Video Tip: How to Avoid Hitting “Fat” Shots

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In this instructional tip, Mel Sole of the Mel Sole Golf School at Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club shows us how a common golf swing malady occurs, and how you can prevent it with a simple practice drill.


Good afternoon, everybody, and welcome to the Mel Sole Golf School here at Pawleys Plantation Golf and Country Club. Today, we’re going to talk about a shot that every golfer hates, and that’s hitting a shot fat. You hit two shots, beautiful, on a par 5. You’ve got a little pitch shot. You get up there, you got a little shot, and you chunk it. We’ve all done it. The good players have done it. But why? Why do you do that?

You do it because you’re swinging with your arms as you start your downswing. Once you get up here, you start your downswing with your arms, you’re going to reach the bottom of the arc too soon. You want to initiate with a little bit of a turn.

Think of this, and you can practice this on the range to get rid of those fat shots. Stand with a ball in your hand, put this left hand behind your back for right-handed golfers, and then just toss the ball down the fairway. Now, if you throw the ball down the fairway, you’re never going to see somebody just do that. Right? They’re going to use their body. You’re going to go like that. So think of it as this clubface is an extension of the palm of your right hand, and you’re just going to be like a little underhand throwing. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to sometimes just practice hitting shots with one hand, because it makes you turn when you go through. If you don’t, you’re going to chunk it.

So, putting two hands on the club, allow your body to turn and initiate it with a body rotation. Remember, any time you hit the ball fat, you started your downswing with your arms and you did not initiate it with the rotation. Practice that. You’ll eliminate those fat shots.

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