Why do I hit iron shots fat?
Take a moment to think about how the club travels from the top of the backswing to the finish position. The clubhead moves along an oval-shaped path and the key to understanding where fat strikes come from is to think about the lowest point of that arc.
The ideal place for the lowest point in the swing is about two inches past the ball – your divot should start after you’ve made contact with it, not before!
One of the main reasons that golfers hit fat shots is they are desperately trying to get the ball in the air.
Instead of keeping their upper body over the ball (where the sternum is directly above the ball at impact), they lean back through the contact. This causes the sternum to move away from the target and the lowest point in the swing arc moves back too – causing the player to strike the ground before the ball.
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To remedy this, try this drill. Place an alignment stick adjacent to your left hip at address. The idea with this drill is to let your hip bump into the stick as you start the downswing.
This will prevent you from leaning back in the downswing, and will help groove a motion that’s far less likely to produce fat strikes.
If you are still asking yourself – why do I hit iron shots fat? – the next element to consider is your angle of attack.
Hitting the ball fat is often a consequence of having an angle of attack that is too steep. To prevent this, feel like you take the club back with your arms whilst rotating your shoulders around your spine.
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This motion should feel more around your body, as opposed to a steep up and down movement. To practice this flatter swing motion, try to hit from a side hill lie where the ball is above your feet. This will encourage a flatter swing plane.
Shifting your weight forward correctly on the downswing is another way to stop hitting it heavy. As you draw the club back, your weight should shift to your back foot.
To eliminate a heavy strike, shift your weight back across to your front foot as you finish your downswing. Ensure that you do not drop your shoulder too low.
A really handy checkpoint here is the heel of your back foot. In the finish position, this heel should be up – showing that you have correctly shifted your weight onto your lead side.
A good try to try if you are getting stuck on your back foot is to step through the shot – stepping towards the target after you have hit the ball. This forces you to use your weight more effectively.