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Fat Shots

Fat Shots also referred to as "chunks" are shots where the player's club enters the ground before it strikes the golf ball. The result is a chunk of dirt and grass getting caught between the club face and the ball. This obviously robs the player of considerable distance, but also takes away the ability to control and spin the ball.

Fat Shots Drills

Fat Shots Tips

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  • Keep Left When in the Sand

    For all bunker shots keep your weight on your front foot. When you back up or fall backwards during the swing you will bottom out too soon and get your club head stuck in the sand. Do this in moderation though, because the more you lean forward, the more you will dig and that will cause the ball may come out shorter. Just remember you don't want all your weight on your back foot at impact.

  • Lag the Clubhead

    For all full swings keep the club head behind your hands as long as possible to make sure that you hit the ball first, then the ground. When you lag the club and let it release at the last possible moment you are storing your energy and maintaining control. Remember, as soon as the club catches up to your hands and starts to pass them you are no longer descending and no longer in control of the face.

  • To Strike Down Move Your Weight Forward

    Make sure to have your weight over the ball at impact so you can hit the ball first and then the ground. If your head and sternum are leaning back too much your weight will be on your rear foot and you will strike the ball with an upward blow. This will usually result in a thin shot and no divot. To hit down on the ball and compress it, you need to be more on top of it.

  • Don't Stop Your Hands

    Make sure to keep your hands accelerating towards the target. Stopping the hands too soon or decelerating in a short game shot can be detrimental resulting in chunked or skulled shots among other things. Remember to keep your pivot moving. Inconsistent strikes and an early release of the hands are often a result of a player's pivot stopping. Keep your pivot moving to keep your hands moving.

  • Shift Your Weight Through the Strike

    Make sure your head does not hang back or back up too much in the swing. It will cause you to swing on too much of an inside-out angle and push shots. To trap the ball and keep your swing on plane (on an arc) make sure that you are moving through the ball as you strike it and shifting your weight to your front foot. After impact your swing should come around on an arc rather than moving down the target line.

  • Keep Your Hands in the Lead

    To store your energy and unleash it into the ball, make sure your hands stay in the lead well in front of the club head on the way down. Allowing the clubhead to pass your hands before impact throws all the energy out of the golf club and causes deceleration. When the clubhead passes your hands you are no longer in control of it either. This can cause shots to spray left and right or come out thin or fat.

  • Play the Ball Forward

    When hitting out of the sand play the ball forward of the center of your stance to catch it on the up swing. Catching the ball on the up swing results in a shallower angle of attack which will help prevent digging. If you play it back and catch it too much on the downswing you will actually push the ball down into the sand. This holds true for both greenside and fairway bunker shots.

  • Stay Aggressive on Bunker Shots

    When hitting sand shots be sure to stay aggressive and swing hard. Remember, as long as you hit sand, the shot will come out short so you won't over shoot the green. Decelerating is a killer in the sand. It results in chunky shots that don't leave the bunker or skulled shots that fly over the green. Make sure you accelerate all the way to a finish that is at least as high as your shoulders.

  • Open Your Face to Prevent Digging

    When your ball lands in a greenside bunker, open your club face to use the bounce on the bottom of the club. The bounce is the back edge of the club. When you use the bounce it will prevent digging and help you skid through the sand. If you enter the sand with the leading edge of the club head it will dig and cause your club to get stuck in the sand. The result is a ball that doesn't come out of the sand or comes out short with little backspin.

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