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The Fairway


Fat Shot - Hit The Ball, Not The Ground!
September 30th, 2016



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For the inexperienced golfer, the game will seem to provide never-ending moments of frustration due to making poor contact with the ball. It is impossible not to experience shots that can leave you a bit embarrassed, especially for the beginner.

You may have practiced your swing, producing a fluid-like graceful backswing, come with the club as your body is perfectly aligned with the target, only to make impact with the ball so inappropriately that it hardly moves, or worse yet, a lump of dirt and grass travels further than the ball itself. This ugly scenario is a fat shot.

The Fat Shot Problem

Most likely your biggest problem with contact issues will be making the fat shot. This simply means that the clubhead is hitting the ground first, before making contact with the ball. Not only is the fat shot an embarrassing experience, but wrist injuries are also somewhat common because of the club hitting the ground, which sends a jolt through your hands and wrists.

Fat shots typically result in the ball traveling far less than half the distance desired on the shot, as well as creating a huge divot in the course. Men and women who repeat the fat shot often enough can develop swelling in the wrists due to hitting the ground over and over again.

Most Common Causes Of The Fat Shot

For the majority of golfers facing this issue, their fat shots are typically the result of the bottom of the swing arc being too far behind the ball. The cause of this can vary. One reason is due to having too much bend at the waist and knees during your downswing.

Another reason could be improper weight shift where the bulk of the weight should be shifted to the left, but remains on the right foot during the downswing (right-handed golfers). A third reason is if your swing plane is too steep. And lastly, fat shots can be caused by playing the ball a bit too forward within your stance.

How To Prevent The Fat Shot

In order to eliminate the chances of creating the fat shot, you need to make a few adjustments, as described below:

1. Watch your bend. Make sure you are not bending into the ball during your downswing. Maintain the same amount of bend within your waist, hips, and knees, throughout the entire downswing. Keeping your spine straight can help.

2. At address, be conscious of your weight and keep it balanced between the heels and the balls of your feet. Always keep your weight off the toes.

3. On the downswing, transfer your weight from the right foot to the left. Doing so will prevent the club from bottoming out too early.

4. Lastly, try adjusting the ball by moving it back approximately 1 inch in your stance. This can help the bottom of your swing to match up with the position of the ball.