Fat Shots - How to Fix & Stop Hitting Golf Balls Fat

Enrique Martínez Luque October 10 2023

Golf fans can relate to that sinking feeling when a perfectly planned shot turns into a fat shot - the moment when the clubhead meets the ground before it greets the ball.

This phenomenon not only destroys the joy of the game but also sends your golf ball on a journey far shorter than was expected.

Today we will find out everything that you need to know about fat shots, investigate the root causes, swing errors, and setup position mistakes and, most significantly, how to fix and prevent them.

The Culprits Behind Fat Shots

To begin with, the essence of fat shots lies in the swing's arc, particularly the position of its lowest point. For those dreaded fat shots, this point lurks behind the ball, contrary to where it should be, slightly in front of the ball concerning the target.

This horizontal displacement of the swing arc contributes significantly to fat shots. However, the vertical position of the swing arc also plays a part.

If the club digs too deeply into the ground even after making contact with the ball, it disrupts the flow and leads to fat shots. To rectify this, let's first explore the swing errors that can push your game into the realm of fat shots.

Swing Errors and Their Fixes

Swing Errors and Their Fixes

  1. Swaying
    Swaying during your swing, where your hips shift back and forth laterally, is a common error. To combat this, focus on rotating your upper body over your hips while keeping them moderately stable.
    This adjustment narrows down potential positions for the swing arc, fostering consistency.

  2. Maintaining
    Spine Angle Ensure your upper body maintains a consistent forward bend throughout the swing.
    Altering this angle mid-swing can lower the swing arc, causing fat shots. Keep it steady from address to impact for cleaner hits.

Address and Setup Position Errors and Their Fixes

Address and Setup Position Errors and Their Fixes

  1. Ball Placement
    The ball's position in your stance can influence fat shots. If it's too far forward, hitting it cleanly becomes quite hard. For wedges and short irons, center your ball in the stance and gradually move it forward as club length increases.
    This adjustment promotes cleaner strikes.

  2. Stance Width
    Wider stances can lead to fat shots. Keep your stance within valid limits, ensuring your shoulder's outer edges align with the center of your feet.

  3. Weight Distribution
    Reasonable weight distribution between your feet is critical. Avoid excessive weight on the back foot as it can cause the club to dig behind the ball. Aim for identical weight distribution at the address.

  4. Shaft Lean
    While a slight shaft lean is beneficial, overdoing it can result in fat shots. Strive for a modest forward shaft lean to avoid overly steep angles of attack.

  5. Grip Placement
    Sometimes, gripping down on the club can help prevent fat shots, especially in specific lies. Experiment with your grip position to find the right balance.

  6. Bunker Play When playing from fairway bunkers, matching your foot's depth with the ball's lie is critical. Avoid digging too deep as it can lead to fat shots. Adjust your footing accordingly.

  7. Knee Bend and Upper Body Tilt Moderate knee bend and upper body tilt at address create an athletic stance. Overdoing these elements can hinder consistency, so aim for the right balance.

  8. Shoulder Slope
    Last but not least, the slope of your shoulders can affect your shots. Keep the slope subtle, preventing it from contributing to fat shots.

Effective Solutions for Fat Shots

Effective Solutions for Fat Shots golf

Now, let's explore some effective techniques to fix fat shots and enhance your ball-striking skills:

  • Club Path Awareness
    Visualize your club's path from the top of your backswing to the finish as a circle. The bottom of this arc should come just after the ball with irons, not before it. Conscious awareness of your club's path can be the first step toward rectifying fat shots.

  • Divot Pattern
    Ideally, your divots should start after the ball, indicating a clean strike. Practice striking the ball first and then the ground to improve your ball contact.

  • Address Position
    Pay close attention to your setup position. For mid irons, position the ball slightly forward in your stance with your sternum over it. Ensure your hands are a fraction ahead of the ball without opening the clubface.

  • Weight Transfer
    Correct weight transfer is crucial. Shift your weight toward your back foot during the backswing and then toward the target in the downswing. Avoid leaning back through impact as this leads to fat shots.

  • Angle of Attack
    Achieving a downward angle of attack is essential for crisp iron shots. Imagine striking a tee placed just in front of your ball to naturally develop this angle of attack.

To sum up

Mastering these nuances of your golf swing and setup will undoubtedly help you bid farewell to fat shots.

Remember, consistency is key in golf, and refining your technique can be a gratifying journey towards improved ball striking and a more enjoyable time on the course.

So step onto the green with newfound confidence, armed with the knowledge to conquer those fat shots, and elevate your golf game to new heights.

Enrique Martínez Luque

Enrique Martínez Luque is the Argentina-based golf expert and professional writer. He built his career in the world of golf taking a number of positions. Enrique was the manager of a golf club, director at a federation level, an agent for professional golfers and director institutional relations on the Argentinian Tour. Assissted the professional golfers on major tours for almost 20 years. Worked as the press officer of national and international golf tournaments.

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