Why Do I Thin The Golf Ball 1

The worst shot possible to hit on a cold winter's day is the thinned shot.

If you thin the golf ball on any day it hurts the fingers, but is worse when it is cold. What is a thin? A thinned shot is a golf shot where the leading edge of the golf club has hit the middle section of the golf ball, causing the golf ball to shoot forward at high speed very low to the ground, resulting in a missed green as the ball tends to shoot too far through the green. This shot mainly takes place with irons and very often short irons and pitches.

Fault - The most common faults of a thinned shot are incorrect ball positioning and poor downward strikes to reach the base of the golf ball. Many golfers can also thin the golf ball by leaning back on the ball, attempting to scoop the ball into the air causing an upward hit.

Fix - Correct ball position is crucial when eliminating the thinned shot. If you work on the principle that the middle of the stance is where the short irons start, and the front foot is where the longest club is positioned, every golf club in between should move slight closer to the front foot as illustrated above.

Top tip - A simple way to check your ball position is to set up to the golf ball normally and then place another golf ball directly in front of your toes of the left foot and the same again on the right foot. Step back and check that the original ball is in the correct position in relation to the golf balls that indicate where your feet were. Once the ball position is correct, you can work on striking down and beyond the golf ball to encourage a cleaner strike and connection.

A top drill for a cleaner strike - Set up to the golf ball as normal with any iron you struggle to strike well. Move the golf ball about three to four inches further forward towards the target. Keep the golf club where the ball would normally be. The task would be to strike the golf ball cleanly by transferring the weight towards the target on the way down. Now this may take some practice at first. If you are not currently transferring your weight correctly, this drill will feel strange and a challenge to complete.

Once rehearsed and practiced, you will be able to strike the golf ball even if the ball is three to four inches ahead of the club head at set up. Once you have mastered striking the ball first and cleanly in the drilled position, place the golf ball back to where it normally would be positioned.

From this point, picture the intended impact point to be the same three to four inches beyond the golf ball as the drill had you practicing.

Why Do I Thin the Golf Ball?

Why Do I Thin the Golf Ball?



A 'thin' golf shot is one which is struck with the bottom of the club head. Rather than catching the ball cleanly on the sweet spot, you will strike the ball down near the bottom of the face when you hit it thin – and the resulting shot will probably struggle to get off the ground. Hitting your shots thin can be a frustrating mistake, so you will want to find a fix as quickly as possible. Every golfer catches one thin from time to time, but you will want to limit the frequency of this mistake as you work toward becoming a better player.

In this article, we are going to cover the topic of thin golf shots from top to bottom. We will discuss why you are hitting thin shots in the first place, and we will also look for some solutions. Additionally, we are going to touch on thin shots in the short game, because you never want to overlook that crucial part of the golf equation. By the end of this article, we hope you will have all the information you need to dramatically reduce your frequency of thin shots moving forward.

The first thing you need to do when dealing with thin shots is realize that you have a problem with this mistake. Hitting one or two shots thin from time to time really isn't much of a concern, but you should take notice if the pattern becomes more frequent. Specifically, if you find yourself standing over the golf ball thinking about making this mistake, you will know that it is time to take action. You should have plenty of confidence when starting your swing, feeling like you are going to hit the ball perfectly on the center of the face. Without that confidence, you will never be able to live up to your potential on the course. As soon as you notice your confidence start to slip as a result of too many thin shots, you should get to work on finding a fix.

It is important that you have a calm, objective approach to this problem before you get down to work on finding a fix. It is easy to be frustrated with your inability to hit the ball solidly, but that frustration is only going to lead to a short temper and more poor shots. Do your best to set aside your frustration and just get down to work on solving the problem. The best golfers are those who look at their game from an objective perspective. All golfers have problems they need to solve, so there is no shame in needing to go through this process. Commit yourself to finding solutions and look forward to a day when you can play golf without the fear of a thin shot popping up at just the wrong time.

All of the content below has been written from the perspective of a right-handed golfer. If you happen to play left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.

The Common Causes of Thin Shots

The Common Causes of Thin Shots



There is nothing fun about hitting the ball thin while playing a round of golf. A thin shot is very rarely going to wind up near your target, it isn't going to feel very good when it comes off the club, and it certainly isn't going to impress your friends. You may not know exactly why you are hitting the ball thin, but you do know that you want to stop this habit as soon as possible.

To take a step toward finding a solution, we first need to get to the heart of the problem. Most thin shots are caused by one of the mistakes listed below.

