A lot of golfers never get over the instinct to lift the ball off the ground. They swing off their back foot or flip their hands through impact, both of which make the club bottom out too soon.

As a result, they hit the ground first (fat shot) or catch the ball on the upswing (thin shot).

If that sounds familiar, let me give you two simple keys. First, make your initial move from the top a little bump onto your front foot. Feel like you’re shifting towards the target, so your chest is over the ball. Second, get to impact with the back of your top hand facing the target [pictured], not pointing upward. A good image is that you’re back-handing the ball, like a tennis stroke. If you get those two moves right, you’ll swing into impact with your weight forward and your wrists firm – two things every good ball-striker does.

– with Peter Morrice

• Butch Harmon is a Golf Digest Teaching Professional


The wide choice

If you’re playing irons with thin heads and soles, you’re missing out. Clubs with wider bottoms, especially hybrids, are a lot more forgiving on off-centre hits. The wider soles also help shots get in the air, and with more mass behind the ball, your strikes will feel really solid. Also, consider graphite shafts that give you a little kick at the bottom of the swing for a softer feel and higher trajectory.