My Golf Instructor
Sign up for the Ask Maria Featured Question of the Day
By clicking Sign Up, you agree to our Terms of Use and our Privacy Policy.

Question on Diagnosing Problems:

I get so frustrated with hitting fat or topping. I see flashes of good in my game, but I'm not confident that I'm going to make a quality shot at address. I need confidence and consistency bad. Can you help? Thank you
--Ken D. from Mount Olive, NC

Hi Ken. Thanks for writing MyGolfInstructor.com. I'm looking forward to helping you with your game.

Hitting fat and thin shots is generally related to 3 things:

1) Weight Transfer
2) Release
3) Angle of Attack

If you are not quite getting to your front foot in time in your downswing, your club will bottom out too soon causing you to either hit the ground behind the ball or catch it on the upswing with a thin strike. This can be an issue if you are starting too much on your rear side at address, reverse pivoting or simply just hanging back through impact. I have many drills to correct this problem, but I first suggest you try these 2 articles:

The Chunk:
www.mygolfinstructor.com/instruction/diagnosing-problems/the-chunk/

Topping the Ball:
www.mygolfinstructor.com/instruction/diagnosing-problems/topping-the-ball/

I think they will help answer a lot of your questions and have some key points you can take to the practice range.

As far as release goes if you are casting the club or releasing it too early in your downswing the same thing will happen. You will reach the bottom of the arc too soon.

Your angle of attack can be a cause in two ways. You can actually come into the ball too shallow from inside/out and drop kick your shots. You can also come in way to steep and coupled with hanging back and/or releasing early you will bottom out too soon and too deep.

I would start with the articles I listed above and working on a solid weight transfer to get to your left side before impact. This will enable you to not only release at the ball, but also to strike down through it and take a divot.

I hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions.
Thanks!

By:

Other Related Tips on Diagnosing Problems
Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
- More about Maria
- Golf Questions
Golf instruction made simple
Golf Overview
Overall Game
- Getting Started
- Equipment
- Golf Fitness
- Junior Golf
- Mental Game
- Practice
- Rules of Golf
Short Game
- Bunkers
- Chipping
- Pitching
- Putting
Full Swing
- Pre-Swing Fundamentals
- Shot Making
- Diagnosing Problems
- Driving
- Hybrids and Woods
- Irons
Playing Golf
Ball Striking
- Fitness (78)
Basics
- Course Management (82)
- Getting Started in Golf (75)
- Practice (66)
Course Management
- Club Selection (66)
- Equipment (107)
Driving
- Driving (68)
Putting
- Putting (127)
Rules
- Golf Rules (69)
Short Game
- Bump and Run (72)
- Chipping (82)
Problems
Ball Striking
- Chunking (79)
- Distance Control (86)
- Fat Shots (92)
- Flipping (48)
- Poor Accuracy (118)
- Slicing (48)
- Thin Shots (85)
- Topped Shots (52)
Distance
- Lack of Distance (108)
Putting
- Putting Accuracy (72)
Swing Plane
- Blocking (50)
- Inside Out (56)
- Outside In (59)
- Over the Top (49)
- Pulling (54)
- Pushing (66)
- Releasing Early (47)
The Swing
Grip
- Grip (65)
Setup
- Alignment (55)
- Balance (50)
- Ball Position (80)
- Posture (77)
- Setup (117)
Swing Plane
- Backswing (84)
- Controlling Trajectory (47)
- Divot (48)
- Downswing (67)
- Impact (103)
- On Plane (85)
- Path (84)
- Power (71)
- Shaft Plane (63)
- Swing Plane (112)
- Weight Shift (79)