  • Trying to hit the ball too hard. Amateur golfers are no strangers to trying to hit the golf ball extremely hard. If you stand around any driving range near your home and just watch others practice, you will see plenty of players who are swinging 'out of their shoes' on every shot. This obsession with swinging hard is a big part of the reason why most amateur players never get any better. Golf is a game which is about control, rather than raw power. In terms of thin shots, swinging hard is bad news because your right hand can become overactive at the bottom of the swing. With too much right hand trying to force the ball down the fairway, the club head will move up away from the turf prematurely, and you may catch the ball thin. Simply put, swinging extra hard is not worth the risk.
  • Leaning back away from the target. Balance is a critical part of the game of golf, as you need to be well-balanced heading into impact if you are going to achieve a clean strike. Unfortunately, many amateur golfers struggle to maintain their balance properly. One common error is leaning back away from the target right before impact, in an effort to lift the ball up into the sky. You don't actually need to make this move, as your club has loft included in the design of the face for the very purpose of getting the ball airborne. All you need to do is hit through impact with an aggressive swing and the club will take care of the rest. Resist the temptation to lean back at impact and you can bet that the ball will come off your club better than ever before. If you do lean back, the club is going to bottom out too early, and it may be moving back up away from the ground when it contacts the ball. In other words, you will hit the shot thin.
  • Looking up early. This is a classic mistake which has been made by nearly every golfer at least once. It is natural to feel anxious when you are hitting a shot on the golf course, and as a result, you may look up early to see where the ball is going. Of course, looking up early is a bad idea, as it is going to pull the rest of your body out of position – and it is going to raise the level of the club head. Countless thin shots can be blamed on this mistake. Do your best to keep your eyes focused on the ball all the way through impact, and only allow yourself to look up when you are sure the ball is gone. Practice this skill specifically on the driving range so you aren't even tempted to look up early while playing actual rounds of golf.

The three reasons listed above are the most common causes of thin shots among the ranks of amateur golfers. Of course, that doesn't mean that those three reasons are the only possibilities when you strike the ball low on the club face. There are many potential causes of thin shots which extend beyond this list, so you are going to have to think carefully about your own swing to determine an exact cause. Once you are confident that you have gotten to the bottom of the issue, you can feel free to get started on trying to correct the error once and for all.

Building Ball Striking Confidence

Building Ball Striking Confidence



The golf swing happens fast. In just a couple of seconds, you will have taken the club from address, all the way up to the top of the swing, and back down again. Since things happen so fast during the swing, you really don't have time to think about your technique along the way. You have to build your technique properly on the range so it can simply do its job when you are on the course. And a big part of allowing your technique to do its job successfully on the course is having complete confidence in your swing.

It is easy to say that you should have confidence in your swing – it is another thing entirely to actually have that confidence. You can't fake confidence on the golf course. You need to truly believe in yourself, and that kind of belief only comes through practice. When you are ready to 'earn' your confidence out on the driving range, follow the tips below.

  • Give yourself some easy shots. Nothing will build up your trust in your own swing quite as fast as hitting some easy shots on the range. Take one of your wedges out of the bag and aim for a target which is less than 100 yards away. Make easy swings while focused on achieving solid contact each time. The feeling of hitting the ball cleanly over and over again will only serve to improve the way you feel about your abilities on the course. It is a great idea to start each of your practice sessions with this kind of simple warm up. Hit 10 or 15 shots without really testing yourself and your confidence will be sky high when you move on to other types of swings.
  • Pretend you are playing an actual round of golf. This is a popular, and effective, training routine to use on the driving range. During your next trip to the range, consider 'playing' a full round of golf on your favorite course by picturing each hole one at a time. So, the first shot you hit on the range will be a swing which would work for the tee shot on the first hole at your favorite track. Then, based on how you hit the tee shot, you will hit an appropriate second shot, and so on. This drill can help you to improve your confidence because you will 'see' yourself hitting plenty of quality shots as you picture them on a real golf course. The next time you return to that course, you might find that you feel better about your chances simply thanks to the work you have done on the range.
  • Add up the repetitions. When you play golf on the course, you only get to swing the club once every few minutes (in most cases). Even if you take 90 shots to get around the course, it is likely that half of those will be in the short game category. Therefore, you will have made just 45 full swings, despite being on the course for more than four hours. In other words, you aren't going to amass enough repetitions to build confidence when playing golf. You need to hit the range to get those repetitions, as you can hit many more balls in a shorter period of time. It is not a good idea to rush through your practice sessions, but you will hit more shots on the range than on the course even when you are taking your time.

