One of the many things that new golfers have a tendency to do is to make what is known as "Fat Shots". These shots are almost certain to get you noticed on the course when they happen, but not likely in the way that you may want.
Some of you may be asking "What exactly is a fat shot, and how do I know if I have been making them?" First off, have you noticed your fellow golfers laughing at you after you chopped up the ground? Have you possible noticed a strange pain in your arms after golf?If you answered "Yes", then chances are you have been making Fat Shots and haven't yet realized it. To better help you understand what Fat Shots are and how to prevent them from happening, feel free to keep reading.
What are Fat Shots?
Fat Shots are when a golfer hits the ground when coming down with their club instead of hitting the ball. This usually "chunks up" ground, which is where this type of shot gets its name.
Making this kind of shot can have several detrimental effects outside of digging up ground. For starters, chances are that if you hit the ground and dug up dirt, your ball didn't move very much from its original position. Despite this, you are still likely to add a stroke to your score just the same.
Not only this but hitting the hard ground constantly is likely to damage your golf gear, even leading to the breaking of clubs. Clubs are not the only thing that can break here either, as Fat Shots can sometimes lead to shock waves that go up to your arms, which can deal damage and pain to the golfer themselves.So it goes without saying that this little move is something that you will want to eliminate from your golf repertoire. If you want to say goodbye to Fat Shots for good, try using some of the following tips
Tips to Prevent Fat Shots
The proper golf stance is probably the first line of defense against Fat Shots, as an improper stance is more likely to lead to digging up ground then a proper one is.
Try to stand in the following way: Have your club's grip just above your waist while the end of the club is lined up with the ball itself. Keep both feet planted in a triangle-like shape from the ball while standing or bending slightly at the knees.
As for your back and hips, keep them as straight as possible with your hips being flush with your shoulders. Your shoulders should be held square, with the shoulder of your dominant arm tilted just slightly towards the ball.
Following this stance you are less likely to hit the ground during your shot, but this is only the start. There is much more to look at if you are trying to get rid of Fat Shots.
Don't Lean In
If you followed the above, you shouldn't be leaning towards your ball at this point, but it is important to note what can happen if you lean too far inward on your club.
Should you do this, you will find that you will be applying a lot more downward force on your ball. This can lead to you coming down lower than you would like and digging up the dirt.
To prevent this, try to keep your ball at club's length. Should it be any further out than this, you may find yourself leaning in to make contact and end up making a Fat Shot.
Before you take your shot, keep in mind that you will want to try to keep the whole thing in line and maintain a rhythm. This means that you will want to take your shot so that you make contact with the center of the club (or sweet spot), and that your whole shot follows a consistent speed and angle from backswing to follow-through.
After you line up your shot, pull the club away evenly at a 90-degree angle for your backswing, trying to not come down too far inwards of the target line. Staying within the target line as you come down, you should make contact with the center of the clubface, which will send the ball flying without hitting the ground.
Be sure to keep the proper golf stance from the beginning to the ending of your shot and to transfer weight properly from your back foot to your front foot during follow-through. If your weight is not distributed properly throughout your shot, you may find yourself coming down with too much weight during follow-through, which can lead to taking a Fat Shot.
Should you have trouble maintaining alignment of rhythm, which is the problem of many golfers that make fat shots, try to use a training tool to assist you. This includes items such as an alignment rod and a swing trainer, which you can usually find online or at your local golf shop.
Fat Shots are probably one of the worst things that newer golfers can encounter, bringing with it a plethora of negative effects, some of which are long-lasting. However, with the right amount of time and practice, you will hopefully be able to soon kiss Fat Shots goodbye for good!