Golf Tips: Fat Shots

By Sharon Penn
Correct a "fat" golf shot by hitting the ball cleaner for greater distance.
Correct a "fat" golf shot by hitting the ball cleaner for greater distance.

“Fat” shots occur when you take a divot before you even touch the ball. Hitting the ground is not only bad for your golf stroke, but it is hard on your body. Sometimes a fat shot is the result of a new golfer being told “keep your head down,” or it's the result of a too-steep swing. With practice, though, you can eliminate the fat shot and bring more distance to your golf game.

Straighten Your Posture

To stop hitting the ball fat, make sure your posture is correct during setup. Although your knees should be soft or slightly bent, you should lean forward just 20 degrees from the hips, and your back should be close to straight. Make sure your head is off your chest and that your chin raised a bit. To check on your posture, put the club a few inches behind the ball before hitting. The club should not reach the ground. If it does, you are bent over too much. Low posture promotes a fat shot.

Hit Shallow

Hitting the ball fat is the result of a steep golf swing. Take the club back with the arms as you rotate your shoulders around your spine. The movement is around your body, rather than a steep up and down motion. A drill you can use to practice hitting flatter shots is to hit from a side hill lie where the ball is above your feet.

Master the Weight Shift

Shifting your weight forward properly on the downswing will prevent a fat shot. When you take the club back and it is parallel to the ground, your weight will transfer to your back foot. To prevent hitting a fat shot, shift your weight to the front foot as you complete your downswing. Make sure you do not drop your shoulder too low. Practice keeping your shoulders level by crossing your arms across your chest and turning, keeping the left shoulder up. Make certain your body is in balance as you swing through the ball.

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