An Easy Drill technique To Prevent Fat Shots 

All the instruction in the world sometimes isn’t enough to bring your game into the form that you desire. If you have been working on your technique, and your mental approach, and you still can’t manage to avoid fat shots, it might be time to try out a simple drill. The drill we are going to outline in this section is easy to perform at the driving range, and it will help you get over the issue of hitting the ground before the ball.

For this drill, you are just going to need your normal golf equipment, along with a bucket of practice balls. Once you are at the range and ready to go, follow the directions below to get started.

  • Take your seven iron out of the bag as the first club you will use for this drill. You can go ahead and use other irons later if you wish, but a seven iron is a nice place to start. Also, you need to pick out a target on the range that is suitable for your seven iron. If you practice at this range frequently, you probably already have a target in mind for this club.
  • Place the first practice ball on the ground and get ready to swing away. Before starting your swing, however, there is one other piece of business to take care of. With the ball on the ground, you are going to look for a distinctive spot on the turf two or three inches in front of the ball. Even on the nicest driving range, there will almost always be something you can pick out. It may be a slightly longer blade of grass, a discolored spot, or an old divot mark. Whatever the case, find something just in front of the ball to use as your focus spot. When you make your swing, you will actually look at this spot instead of the ball.
  • With everything ready to go, feel free to hit the first shot. Remember, you are going to be looking at the spot in front of the ball during the swing, rather than the ball itself. Don’t allow your eyes to deviate from this spot for the duration of the swing. Only look up after the shot has been struck and you are moving into your follow through.
  • Feel free to repeat this process as many times as you would like, before going back to your usual technique of looking right at the ball during the swing.

So what is the point of this drill? Simple – it is designed to change your ‘aim point’ in the downswing. If you are looking at the ball and hitting your shots fat, looking slightly in front of the ball may be all it takes to move the bottom of your swing forward. Now that your eyes have been adjusted, a swing which used to bottom out prior to reaching the ball may actually get all the way to the proper point of contact. After enough repetitions with this drill, you could find that your new clean ball striking carries over, even when your eyes have gone back to their usual spot.

Fat shots, where the club strikes the ground before making contact with the ball, can be frustrating and lead to poor shots. Here's an easy drill technique you can practice to help prevent fat shots:

  1. Ball Position: Start by ensuring that your ball position is slightly forward of center in your stance for most irons. This promotes a downward strike on the ball rather than hitting behind it.
  2. Alignment Stick Drill: Place an alignment stick or a club on the ground parallel to your target line, a few inches in front of the ball. The stick should be perpendicular to your target line, forming a T shape with the ball-to-target line.
  3. Practice Swinging over the Stick: With a mid-iron, take your normal setup and swing the club without hitting the alignment stick. The goal is to make clean contact with the ball without striking the stick.
  4. Focus on Brushing the Grass: As you swing, pay attention to your club's interaction with the ground. Aim to brush the grass just after the ball, rather than taking a chunk of turf. This ensures that you make contact with the ball first and create a crisp strike.
  5. Gradually Increase Swing Speed: Begin with slower swings, focusing on maintaining a smooth and controlled motion while avoiding hitting the stick. As you gain confidence and consistency, gradually increase your swing speed while still maintaining the brush-like contact with the grass.
  6. Transfer the Drill to Real Shots: Once you feel comfortable and consistent with the drill, transfer it to hitting actual shots. Visualize the alignment stick while setting up to the ball and aim to replicate the same brushing motion just after the ball, avoiding any contact with the ground before impact.
  7. Practice Regularly: Incorporate this drill into your practice routine on a regular basis. It helps to develop muscle memory and build the proper feel for avoiding fat shots. Over time, you'll notice an improvement in your ball-striking consistency.

Remember, it's crucial to stay relaxed and maintain good tempo throughout the swing. Tension or rushing can lead to fat shots. Focus on maintaining balance and a smooth, controlled swing. With dedicated practice and attention to your technique, you'll be able to prevent fat shots and improve your ball striking.