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How to stop hitting irons fat or thin shot

Addressing the root causes of these undesirable shots is essential to stop hitting irons fat or thin shot. Hitting the ball fat occurs when the clubhead strikes the ground before making contact with the ball, resulting in a weak and short shot. 

Hitting the ball thin refers to making contact with the upper half of the ball, resulting in a low trajectory with reduced distance. To prevent these mistakes, golfers should focus on their setup and alignment. First and foremost, maintaining a consistent distance from the ball is crucial.

Having the correct ball position positioned slightly forward in the stance can also help prevent hitting the ball fat. Furthermore, maintaining a steady head throughout the swing and focusing on a descending blow through the impact zone can help improve iron shots.

Practicing with a purpose, taking regular lessons, and seeking feedback can assist in ironing out the flaws in the swing, leading to more consistent and accurate shots.

Fat Golf Shots

Okay, so picture this: hitting a shot fat in Golf means hitting the ground way behind the ball instead of making clean contact. It’s the complete opposite of hitting it thin, where you make contact high on the face due to a wrong swing arc.

Let me tell you, fat shots are seriously annoying because they go almost anywhere. When you connect with the top part of the club, you completely miss the sweet spot, which means your shot won’t go as far as you’d like.

And here’s the kicker – you’ll probably face a similar tricky shot for your next move, and honestly, it doesn’t do wonders for your confidence. Plus, your golf club will likely get all caked up with mud, and if you mess up the shot, your wrists might hurt too.

Undoubtedly, a fat golf shot is super frustrating, and it’s definitely something you want to fix sooner rather than later. If you want to learn more about improving your fat shots, click here.

Awesome Shots

Alright, the second type of golf shot is called a ‘pure shot.’ That’s when you nail the ball right around the sweet spot or directly on it. Even if you’re a bit off, either to the left or right of the sweet spot (which is like the golf club’s center), the ball will still go the whole distance. But here’s the real deal – if you hit it right dead-center (yeah, right in the screws!), you’ll send that ball flying high and straight, heading straight for your target.

Let’s be real here – these perfect shots don’t always happen, especially for us regular amateur golfers. Hitting shots this pure takes a flawless swing sequence, a solid grip, a good setup, and many other factors coming together. But hey, that’s the dream, and it’s what we should always aim for with every single shot.

Thin Golf Shots

Let’s talk about thin golf shots today, the third type we’ll focus on.

When you hit a golf ball on the lower grooves of the golf club, below the sweet spot, it’s called a thin golf shot. This happens when the strike is too high on the ball and lacks proper compression.

Dealing with thin iron shots can be quite frustrating! When you hit this shot, your club barely touches the grass, and instead, it makes contact with the top half of the ball due to an incorrect swing arc.

However, even though it’s frustrating, hitting a thin shot is still better than a fat shot, as it will likely travel close to the normal distance. That’s why many golfers say, “Thin to win.”

The ball’s trajectory won’t be as high, but it’ll still cover nearly the same distance as a normal, well-hit golf shot. Additionally, thin shots usually fly quite straight and will only get you into a little trouble if there are hazards in the distance.

If you asked most golfers, they would prefer a thin shot over a fat shot any day. Speaking from my experience, hitting a thin shot has been one of my occasional misses for a long time. However, if you hit it just a little thin, it’s a shot you can still play and score well with, as it doesn’t usually cause too many problems on the golf course.

I can’t count how many times I’ve hit the ball on the lower grooves, only to watch it end up nicely in the fairway or on the green. Though playable, a thin shot is less reliable than hitting the ball right in the middle of the face.

Causes of a Thin Golf Shot

To understand why you might be hitting thin golf shots, it’s essential to recognize that this occurs when you hit the ball lower on the clubface, specifically below the sweet spot.

You might have wondered, “Why am I constantly hitting my golf shots thin?”

There are some potential reasons for this, including:

  • Incorrect setup before the swing.
  • An overly steep downswing motion.
  • Changes in posture during the swing.
  • Poor ball positioning about your stance.
  • Rising up too quickly during the swing.
  • Keeping too much weight on your trail leg during the swing.

One or more of these factors can cause you to hit the ground in the wrong spot during your swing, resulting in thin shots.

