Master Your Swing: Tips to Stop Hitting the Ball Fat Golf Shots

Colin McCarthy

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hitting the ball fat golf

Hitting fat golf shots can be a frustrating experience, leaving you with minimal distance and a sinking feeling as if you’ve added a penalty stroke to your game.

When the club head strikes the ground before the ball, the energy and speed intended for the ball get lost in the turf, resulting in a disappointing shot that doesn’t go anywhere.

Understanding why fat shots happen is the first step to improving your game. By learning the correct movement to blend your lower and upper body during the downswing, you can create maximum club head speed and power.

This article will guide you through essential tips to stop hitting fat shots and start striking the ball cleanly, enhancing both your distance and accuracy on the course.

Unraveling Fat Shots in Golf

Fat golf shots happen when the club head strikes the ground before the ball, reducing distance and accuracy. This issue affects golfers of all skill levels, making it important to identify the causes to improve performance and achieve consistent ball striking.

Common Causes of Fat Shots

Fat golf shots, where the club head strikes the ground before the ball, occur due to several common issues. Incorrect ball position, early release, improper weight transfer, and poor posture lead to these mishits.

  • Incorrect Ball Position: Placing the ball incorrectly in your stance affects your swing’s low point. If the ball is too far back or too far forward, the club hits the ground first.
  • Early Release: Releasing the club too early in the downswing causes the club head to bottom out before reaching the ball.
  • Improper Weight Transfer: Failing to shift your weight properly during the swing leads to a fat shot. Weight should move from your back foot to your front foot.
  • Poor Posture: Incorrect posture impacts your swing path and club angle, resulting in poor contact with the ball.

The Impact of Incorrect Ball Position

Incorrect ball position significantly affects your swing and shot outcome. Placing the ball too far back leads to a steep angle of attack, increasing the chance of hitting the ground first, while positioning it too far forward makes the swing shallower but can still cause fat shots.

Correct ball placement helps achieve perfect impact, leading to improved distance and accuracy. Proper ball positioning reduces the chances of hitting fat shots, resulting in cleaner contact and better overall performance on the golf course.

Technical Mistakes Leading to Fat Shots

Fat shots in golf can be frustrating and detrimental to one’s game, often resulting from technical errors in the swing. Understanding these mistakes is crucial for improving consistency and performance on the course.

Here are some common technical mistakes that lead to fat shots:

Swing Mechanics and Body Alignment

Proper swing mechanics and body alignment are essential to avoid fat shots that reduce distance and accuracy. An overly wide stance can shorten the swing arc, causing the club to dig into the turf.

Aligning your feet with your shoulders helps maintain proper width and alignment. Swaying, or lateral hip movement, disrupts the swing arc. Instead, focus on rotating your upper body around a stable hip position to maintain a consistent swing and avoid hitting behind the ball.

Importance of Posture and Stance in Preventing Fat Shots

Proper posture and stance are crucial to avoiding fat shots in golf. A balanced stance with weight evenly distributed between both feet provides stability, reducing mishits. Ensure not to lean too far back at impact to prevent the club from striking the ground before the ball.

Correct ball alignment is also important; placing the ball too far back or too forward in your stance affects the angle of attack. Regularly check that your stance width is aligned with your shoulders.

These adjustments in swing mechanics, alignment, posture, and stance can greatly reduce fat shots and improve overall performance.

Practical Tips to Avoid Hitting the Ball Fat

Hitting fat shots in golf can be a frustrating experience, but with the right adjustments and techniques, you can improve your ball striking and consistency on the course.

Here are some practical tips to help you avoid hitting the ball fat:

Adjusting the Setup and Swing Arc

Set up correctly to avoid hitting the ball fat. Position the ball slightly forward in your stance. This adjustment shallows the club’s angle of attack, making it less likely to hit the ground before the ball.

Align your feet, hips, and shoulders parallel to the target line. A consistent setup stabilizes your swing path and improves accuracy.

