Why Do I Hit Fat Golf Shots (3 Solutions)

There is nothing more frustrating in golf then standing over a shot that must carry water and fearing the fat shot with your irons.

You stand there, the tension builds up and next thing you know, your ball in the water and the divot flew further than the ball.

Why does this happen?  Why do so many golfers struggle with solid contact?

Why Do I Hit Fat Golf Shots?

There are a number of potential reasons.  First your center might be behind the ball, your weight is stuck on your back foot or you have casted the club.  All three of these swing faults lead to poor contact and make the fat shot possible.

Let’s dive into the fat golf shot – 3 Issues:

  • Your center is behind the ball
  • Your weight is stuck on your back foot
  • Casting of the club

Before we get into this topic in further depth, let’s first clarify the fundamental concepts that must happen for a quality golf swing.  We will see that the first fundamental is the number one issue that causes the fat shot.

Fundamentals of the Golf Swing

  1. The golfer must be able to control the low point of the swing.
  2. The golfer must be able to control the start line and curve of the ball.
  3. The golfer must have enough speed and distance to play the course.

When a golfer struggles with the first fundamental, you can pretty much throw the next two fundamentals out because the controlling of the low point impacts the quality of the strike.  WIthout controlling the low point, the golfer has limited chance of growing his or her swing and getting better.

If you were to sit at a driving range and observe golfers, you could just about guess someones golf handicap or average score by observing how they control their low point.

Ever feel like this? Check out our drills and tips below!

Why Do I hit Fat Golf Shots: Problem #1 – Your Center is Behind the Ball

When your center moves too far back or too far forward, you low point control can be impacted.  The newer models advise to keep your center in the center of your swing.  The golfer would tilt and extend to keep the center and head in place.  As soon as the head or center move in front of the ball the golfer has to make a compensation to strike the ball solidly.  Or if the golfer shifts their weight back and gets stuck back there another compensation has to be made.

The end result is an inconsistent ball strike because the golfer hs to rely on making those compensations on a regular basis.   Instead the golfer can work on stayind centered and controlling the low point which should be just in front of the golf ball.

Drill To Eliminate the Fat Shot in Golf

Find some yard paint and do the following:

  • Paint a line about 2-3 yards long.
  • Grab a golf club and a wiffle ball.
  • See how many times your swing can be just on the front side of the line.
  • Make 20 swings and see how many times out of 20 you were successful.  This is now your base line.

Practice on this line with the whiffle ball over the next month or so until you can get to a success rate of 19 out of 20.  The best golfers around would be successful 20 out of 20.

Why Do I hit Fat Golf Shots: Problem #2 – Your Weight Is Stuck on Your Back Foot

The weight stuck on your back foot is a continuation of the problem of where your center is.  If you attempt to transfer your weight back and never get the pressure forward, your center can get stuck, leading to another compensation to get the clubhead to the ball.  This is one of the reasons why when the Stack and Tilt Instructors entered the golf scene just before 2010, there approach focused on the three fundamentals above.

Resource: Stack and Tilt: 10 Things to Consider

They promoted a golf swing where a golfer would start with 60% of their weight on their front leg and maintain that weight throughout the swing.  If the golfer shifted back, they would have trouble timing up the pressure shifting back forward leading to issues with fundamental #1 listed above.

If you are struggling with the fat shots, start by taking a video of yourself from the side view.  Do you shift your center back, does your weight shift back?  At impact, where is your pressure in your feet and where is your center.  For your best chance to have success with the drill under the first issue, go ahead and try placing 60% of your weight on your front leg at address. 

You might be surprised how many golfers on the professional tours have at least some weight already pre set on that front leg.   This front leg can serve as a pivot and you can eliminate the timing in the golf swing that often causes golfers to have poor contact, resulting in fat golf shots.

Why Do I hit Fat Golf Shots: Problem #3 – Casting the Club

The casting of the club is often a result of one first two problems listed above.  However, it can also be it’s own issue.  If you are someone that has thrown all of the lag out prior to impact, chances are you are going to have contract issues.  The tricky thing is that many people think they will just hold the release off, which I believe is the wrong approach.  Instead, the golfer should try throwing the club from the top and let the hands go.  Your body will response and your sequence will get back on track.  