Addressing these issues can improve your ball striking and overall performance on the golf course.

Tips to Stop Hitting Thin Golf Shots

When dealing with a swing problem, focusing on your setup position as the first step is essential. You can often correct thin shots by making a few straightforward adjustments to your address position.

Enhance Your Golf Stance

To ensure a solid foundation for your golf swing, having the right stance is essential. Avoid standing too narrow, as this can lead to balance issues, changes in posture during the swing, and thin ball hits.

For longer clubs such as the driver and 3-wood, widen your stance; for shorter clubs like wedges, keep it narrower. Additionally, pay attention to your ball position, especially when using irons.

If you find yourself hitting the golf ball too thin, the most likely reason is that you’ve placed the ball too far forward in your stance. This causes you to hit the ball on the upswing, making it difficult to compress it properly. Many golfers tend to place the ball too far forward, hoping to “lift the ball up” with their swing, but it’s essential to remember that the club’s loft will naturally take care of that. Moving the ball back towards the middle of your stance makes it more comfortable to hit the ball down and through the shot effectively.

Shoulder Alignment and Tilt

Afterwards, ensure that your shoulders are aligned with the target while maintaining the appropriate inclination.

If your shoulders are positioned to the right or left of the target, it becomes easy to hit the wrong spot.

Occasionally, your feet and hips may be aligned with the target, but your shoulders are off-course. This can result in “crossing your lines,” affecting how you bring the club back or follow through.

Having your shoulders aligned with the target is crucial as they are more significant than aligning your feet.

Furthermore, pay attention to the importance of shoulder tilt. The shoulder tilt required when hitting from the fairway or rough is less than when teeing off.

You want to compress the ball when hitting from the ground, so only a slight shoulder tilt is necessary.

However, a greater shoulder tilt is needed to increase the launch angle and strike the ball off the tee when using your driver. 

Improve Your Weight Transfer

To begin, assess the distribution of your weight across each foot.

If you frequently strike the ball poorly, it may be because most of your weight remains on your rear leg, resulting in an upward hit on the golf ball. This issue can arise if you start with excessive weight on your back leg.

For most shots, it is recommended that you initially have an equal weight distribution between both legs. As a result, weight is transferred effectively. During the downswing, you switch your weight to the front leg.

Lastly, confirm that your weight is transferring correctly to the left side (assuming you are right-handed). Failure to do so can result in an upward hit on the ball, leading to an undesirable thin shot.

If you require assistance achieving a proper weight transfer, consider utilizing the Pressure Plate from Why Golf. Correct weight transfer is simpler to perform with this training tool. It can be utilized indoors on the driving range or at home. It makes the experience easier for you.

With consistent practice using this aid, you can sense the appropriate shift and significantly enhance your ball-striking ability.

Maintain your Posture

Here’s another reason you might hit thin golf shots: it could be due to changes in your posture during the swing.

If your left shoulder isn’t down during the downswing, your body position shifts. This makes you keep your weight back and lift the club off the ground. Then, you’ll hit the top section of the ball.

The key is to maintain a consistent posture throughout your swing – from the takeaway to the transition and downswing. Keep your head in the same position throughout to prevent your upper body from shifting angles.

When your downswing is too steep, your body adjusts its posture, causing the shot to go upward instead of forward. Ideally, you’d want to avoid this reaction as it can lead to a bad shot (and possibly some pain).

To fix this, focus on creating more “lag” in your swing, meaning a slight delay in releasing the club. This will help you achieve a more inside-to-outside downswing, leading to a shallower attack angle and better impact position.

If you want to create more lag, you can use the Planemate Swing Trainer or the Lagshot training aid. Both of these tools are designed to help you develop a shallower swing path and more consistent ball striking.

Thin vs Skull Shots

Lastly, it is essential to differentiate between a thin shot and a skulled shot. A thin shot exceeds 80-100% (or more) of the intended distance.

For instance, if my 7-iron typically covers a range of 170-175 yards, hitting it slightly low on the clubface would still result in a playable shot that travels 165-170 yards.

However, a skilled shot does not travel nearly as far. This type of shot can occur with fairway woods, irons, wedges, and even during shots around the greens. Skulled shots barely move and are just as aggravating as a topped golf shot.

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