There is something tremendously frustrating about hitting behind the ball.
When you hit a shot fat – ‘fat’ being a golf term to describe hitting behind the ball – you instantly know that the shot is going to come up short of the target.
Many golfers will look away from such a shot, not wanting to watch it inevitably fall down short of the green. To elevate your level of play, limiting your fat shots to the greatest extent possible is an important step.
Let’s be honest – as an amateur golfer, you know what it’s like to hit bad shots. We all hit bad shots, and they are nothing to be ashamed of. Even high-level professional golfers hit some ugly shots from time to time.
Golf is a hard game, and things are going to go wrong on occasion. But there is something different about hitting behind the ball. When this happens, you don’t even get to watch the ball fly while hoping for a good result. Instead, you know immediately – as soon as the club digs into the turf, that the shot will be a failure. That instant feedback is demoralizing, and it can lead to mounting frustration as the round moves along.
To help you correct this problem, we are going to offer up some advice in this article. While hitting behind the ball is often a problem experienced with the irons, we are going to address driver concerns as well.
Let’s get started!
It Starts with Balance
If you want to avoid fat shots, you need to have great balance in your swing. It’s just that simple. In fact, even if you stopped reading this article right now, you would have already learned a valuable lesson.
By focusing on balance, you can keep your center of gravity in the proper place during your swing, making it far more likely that you will achieve a solid strike.
To improve your balance, do your best to swing under control without trying to hit the ball too hard. It is common for amateur players to over swing in an effort to generate power, but that power will be useless if you lose your balance.
Make balance your top priority and build the rest of your swing from there.
Losing Your Right Side
For a right-handed golfer, it is easy to hit a fat shot when the right side collapses during the downswing. This means that the right shoulder moves down toward the ground, and the upper body tilts toward the right.
While the problem is seen in the right side of your body, it is actually an issue which is created by your lower body.
In a proper golf swing, the lower body is supposed to rotate toward the target. However, if the lower body slides instead of rotating, your right side will collapse and a fat shot is the likely outcome.
To fix this matter, the task is simple – learn how to rotate properly with your lower body. Turn your hips toward the target in the downswing, and don’t let your knees slide to the left.
With good lower body rotation in place, the right side will stay strong and you’ll be on track for clean impact with the ball.
Trust the Loft of Your Irons
It isn’t always physical mistakes like poor balance or a collapsing right side that will lead to hitting the ground behind the ball. Sometimes, the issue can be as simple as a faulty thought process.
For example, if you are thinking about lifting your iron shots up into the air instead of trusting the loft of the club, you will get into trouble. You don’t need to help your iron shots up into the sky – they can accomplish that feat all on their own. All you need to do is hit down aggressively and the loft of the club will send the ball skyward.
The problem with trying to help the ball into the air is that the scooping motion produced is likely to lead to a fat shot. Your right hand will release the club prematurely, meaning the bottom of your swing arc will be located behind the ball, and you’ll catch the turf before making contact.
Get yourself out of this line of thinking as soon as possible. Trust the loft that is built into your irons and hit down with a clean strike to produce beautiful shots.
Take It Easy with the Driver
Every golfer loves to hit a long drive right down the middle of the fairway. Without a doubt, it is one of the best feelings in the game.
Of course, it is also a difficult feeling to achieve, as blasting a long drive with perfect accuracy is a difficult task. Part of the challenge is that many golfers go too far, swinging too hard in an effort to hit the ball farther than ever before. As you may already know, this is a big mistake.
If you would like to hit your driver solidly on the sweet spot as often as possible, you need to keep your swing under control. That means remaining balanced, avoiding an excessively long backswing, and prioritizing a clean strike over raw power.
When you try to hit the ball too hard, you are likely to dip down and catch the turf before the ball. You may even lose your footing with your right foot, which is another way to hit a drive fat. To give yourself the best possible chance at a clean and solid hit with the driver, take it easy and let your distance happen naturally.
We hope the advice offered in this article will help you to avoid the frustrating mistake of hitting behind the ball. You will inevitably hit a shot or two fat along the way – it’s just part of the game – but those mistakes will happen less and less when using the tips offered above.