How To Stop Hitting The Golf Ball Fat (6 Easy Steps)

golfer hitting a fat golf shot

Meet Jake

Jake was a competitive golfer for over a decade dating back to the days of being the Captain of his high school golf team. He has played more than 200 courses across 32 different states in the US. Now semi-retired, Jake continues to golf 3-4 days a week with a current 2 handicap, gives golf lessons to his friends and family, and provides a wealth of knowledge to Golf Circuit from his competitive playing days. Jake combines practical expertise with technical knowledge to create golfing strategies and training techniques for both beginners and scratch golfers.

Hitting the golf ball fat is truly one of the most annoying shots in the game. It doesn’t matter if you are a brand new golfer or have been playing your entire life; the fat shots hardly get any distance, it costs you a stroke, and it may even get mud on your golf pants!

The good news is there are several ways in which you can stop hitting the golf ball fat. The most important part of this process is to determine the cause of your fat shots. 

This is where most golfers struggle, so we will give you a step by step guide on how to stop hitting the golf ball fat. 

What Is A Fat Golf Shot?

A fat golf shot is when your club makes contact with the ground before the ball. This is usually done with an iron.

How To Stop Hitting The Golf Ball Fat

To stop hitting fat, you have to figure out why you are hitting it fat; take these steps to get it worked out today! 

???? Remember to read our guide on how to fix thin golf shots too.

6 Steps to stop hitting the golf ball fat

Step 1: Check Your Distance to The Golf Ball 

The most common reason to hit a golf ball fat is that your setup is incorrect. The majority of golfers that hit fat shots are standing too close to the ball

Finding that exact distance to stand from the golf ball can take a bit of trial and error. 

Your arms should be hanging but not extended too far. In addition, make sure that you are not feeling crammed where your hands don’t have enough space to clear as you come through impact. 

Exactly how far from the ball you stand will change based on the club in your hand and your overall height and posture.

However, if you are standing too close, the club will most certainly hit the ground first, causing a fat shot. 

Step 2: Left To Right Ball Position 

For most golf shots, the ball will end up being directly in the middle of your golf stance. When you hit behind the ball, chances are you had it up in the stance a bit too far forward. 

Forward in the stance is good for woods, drivers, and lower lofted hybrids (like the 3 hybrid), but for irons and wedges, the center of the stance is a much better position to keep the ball. 

Step 3: Swing Plane

Once your setup is ideal, and your hands, feet, and golf ball are all situated where they should be, it’s time to ensure that your swing plane is correct. 

Hitting fat shots is typically the result of a swing plane that is much too steep. I know that in the past, this has happened to me when my takeaway is not perfect. 

Keep your takeaway more low and slow, and you will end up with a better swing plane, one that is slightly shallower golf swing and won’t’ result in a fat golf shot. 

Step 4: Weight Transfer 

One of the most common reasons golfers struggle with hitting fat shots is that they don’t transfer their weight forward in their swing. As we take a backswing, the weight will transfer to the right leg (for right-handed players). 

On the downswing, this weight needs to make the transition to the left foot. Golfers that spend too much time transferring their weight or never transferring their weight can often hit behind the ball. 

For some players, this can feel like a shoulder dropping or a dipping motion. Focus on your right arm in your golf swing.

Getting the weight to travel through the ball will only help accuracy with all shots in your game. In addition, this movement can increase power considerably. 

When you finish your golf swing, are you watching it in balance from your left foot? Or are you leaning backward on your right leg. This will teach you a lot about your weight transfer and where it lacks efficiency. 

Step 5: Ensure Your Equipment Is Correct 

Nine times out of ten, the reason that golfers hit behind the ball is the fact that they are struggling with something in their swing. Even the slightest mechanics issue will cause a golfer to hit a fat shot. 

Sometimes, however, you could be hitting the golf ball fat because you are using the wrong equipment. Sometimes if a golf club is too heavy, it’s hard for players to swing it through entirely, and you will end up hitting the ball fat. 

Ensure your equipment is correct by going for a custom golf fitting and ruling out this issue. 

Step 6: Spend Some Time On The Range 

Our steps to helping you determine why you are hitting a golf ball fat and eventually be able to fix it are undoubtedly effective. However, if you want to get better at golf and make your ball striking more consistently, you must spend time at the range. 

When working on your golf game at the range be sure to work on all different types of golf shots, and always use alignment sticks or clubs to check alignment, posture, and setup. 

Even professional golfers work on their setup and stance because of how important these skills are. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Fat golf shots are some of the most common mishits for players. Now that you know how to figure out what is causing your fat golf shots, here are a few questions that other golfers have asked about how to get rid of these shots for good. 

Will a wide stance cause a fat golf shot? 

A wide stance can cause golfers to hang back on their right side too much. When you hang back on the right side and forget to transfer the weight forward, the impact won’t be nearly as crisp. 

Make sure your feet are shoulder width apart and allow yourself the ability to accelerate through the ball with a proper weight transfer. 

Is hitting the golf ball fat hard to fix? 

The great news about hitting the golf ball fat is that it is usually caused by setup. Setup-related issues can be fixed exceptionally quickly; this should not set you back in the progress you have made in your golf game. 

How come I only hit the golf ball fat with my wedges? 

Many players hit the golf ball fat with their wedges, and this is typical because golfers decelerate on their wedge shots. Slowing down your swing does not give you more control around the greens, which should be avoided. 


At this point, you should feel quite a bit better about how to stop hitting the golf ball fat. This can be a hard problem to work through on the golf course, but on the driving range, you should have no issues with fixing the problem. 

Always keep in mind that when we set up to hit a golf ball, all parts of the setup should be perfect for ensuring the best possible results and eliminating fat shots.

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