Focus on the swing arc. Maintain a smooth, consistent swing plane from backswing to follow-through. Avoid dipping your shoulders or shifting your weight excessively during the backswing. These actions can lead to inconsistency in striking the ball.

Balancing Weight Distribution and Grip

Balance your weight distribution. Place equal pressure on both feet at address. During the swing, shift your weight gradually from your back foot to your front foot. This transition ensures a downward strike on the ball, reducing the chances of hitting it fat.

Hold the club properly. Maintain a grip pressure that is firm but not tight. A proper grip ensures better control of the clubface and a more consistent impact with the ball. Avoid gripping too tightly, as this can cause tension in your arms and alter the swing path.

Advanced Techniques to Refine Your Swing

Achieving a refined and consistent golf swing requires more than just basic fundamentals. Advanced techniques can help you refine your mechanics, generate power, and improve ball striking.

Here are some advanced techniques to take your swing to the next level:

The Role of Big Muscles in the Swing

Engage your big muscles for a more powerful and consistent swing. Focus on your core, hips, and legs during your swing. These muscles provide stability and power, reducing the reliance on your smaller, less stable muscles.

When you initiate your downswing, start with your hips and let your upper body follow. This sequence ensures that your big muscles dominate the movement, leading to better contact with the ball and minimizing the chances of hitting it fat.

Developing Swing Consistency for Better Shots

Consistency in your swing starts with a repeatable routine. Develop a pre-shot routine that includes checking your setup, grip, and ball position. Regularly practice this routine to make it second nature.

For a consistent swing, ensure your takeaway, pivot, and weight transfer are correct. Use technology to track your swing and identify areas for improvement.

Recording practice sessions can offer valuable insights into your swing mechanics, helping you address flaws systematically. When your swing becomes consistent, you’ll notice tighter shot dispersions and improved scores.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I hit my pitch shots fat?

Hitting fat pitch shots can result from poor weight distribution, with too much weight on the back foot during the downswing. This causes the low point of the swing to be behind the golf ball, leading to a fat shot.

How do I stop hitting my golf ball fat?

Focus on your upper body movement, particularly the trail shoulder. Ensure the trail shoulder gets behind your head during the downswing. This adjustment helps to align your swing correctly and avoid hitting the ball fat.

How do I stop hitting the ground first in golf?

To avoid hitting the ground first, improve your angle of attack. Keep your head steady, release the club at the right time, and ensure proper weight transfer through your swing. This helps in making cleaner contact with the ball.

Why am I hitting my 7 iron fat?

Hitting the ball fat with a 7 iron is often due to a steep swing plane. To correct this, focus on swinging your arms while rotating your shoulders around your spine, creating a more around-the-body motion rather than an up-and-down movement.

What does hitting it fat mean in golf?

Hitting the ball fat means you strike the ground before the ball, causing grass and dirt to come between the club and the ball. This results in lost distance and reduced shot accuracy.


Mastering the art of avoiding fat shots in golf involves proper technique, consistent practice, and the right tools. By focusing on body movement, alignment, and weight distribution, you can enhance your swing and performance.

It is also important to incorporate advanced techniques that use your core, hips, and legs for power and stability, maintain consistency in practice, and use technology to track progress.

Understanding common causes of fat shots, like early release or poor grip, aids in diagnosing and correcting issues. Regular professional coaching and feedback can further refine skills, translating practice into real-world improvements.

Stay patient and persistent for the best results. Additionally, adjusting your stance and ensuring proper ball position can significantly reduce fat shots. Develop a pre-shot routine to maintain focus and practice drills that emphasize striking the ball first.

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Colin McCarthy

Golf is about mastering your misses and learning from them. I seek answers on the how and why of the golf swing, gaining experience even when answers elude me. With over 11,000 hours of teaching and a hunger for learning, I welcome any questions. My goal is to introduce golf to as many as possible, simplifying the game for all to enjoy. Passionate, eager, and ambitious, I'm here to teach, listen, and learn. LinkedIn

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