What Causes The Fat Shot In Golf

The fat shot is a shot that is taken with an excessive amount of spin on the ball. This shot is often taken when the golfer is trying to get out of a tight spot on the golf course. It is a difficult shot to make and can often be costly when it goes wrong. There are many different causes for the fat shot, but one of the most common is over-swinging the club.

1. Crouching at the address position, thus lowering the  suspension point

This is probably the most common cause of fat shots. Players who position themselves in an address position that has their suspension point closer to the ball than the total distance formed by the length of their arms and the part of the club below their hands are more likely to hit fat shots.This crouching, and the lowering of the suspension point that results, causes a bent arm position at address. Obviously, if the player maintains this incorrect suspension point position up to and during impact, and if he correctly extends his arms when club meets ball, then his extended arms will cause the club head to be lower at impact than it was at address.The club head will end up cutting into the ground behind the ball. Your shot will finish far short of the target, especially if the turf is wet.

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Suspension Point:

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What is the Suspension Point on a Golf Club?

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What is the Suspension Point on a Golf Club?

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The Suspension Point is the point on the club where the shaft and head intersect. This is where the club’s suspension system begins. This system helps to absorb shock when the club is hit, allowing for a more consistent swing.

Fix: Shorten the swing radius or raise the suspension point

Shortening the radius of the swing arc will correct the obvious correction.This is done simply by shortening one’s grip on the club, “choking up,” as they call it in baseball. The advantage of this correction is that it eliminates the schaff almost immediately. The disadvantage is that by shortening the radius of the swing, you automatically shorten the swing, and usually lose distance.If anything, the second correction raises the suspension point, which widens your swing arc and causes you to address the ball with the arms more extended. More distance may result. You raise the suspension point by merely addressing the ball with a more upright posture.

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Fix: Maintain a consistent distance from the suspension point to  the ball throughout the swing

The solution in this case is somewhat more difficult to accomplish since it involves avoiding any ducking of the head during the swing.To avoid ducking your head, I would advise swinging without a club, while your forehead is pressed against a vertical object.This will give you an idea of how it feels to swing without lowering your head in effect, which can help you hit the ball straighter. Then duplicate this feeling without the post and with a club.

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3. Improperly fitted clubs that are too “whippy” for your swing

Too flexible a club shaft can create fat shots even though the player’s address position and swing are correct. Clubs that are too whippy cause a vibratory cycle, or bending in the shaft, which is so great that the club head drags along the ground.

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Fix: Check shaft flex

Anyone who has trouble with fat shots should consult his pro about the possibility of using stiffer shafts. This is especially good advice for players who are strong and have forceful swings with a great deal of club head speed.A strong player sacrifices control if he uses a too-whippy shaft, just as a weak swinger might lose club head speed by using a too stiff shaft.

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4. During the swing, increasing the angle formed by the arms and club shaft

The most common reason for fat shots occurs when the player, during the swing, causes the arms and club shaft to form a more curved line than they did at address.In a proper address position the arms should hang almost vertically, at about an 85 degree angle (Angle A). The club shaft is supported in a somewhat more horizontal position (Angle C).Together, they form an angle less than 180 degrees (Angle B). If, during the swing, the player increases the angle formed by his arms and club shaft so that they form more of a straight line (angle B), the old principle that a straight line reaches farther than a crooked one of the same length comes into effect. The club head extends beyond the ball or into the ground.

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Fix: Maintain the same arm-club angle at impact that you assumed  at the address position

To keep the angle of the club face constant at address and impact, the golfer should first address the ball with his arms and club shaft positioned in about the same manner as in the correct drawing above. Arms hang at about an 85° angle.Then he should maintain the same level of grip pressure throughout the swing. If he maintains consistency with grip pressure, the golfer will avoid arching his wrists.
-You’re not striking the ball squarely.
-You’re not swinging with enough power.