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Hitting fat golf shots? We take a look at the causes and offer some simple tips and drills to help you fix the problem!
Hitting fat golf shots? Here’s how to fix it!
Hitting fat golf shots is one of the most frustrating faults in the game. It doesn’t matter how forgiving your irons are, if you are striking the ground before the ball, some technical swing changes are needed. Here, we will look at where hitting fat golf shots comes from and offer some pointers for how to improve your ball striking.
Hitting the ground before the ball - where does it come from?
Think of the path of your club from the top of the backswing to the finish position and it will look like a circle. The bottom of the arc should come just after the ball (with your irons). If you are hitting fat golf shots, the lowest point of the arc will be before the ball causing the club to strike the ground first.
Your Divot Pattern
When hitting irons, your divots should start after the ball. For the best possible iron contact, you should aim to strike the ball and then the ground. This is a useful image to have in mind for any player who is struggling hitting fat golf shots.
RELATED: Why do I hit iron shots fat?
If you are hitting fat golf shots, the first place to start is with your address position. With your mid irons, the ball should be positioned slightly forward of middle in your stance so that your sternum is over the ball. Importantly, your hands should be a fraction ahead of the ball. This will encourage the downward angle of attack that lies at the heart of crisp ball-striking. As you move your hands ahead of the ball at address be careful to ensure that you are not also opening the clubface - simply check the logo on your glove is still pointing at the target.
The other thing to look out for here is your weight distribution - you should have a little more weight on your lead foot. Again, this will encourage the angle of attack you are looking to create later in the swing. Above all, if you are hitting fat golf shots - make sure the ball isn’t too far forward in your stance.
RELATED: Best Golf Irons
One of the main faults behind hitting fat golf shots is the way your weight moves during the swing. The basic key here is that your weight should move towards your back foot in the backswing and then towards the target in the downswing. For some golfers, there is a desire to lean back through impact to help the ball into the air. This might seem like the logical thing to do but will cause you to strike the ground before the ball. As long as you have enough speed in your swing, the loft of the club (and the backspin you create) will do the job for you.
Here’s a great drill to try… As you take the club back let your lead foot step towards your back foot. Then as you start the downswing, step back into your original address position and swing through. This forces you to use your weight correctly. This is also a great drill to try if you have a problem cutting across the ball.
RELATED: Stop striking heavy
Angle Of Attack
If you want to stop hitting fat golf shots you need to learn how to compress the golf ball through impact. With your irons, you want to have the feeling that you are hitting down and through the ball - this will help you find the ideal angle of attack. The top players in the world tend to hit down with a 7-iron by about 4˚.
However, instead of thinking too technically about the angle of attack, try putting a tee in the ground a couple of centimeters in front of your ball. Lock your focus in on the tee - try to strike that and forget about the ball. You should soon start to develop a more downward angle of attack that delivers better contacts.
In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."
Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points.
Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSi2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X
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