While hitting the ball fat is not as common a problem in gold as the slice, it definitely can be just as frustrating. Luckily, as with all golf swing mechanics, once you know what you are doing wrong, you can begin working on correcting it.
As much as you may try it’s nearly impossible to see what you are doing wrong without someone else’s help. If you can you want to get a golfing buddy to watch your swing, and ask him or her to be on the lookout for any of the warning signs we’re about to discuss in this article.
If you find yourself hitting the ball fat, you are most likely dropping your back shoulder; this is the one that is farthest away from the target: right shoulder for right-handed golfers, left shoulder for left-handed golfers.
When your rear shoulder drops, the club hits the ground before it should, leaving you with a less than attractive shot. More often than not, hitting the ball fat happens when a player tries to swing too hard, causing the downswing to start with a lot of hip motion.
You can take a step in the right direction by trying this simple exercise.
1. Take a club and assume your normal stance.
2. Bring the club up to the very top of your backswing and stop.
3. With the club at the top, slide your hips toward the target area, horizontally, and notice how your back shoulder also dips.
Try this over and over. The key her is that your hips are leading your back shoulder, and not the other way around.
If your friend is around, do this exercise again, slowly, and ask him or her to watch your hips and shoulder and see if your shoulder drops. If you can have someone record you with a smartphone. If your shoulder is dropping then you’ve likely found the cause of the problem.
The problem is you have to learn how to use your lower body properly during the swing. Your hips need to twist, but don’t allow them to slide. A simple fix for this is to concentrate on starting the downswing with your arms, and your hips will naturally follow.
Another good technique to try out is to concentrate on keeping your forward shoulder down. If you practice this over and over again, your body will get the message and your shots will improve.
A key thing to remember is to keep your forward arm straight as you go into your backswing. When you get to the top, think “down” for your forward shoulder, and then move into your downswing. Your hips will uncoil, but do not allow them to slide laterally.
While the tips presented here are easy enough to apply, the cold truth is that they will require lots of time spent practicing and experimenting. The best place to do this is at the practice range, which is also a good place to pick up a helper to watch your swing.
While you’re working on fixing this problem, remember to go through all of your clubs, not just the driver. Hitting the ball fat can happen with any club, and you need to practice with each one to truly master a solid, crisp ball strike.
Most players prefer to start with the short irons and work their way up when learning a new skill set. It’s up to you to figure out what best works for your game. The important thing is to practice on implementing these tips so you can stop hitting the ball fat so frequently and start lowering your score on the gold course.