The chili-dip or fat shot can rear it's ugly head in a number of situations. It is most common on iron shots, pitch shots and chips around the green.
Here are some top tips and check points to help avoid this dreaded shot.
On longer shots:
The most common cause for the chili-dip is when the club bottoms out before the ball, impacting the ground first. This can be caused by the head moving back or downwards during the swing. Practice turning back and through the ball whilst keeping the head nice and still.
Another cause is deceleration of the club head through impact. This is often the result of a golfer either being tentative or nervous about the shot. To help commit fully, golfers can develop a pre-shot routine in which they clearly picture the shot they wish to play. Seeing the ball travel to a target in the mind’s eye will help the golfer commit.
Deceleration through impact could also cause a fat shot. This can happen when trying to hit a short shot with a long swing. Seniors should learn to gauge and hit shots the correct distance by the backswing length. For example, seniors shouldn’t try to hit a 30 yard pitch with a full backswing and a short follow through. Keep the backswing and through swing lengths similar for consistent distance control.
Another way a golfer can chili-dip on long shots is when the downswing becomes too steep and the club digs into the ground before the ball. To help correct this, seniors can try to ‘sweep’ the ball away (with a shallower angle of approach). A good way to practice this is to hit balls off a low tee peg, clipping shots away without taking a divot.
On chip shots:
The chili-dip around the greens is normally caused by players trying to lift the ball into the air, flicking at the ball with their hands. This causes the club to bottom out before the ball, impacting the ground first. A key way of ensuring this does not happen is by adopting the correct set up position and keeping a key swing thought in mind.
1. At set up, place the ball slightly further back in the stance with 60% body weight on the front foot and the hands pressed ahead of the ball opposite the left thigh, this will help the golfer strike the ball first.
2. Through impact, keep the body weight positioned on the front foot and return the hands ahead of the ball at impact.
3. Committing to the shot is also important, be positive and keep accelerating through the ball.