So what does all this have to do with hitting the ball thin? It comes down to having belief in yourself. When you believe that you can get the job done, you will be far more likely to actually find the center of the club face. Any doubt that exists in your mind is going to be manifested in the form of miss-hit golf shots – and some of those shots are sure to be of the thin variety. Build up your ball striking confidence to the greatest possible degree and it is certain that fewer thin shots will come off of your clubs.

Avoiding This Mistake on the Course

Avoiding This Mistake on the Course



Working on your swing on the driving range is obviously a step in the right direction, and it is important if you want to make progress with your game. However, you might get into a situation where you are out on the course and you suddenly lose your feel for the swing. When that happens, how will you avoid thin shots? The points below offer up some tips to help you get around the course without too many thin shots, even when you aren't quite on your game.

  • Move the ball back in your stance. This is good advice anytime you want to simplify things in your swing. By moving the ball back to the middle of your stance, you will be encouraging a simplified, rotational action. This type of swing is going to make it easier for you to strike the ball solidly. You will probably give up a bit of distance when moving the ball back, but you should be willing to make that trade if it means taking the thin shot out of the equation.
  • Pick safe targets, play conservatively. There is a connection between the difficulty of the shots you select on the course, and the outcome of your swings. When you try to hit incredible shots to tiny targets off in the distance, you will naturally struggle to make solid contact. Why? Simple – you will be putting a lot of pressure on yourself to hit a great shot. By picking a safer target, much of that pressure is going to be pulled away. You will be able to relax and focus on the task at hand, and the ball will be more likely to find the center of the club face at impact. Not only will conservative golf help you to make better contact, but it will just help you play a better, more consistent game overall.
  • Focus on your eyes. When you in the midst of a round of golf, it is easy to wind up focusing on a number of things that can complicate your swing. To bring things back to a simple starting point, try to remember to keep your eyes trained on the ball throughout the swing. Keeping your eyes on the ball is going to cause you to stay down properly in the swing, which will in term help you to avoid a thin shot. This might seem like a very simple point, but that is exactly why it is so effective.
  • Just relax. Nothing good is going to come from putting too much pressure on yourself to perform. One of the best things you can do for your game is to relax as much as possible on the course. This is just a game, after all, so don't take yourself too seriously while you play. There is nothing wrong with being competitive and trying to do your best, but remember that this is simply a form of entertainment when all is said and done. Take a deep breath, enjoy your time on the links, and go home with a smile on your face.

It can be frustrating when thin shots start to pop up during a round, but you can get around this problem by using the tips listed above. To get yourself back on track, simplify everything that you are trying to do and focus on nothing more than solid contact swing after swing.

Thin Shots in the Short Game

Thin Shots in the Short Game



If you hit the ball thin when playing around the greens, you are going to quickly cost yourself a number of strokes on the scorecard. Thin chip shots and pitch shots are rarely going to end up in a good place, and you will likely need to hit at least one more chip or pitch before you are able to take your putter from the bag. While it might not be quite as embarrassing to hit a thin chip shot when compared to a full shot, the results can be just as damaging in the end.

Without a doubt, the most common cause of a thin shot in the short game is excess head movement. The short swings you make around the greens don't require much (if any) head movement at all, since you don't need to send the ball any significant distance. If you get into the habit of moving your head prior to making contact, it is likely that you will hit the ball thin – or make other, equally costly mistakes. Do your best to keep your head still and your ability to find square contact is going to rapidly improve.

There are a couple of big problems with hitting the ball thin in the short game. First, there will be almost no backspin on the ball, meaning your shot is going to bounce and roll a significant distance after it lands. Also, the shot will come out very low, so it might not carry the required distance to the putting surface. When those two issues are combined, it is easy to see why you need to steer clear of this result. Keep your head still, keep your eyes on the ball, and make sure the leading edge of your wedge slides under the ball each and every time.

Remember, just as we mentioned in the discussion about the full swing, there is no need to 'help' the ball up into the air when chipping or pitching. The wedge you are holding has a significant amount of loft, meaning you don't have to do anything to cause the ball to go up. As long as you hit down and make solid contact, the ball is sure to rise off the face and carry toward your target. Countless amateur golfers lean back away from the target to help the ball into the air, and they hit their chip shots thin as a result. Teach yourself to trust the loft on your wedges and you can leave thin short game shots in the past.

Thin shots certainly don't feel very good when they come off of your club, and they don't look good when you watch them travel, either. We hope that the advice provided throughout this article will help you to eliminate the thin shot from your game as quickly as possible. Golf should be fun, but it can be hard to have fun on the course when you struggle to make solid contact. It will take a little bit of time and effort to get rid of your thin shots, but you will enhance your enjoyment of this game when the work is done. Good luck!