Decoding Golf Lingo: Fat Shots

Swinging golf club takes chuck of dirt out of ground

Swinging golf club takes chuck of dirt out of ground

You’re playing a round with your buddies and trying your best to keep up with all the golf chatter that’s flying back and forth. Golf lingo is almost like another language, so when someone declares that your less than perfect swing on the fairway was a “fat shot,” you’re not really sure if that’s a good or bad thing. Fat shots are always bad news, but they’re an unfortunately common experience in the world of golf.

What is a Fat Shot?

Most fairway shots should be made with little contact with the ground. Instead of taking a huge divot, you’re essentially trying to hover your clubhead just over the grass and deliver solid contact to your ball. When you make a fat shot, something went wrong in your swing and you instead dug a trench behind the ball or took a deep divot when you didn’t need it to find your ball. Fat shots are major problems because they can cause injuries to golfers and result in wayward balls flight and generally poor shots depending on the contact point on your clubface.

Luckily, fat shots are far from incurable — in fact, there are some simple drills that can break your bad habit of sliding your hips too much toward your target on your downswing. Michael Breed, host of The Golf Fix on the Golf Channel, recommends that during your downswing, you pick up your back foot and step into the shot, transferring most of your weight to the front foot in the process.

Golf legend Jack Nicklaus adds to Breed’s advice that you should avoid starting your swing with your club on the ground, instead start with the club head floating at the ideal point of impact. Other tips to help with fat shots include developing a wider stance or backswing or using an earlier release point. You should feel like you’re more behind the ball as you go into your downswing and that you’re flattening your club’s shaft on the way down to the ball.

When in doubt, make an effort to take a few practice swings to cure the problematic alignment that’s causing your fat shots — after all, fat shots are often just the result of bad habits. If your problem is your fairway woods, hybrid clubs or irons, though, we can help you out. Our website offers a huge selection of both new and used golf clubs with a limitless combination of configurations to help you hit more solid shots more of the time. Check out what we’ve got to offer or shoot us an email to have your burning golf questions answered by real golf professionals.

Photo credit: lucianvenutian / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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