Why In Golf Hitting Fat Shots Has Both Mechanical And Mental Factors

by Ian McMillan - Date: 2010-09-03 - Word Count: 610 Share This!

When it comes to a lack of confidence in golf, hitting fat shots and hitting thin shots is often a result that shows up. When playing golf, hitting fat shots around the greens is common amongst all levels of play. Yes, you'll even witness the best who play golf hitting fat shots. Although those viewings of the professional muffed shots are few and far between, it simply goes to show that confidence can be an issue with the best players and an amateurish result is possible.

Taking a look at both the mechanical and mental side of fat shots, some nuggets of information can help you get past this well known nemesis. First, from a mechanical perspective, let's rule out the common default issue of lifting your head. There's no way that the golfer will lift his head and hit behind the ball. It's quite impossible. However, the opposite is quite possible; dropping one's head. What would cause one's head to drop or get closer to the ball? Poor balance is the biggest issue, as far as a cause and effect perspective is considered. When the golfer's weight gets on the balls of the feet, favoring the toes, inevitably s/he is getting closer to the ball which can result in the fat shot (hitting the ground before the ball). Another mechanical issue to look at is grip pressure combined with weight transfer to the finish position. If hands get tight or respond to the wrist hinge in the back swing, there is a grip pressure that is more than needed. Other words for this response to the wrist hinge include "casting the club", "chopping", "slashing", and more...Ideally, the great majority of the touring professionals and elite amateur golfers pay attention to keeping their hands very soft on the downswing of chip, or pitch, which allows the club to release on it's own when the body turns towards the target on the downswing. This technique allows the 'bounce' or sole of the club to be used the way it was designed. This technique takes a lot of practice as it's quite counterintuitive. Remember that the key to soft hands in the downswing to eliminate fat shots is the combination of this with a turning body. If the body is not turning when the hands are soft, then surely the club can stick into the ground behind the ball.

Regarding the mental side of fat shots, it will benefit you to listen to your self talk. Are you approaching the shot and internally dreading the shot to come? If so, there's some dialog going on in there, and that is not empowering you at all. In fact, it is increasing the chances of failure. Hence, try on some "Conscious Confidence", which is simply thinking of something that you are good at doing (anything) prior to making the shot. It impacts the body and nervous system in a positive way. Secondly, it will benefit you to think more about where you want the ball to land. Thinking about the landing spot will reduce the chopping, swinging at the ball tendency. It shifts the target from being the ball, to being the spot on the green. Many people, without realizing it are making the ball the target and swing at it instead of swinging through it towards the intended target. One last nugget for thought is to try paying attention to your breath during the stroke. Make the breath an exhale during the stroke and see how steady a stream of air you can make during the stroke. In the beginning you might stop the outflow of air because tension was present. Best of luck!

Related Tags: golf hitting fat, hitting fat shots, hitting thin shots

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