ball and it has cost me more bad shots than I can count. I noticed that your club was still leaning at approximately 30 degrees to the right before you struck the ball. I usually panic and rush my downswing as well as break my wrists at 90 degrees simultaneously trying to hit the ball. Shifting my weight to my left side as well as having that 30 degree lag before and after I strike the ball has always alluded me. I’ve had people tell me I have a beautiful swing but, they don’t realize the fear I have at that last little millisecond before ball contact. I’ve been reluctant to practice your method and possibly have mistakes made on the left side of my swing. Funny thing is I have surprised myself with some really beautiful shots before not realizing what I had done to make it happen! I have purchased your video set before but, it’s not going to do me any good unless I take chances of making mistakes trying to correct my swing. I’ve always been a believer of good mechanics with my golf swing and some people would criticize me in fun saying, “ I ain’t no pro , just go ahead and hit the ball!” Criticize or not, over the years I have emulated the way that the pros strike the ball and have enjoyed playing the game. Thanks again for this video!

  38. I'm going to try these tips today. I'm definitely 100% focused on the ball vs. target In fact, once I pick my line, I never look at the target – never. I focus on ball.

  39. Great video! Great teacher! This is ideal for hitting down on the ball w/ irons. However what about the driver? Since you are not hitting down on the driver, do you still want to shift your weight to the left on the downswing or no?

  40. I like this video. The idea of emphasizing freedom in the swing by focusing on the target instead of the ball is something I've talked about but have very rarely implemented in either my practice or play.

  41. Fantastic instruction, it’s very refreshing to see someone who appreciates how much of a mental game golf is. I really like how you often attempt to take the pressure off of the golfer and focus more on basic fundamentals to improve. I highly recommend your videos to others, especially to those who are like me, newer to golf. Top notch instruction, no doubt.

  42. Awesome and informative video. Being you're in south Florida, as I am, I'll come see you for some lessons when I hit the Powerball and can play golf every day. Thank you.

  43. Other than Shawn Clement, one of the only pros I've ever seen put focus on the fact the ball is not the target. So many pros never address this issue. They diagnose an inside takeway, an over-the-top swing, etc. All correct, but all just symptoms. The reason for those problems is more often than not: having the ball as your target. Well done!

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