You Can’t Fix What You Can’t Feel
Of all the mishits in golf, hitting it “fat” – hitting the ground before the ball – is the worst. You tear up a huge chunk of sod, you risk busting your wrists, and the ball goes nowhere. And it’s extremely embarrassing.
The problem for many golfers is that they don’t realize when they hit it a little fat. Don’t laugh, it’s a 50/50 proposition that you’re one of them. I’ve coached some pretty decent players who, on turf or grass, couldn’t tell the difference between pure and slightly chubby.
In this lesson, I’m going to give you a simple drill that will provide irrefutable feedback about the quality of your contact and help you dial in your ball striking.
This Lesson Is For You If:
You hit lots of fat shots
You want to improve your ball striking
You practice on mats frequently
You refuse to practice on mats because “they let you cheat”
The next time you head to the range, whether you’re hitting off mats or grass, bring a few business cards, a towel, or some tees; I prefer business cards. Set up your practice station, then place the business card behind the ball. The distance between the ball and the card should be determined by the quality of your ball striking: pros can put the card very near the ball, beginners may need a few inches.
After you hit your shot, ask yourself whether or not you hit the ball first, then check the business card. If you think you hit it well and the business card is still in place, congratulations, you made a good swing and you have a good feel for the turf. If you think you hit it well, but the business card is bent or flying downrange, you need to start adjusting your idea of what “hitting it pure” feels like. A few range sessions with this drill should help you get your feel dialed in and improve your ability to hit the ball before the turf.
If you’re having trouble avoiding the business card, check out the tips below.
If you’re regularly hitting the business card before the ball, this is a problem that needs to be fixed immediately.
The first fix that I would look to is ball position. Has your ball moved too far forward in your stance? When you’re practicing, try using an alignment stick to maintain consistent ball position.
If ball position is not the culprit, the problem is probably related to your weight shift. In this lesson HERE, I wrote about the three most common causes of weight shift problems and how to fix them. Find the right fix for your swing and you’ll be hitting more greens in no time.
As always, please feel free to leave any questions or comments below.