Scottish Golf Courses

Stop hitting it fat and thin

Abson pic

Follow my four quick and easy cures to start hitting the ball better

A common problem that I see amongst amateur golfers of varying handicaps is that they tend to hit a lot of fat and thin shots yet don’t really know why.

The problem is often far more exaggerated on the golf course as opposed to the driving range due to rarely having a flat lie and the ground being far less forgiving than a driving range mat. That’s why you should always try to practise on real grass, though that’s not exactly easy.

There are a number of reasons for catching it fat and thin. Both shots are often caused by the same pre-swing and in-swing faults. Like with any good golf shot, pre-swing it is important to have good fundamentals.

In the picture opposite you can see I have highlighted an in-swing fault, which is incorrect weight transfer. I’m leaning back in the downswing which has caused my club to ground out early and catch it heavy – in fact, that heavy the ball hasn’t moved.

To avoid doing likewise, read the tips below for a quick, easy fix.


Ensure that your set-up is correct for each club you hit – this includes ball position, hand position in relation to the golf ball, spine tilt and weight distribution.


During the downswing, feel the weight transfer moving to your leading leg. This helps ensure that the hands stay ahead of the clubhead through impact and as a consequence the club reaching the lowest point of the swing arc after the ball.


Place your bag towel roughly a foot behind the ball. With a wedge, practice hitting shots. By placing the towel in this position it helps to prevent you from leaning back to hit the ball, a common problem for those catching it fat and thin.


To ensure your weight transfers correctly, make sure that you keep your body rotating to a full finish. A good indication that you have done this is if your belt buckle faces the target and your chest faces slightly left of target.


Gavin Abson is the Head PGA Golf Professional at The Carrick. For lessons, call Gavin on 07967 206266. Follow him on Twitter: @GavinAbsonGolf

Originally published on bunkered on February 25, 2013.

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