If you don’t believe this advice, check out this video below by Monte Scheinblum on the No Turn, Cast Drill:

When the golfer becomes more target and task focused the naturally sequencing within the swing occurs more naturally.  You don’t think when you are trhowing a baseball about when you are going to release it.  Instead you take the ball back and let it go, firing away towards your target.

If you can combine keeping your center, centered; your weight front loaded slightly and then a throwing motion from the top, you will start hitting much more solid shots and can all but eliminate the fat shots and the fear that happens over the fat shot

One final thought on the fat shot.  Oftentimes when you don’t have the confidence that you are going to hit the ball solid, your body will tense up and you will swing with fear.  Your mind is focused on not fatting the shot, so you either fat the shot or thin the shot because you lift up.  Both the fat shot and the thin shot are caused by the same three issues above.  Your body just makes some compensation when you hit the thin shot to avoid the fat shot.  They aren’t separate issues.

The beginner golfer can’t focus enough on the drill above and should continue to work on controlling the low point as the first fundamental of the golf swing.  Get the center in the right place, the weight slightly forward and throw the club from the top.  You might be amazed at your results!

How To Stop Hitting Fat Shots

Practice the low point control drill for 30 straight days.  Remember to keep your center in place, set your weight with 60% on your front side, and throw the club from the top.  This will all but eliminate your poor contact shots.

You might always be surprised to see that you are compressing the ball and have a slightly inside to your swing.  Once you get that club face just slightly closed to the swing path, you can start hitting a perfect stock shot push draw that many golfers envy.

When you encounter that next water shot, keep your fundamentals simple, reduce the tension and let it go.  Don’t try to manipulate the golf swing.  I have never hit a good shot when I get into manipulation mode. Instead, let it go and fire away.  You will make better contact, hit the ball straighter and hit it a better overall distance!

Practice some, then practice even more. Continue to build the skill and use the drills found in this post!

BONUS Drills

Want a great drill and a way to train for speed? 

For Fundamental #2: Controlling Your Start Line and Curve

Develop A Stock Shot in Golf

The goal is to start your ball on your intended line at least 70% of the time.  This can be worked on by implementing this drill once you have the contact part down.

  • At the driving range, set up an alignment stick 6 yards in front of you down your target line.
  • Set up a second alignment stick 3 feet right of that stick.
  • Go ahead and try to hit shots through that 3 foot wide gap.  
  • This will help your ball start to the right and start to develop the push draw as your stock shot.
  • Once you get the ball flying through this gap, notice the curve of the ball.

For more information on ball flight laws and help with hitting a draw, check out the resources below:

For Fundamental #3: Gaining Speed and Distance

Train for Speed with SuperSpeed Golf

The great news is that once you settle in on a swing method that is best for you, it is time to start training with SuperSpeed Golf.  This overspeed system based on utilize three different weighted swing sticks takes you through a protocol every other day.  The golfer can expect to see a 5-8% increase in swing speed as early as the first training session, which becomes more permanent after 30 days of training.

These 15 minute protocols help train your mind and body to push the limits and get comfortable with new speeds.  The green club, which is the lightest can often be swung at 15-20 miles per hour faster than your typical driver swing.  Over time, the body and mind learn to swing this fast and the mind is convinced that your body can brake safely at the end of the swing!

Check out current pricing on SuperSpeed Golf, here.

The results are real and you can check out the chart below to see where you might match up.

Original Swing SpeedAfter 4-6 WeeksNew Carry DistanceTotal Distance
These three speed training clubs are game changers. Commit to the every other day training protocols and monitor your progress! You will be pleased!

Final Thoughts: Why Do I Hit Fat Golf Shots

There is nothing like heading to the course without having to worry whether you are going to chunk a shot or thin a shot.  You can spend time focused on hitting the shots that the golf course demands.  Once you have achieved the fundamental #1, you can start to play the game and develop your draw and fade to help you reach the next level.

I would recommend starting the SuperSpeed Golf Speed Training as soon as possible.  Not only will it help you develop more speed, but it can also improve your mechanics!  Remember that golf is a journey, embrace the journey and have fun along the way.  It will take time, but with the right drills and work, you will improve and love the game even more!

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