Instruction – Eliminating Fat and Thin Shots

We cannot expect consistent and predictable results from our golf shots if we don’t deliver the golf club to the ball in an equally consistent manner. One issue we often see on the lesson tee is a lot of variability in club face contact. There are various components to that but they all affect how much of the force you create in your swing is transmitted to the golf ball.

A key component of this is controlling the bottom of the swing arc. We call this “low point” and with a shot that has the golf ball on the ground, ideally it will occur just slightly after the ball. This allows us to deliver an effective loft of the club at impact and helps to get the center of gravity of the club lined up with ball. Making it consistent is a great skill to have and one few players work on.

Where the low point takes place has a lot to do with how you pivot in the golf swing, the proper movement and timing of pressure moving from address, to the top of the backswing, and through to impact and beyond.

This can be especially challenging for golfers during short pitch shots where they tend to stall their bodies, try to help the ball in the air, or try to execute the shot by using more of their hands and arms. Doing the latter leads to miss-strikes, fat and thin shots, and very little distance control.

An easy way to practice low point control (without tearing up your range) is to do your work in a bunker without a ball. Simply draw a line in the sand (you can spray one there with foot spray if you need a better visual), set up to the line like it was the golf ball, then work on making swings where your divot starts at the line or forward of it (to the target side). Be conscious of your body movement and how you need to first translate pressure on to your lead foot to initiate your downswing, even on shorter pitch distance shots.

This drill will help you ensure the low point of your swing is at or beyond the ball. If you cannot do it successfully, see your PGA Professional to help you with the swing mechanics that are holding you back.

/ Scott MacLeod is the Associate Publisher of Flagstick/Flagstick Golf Magazine and a Class A member of the PGA of Canada

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