20 Most common shot problems
Lesson 11 of 20
Diagnosis: Inconsistent contact –either fat or thin – is made with approach shots
Explanation: The most critical impact factor on these short shots around the green is the club head’s angle of approach into the ball. Generally these are fairly simple strokes well within the ability of the weekend player to swing the club on path with reasonably square clubface. The biggest cause of player’s mis-hits on this shot is the clubhead reaching the bottom of its arc before it gets to the ball.
If the clubhead catches in the turf and loses its forward momentum it results in a fat shot. It the clubhead skims or bounces off the turf it then hits the middle or upper part of the ball resulting in a thin shot. In either case it is the clubhead’s level or upward movement rather than downward angle of approach causing the poor contact. Typically the player will have the ball positioned too far forward to the left with his weight on his right side.
Correction: Start by choosing a more lofted club than you think you need for the required trajectory. Then work on a proper set up so that you contact the ball with a downward moving clubhead. Begin by placing more weight over your left side. Then move the ball far enough back (to the right) in your stance and your hands far enough forward (to the left) so that you contact the ball with a descending clubhead.
Here is a drill I often recommend. Place a golf ball 10 to 12 inches behind your ball and practice hitting shots without touching the second ball either on the backstroke or down stroke. With practice you’ll soon be making solid contact with the ball and hitting crisper approach shots. A good sign is when your divots start at the ball and end closer to the target.
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