Fat, chunk, “lay the sod over it”, and a bit husky. Golfers have a bunch of terms that describe hitting too much ground before the golf ball.
We want to help you learn how to stop hitting fat golf shots. You want to hit the “little ball” (the golf ball) before the “big ball” (the earth)!
The fat shot might be the most embarrassing in golf. You take a big swing, take a large piece of turf out of the ground, and your ball barely goes anywhere.
Even if you hit a shot slightly fat, it can ruin the hole. Your ball may end up in a hazard or a sand trap.
Below we explore why you hit behind the ball and provide you with swing tips that will help you learn how to stop hitting fat golf shots.
Let’s get started. No more chunks!
3 Reasons Why You Hit Fat Shots
Before you learn how to stop hitting fat golf shots, you must understand why it happens. This will make solving the problem much easier.
#1: Head Movement During Your Swing
The most common reason why golfers hit behind the ball is head movement during their swing.
Side-to-side head movement can cause issues, but it is the up-and-down movement that we are most concerned about.
Pick your favorite PGA Tour golfer and watch a slow-motion video of their swing. Pay close attention to their head. It will remain stable.
To learn how to stop hitting fat golf shots you need to stabilize your head throughout your swing.
It doesn’t have to stay perfectly still, but you want to avoid any wild movements. Get a buddy to film your swing and check out how much it moves.
#2: Your Spine Angle Changes
Ideally, your spine doesn’t do much during your golf swing. Your body should rotate around it and the spine angle should stay constant.
Maintaining your spine angle will help you learn how to stop hitting fat golf shots and will help you hit the ball farther.
The most common mistake is what we call “standing up” during your downswing.
If you come out of your posture, your spine angle will change, and your chances of making solid contact decrease.
Your spine angle changing during your swing can cause fat shots and thin shots (blades).
Again, you can see this in a slow-motion video, so get a recording of your swing and determine if this is your problem.
Learning how to stop hitting golf shots fat is all about understanding your swing.
#3: You Slide Instead Of Turning
Another reason you might hit behind the ball is that you slide when you should be turning.
You need to shift your weight during your swing, but there are multiple ways to accomplish this transition.
The correct way is to turn. Your head and spine stay relatively still and you turn around them.
Unfortunately, many higher-handicap golfers slide. Their head and spine move laterally during the swing.
This move can work, but your timing has to be perfect. If not, you will hit fat and thin shots.
It is challenging to be a great golfer if you slide instead of turning. Learn to rotate and you will discover how to stop hitting fat golf shots.
4 Swing Tips To Learn How To Stop Hitting Fat Golf Shots
If you are serious about eliminating fat golf shots, try these swing tips and swing thoughts!
#1: Divot In Front Of The Ball
Do you ever wonder how professional golfers take larger divots but never seem to hit fat shots?
The key is the location of the divot. Hitting the ground during your swing is a good thing if you hit it in the correct place.
Gain an understanding of your divots and learn how to stop hitting fat golf shots. Try the following drill the next time you practice.
Grab one of your mid-irons (8-iron or 7-iron). Hit a shot and investigate your divot. Your divot can be your private swing instructor.
You want your divot to start in front of where the golf was sitting (before you hit it). This means you hit the golf ball first.
Not only will you learn how to stop hitting fat golf shots, but you will also put more spin on the ball and make better contact.
#2: Tuck Your Shoulder Under Your Chin
This is one of our favorite swing thoughts. It creates a simple, powerful, and repeatable golf swing.
From your starting position, your backswing should simply be turning until your shoulder is under your chin. Pause for a moment during the transition.
Your downswing is simply “unturning” until your club is back to the ball.
This swing thought helps you learn how to stop hitting fat golf shots in a few different ways.
First, it reinforces the idea of keeping your chin/head still. Second, this will facilitate a nice turn instead of sliding.
Finally, this simple swing will help you keep the club on the correct plane and help you maintain your spine angle.
#3: Club On Your Head Drill
Next up is a drill that Tiger Woods made famous and still uses when he is on the driving range. You will need a friend to help you out.
Your buddy needs to stand across from you once you set up to hit a shot. They hold a club out and let the grip rest on your head.
Now hit full swing shots and pay attention to the grip that is resting on your head.
If you feel yourself pressing against the grip during your swing then you are moving your head up.
If you lose contact with the grip during your swing, you are dropping your head down during the swing.
The goal is to lightly feel the grip resting on your head throughout your swing. If you can do this you have learned how to stop hitting fat golf shots!
#4: Keep Your Triangle (Keep Space In Your Swing)
You never want your arms to break down during your golf swing. This is referred to as “losing space”.
Our favorite swing thought for this problem is “Keep Your Triangle”. Here is how it works.
When you grip the golf club and get ready to swing, you will notice your arms and chest form a triangle.
The goal is to maintain this triangle during your backswing, your transition, and your downswing.
Learn to keep your triangle intact and you will learn how to stop hitting fat golf shots.
The great thing about this swing thought is that it also produces a simple and powerful swing.
In fact, you can become a scratch golfer by combining this idea with #2 (Tuck Your Should) above.
A simple swing that maintains space can take you a long way in the game of golf.