Fat golf shots occur when the club strikes the turf before making contact with the golf ball. This type of shot rarely achieves the intended outcome and can lead to a loss of distance. In fact, it often results in facing the same shot again immediately after. So, how can you fix fat golf shots?
When addressing contact problems, it’s essential to check your:
- Weight distribution
- Ball position
When hitting iron shots, it is advisable to start with slightly more weight on the lead leg, around 55%, as this anticipates the desired impact with these clubs.
Hitting fat golf shots
If you find yourself hitting fat golf shots, it could be because the ball is positioned too far forward in your stance. The exact ball position required will vary depending on the club being used, so it’s worth double-checking with each club.
When working with golfers who are consistently hitting fat golf shots, I prioritise ensuring that their understanding and concepts of the game are accurate. Many golfers consciously or subconsciously believe that to achieve distance and height, they must “lift” the ball into the air. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth.
The above misconception often leads to golfers having weight on their trail leg at impact, causing the club to move upward away from the ground as it strikes the ball. In this scenario, the only way to get the club under the ball is by having it lower than the ball before impact. However, the ground becomes an obstacle to achieving this.
To develop and internalise good concepts, try the following exercise with a short iron. Set up with the golf club in a normal position, then move your hips toward the target until you feel around 70% of your weight on your lead leg. Additionally, ensure that your hands are significantly ahead of the ball.
Maintain your weight distribution as you make a short and slow golf swing, with one main focus: strike the ground on the target side of the golf ball.
If executed correctly, you should see an immediate improvement in hitting fat golf shots. The ball will launch into the air, not because you lifted or scooped it, but because the golf club is designed with loft. This exercise trains proper impact concepts that can be carried over into your full swing.