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Need help with Fat/Thin shots with wedges


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Hi,

I was wondering if anyone who has had a similar experience to myself could offer any help, tips, swing thoughts, etc. on the issue with my golf game. Like most amateurs I have lots of issues but one that remains a a constant is the fat/thin shots with short irons. Of my bad strikes about 75/80% are fat and 20/25% are thins. Direction is generally straight, sometimes pushed 10-15 yards to the right, almost never left. This is a problem only really with my full wedge shots. From about 9iron down I seem to hit pretty decent shots. 7iron is 140-150 average and straight as an arrow.

That's a pretty straight forward and common probably I realize, however, I have read many articles and watched many youtube vidoes on this issue and nothing seems to cure my ailment. My first issue is that it is VERY hard for me to think/concentrate about more than one thing at a time during a swing. I have tried actively getting my weight on the left side and I finish in a good balanced position almost every time. I have tried different ball positions, middle and back further. I have tried leaning the shaft forward. I have tried drills where you put tees/business cards behind the ball. I have tried to feel like my hands are ahead of the ball as to hit be flipping my wrists. Nothing seems to cure this subsoncsious need to hit "at" the ball. If I pratice on getting the bottom of my swing arc in front of wear I am aiming I can do it almost everytime, but put a golf ball down and it all goes to hell. Yes, I have tried focsuing my eyes in front of the ball a few inches and while that seemed to help at first in the long run it did not. 

My next experiment will be in regards to shoulder tilt. I am thinking that my left shoulder is way too high. This could explain why I get awawy with 9iron and down because I do not need as much tilt as with short irons. We will see what happens.
https://www.golfdigest.com/story/fitness-friday-a-fix-for-those

My thinking here is that I know I am capable if hitting great wedge shots because when I first started they were the only clubs I could hit decent and now wedges are the only thing I simply CANNOT hit whatsoever and when I did actually hit it halfway decent it goes about 200ft in the air 15 yards short. When I was struggling with the slice on the tee shots I watched a video simply stating to move the back leg back a few inches like you want to draw it and wouldn't you know it, it straightened me right out.

Has anyone had this problem with short irons where it seemed like no matter what you did you couldn't break the habit of the fat/thin shots? Thanks!

Edited by TheArtfulDodger
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One thing that I think is pretty universal is that NONE of us can diagnose our swing faults accurately based on feel and/or results.  Poking around Youtube and other online instruction is bound to be hit or miss, probably mostly miss.  Even less reliable is to rely on strangers like us for that diagnosis, strangers who have never seen you swing.  The best way to get decent advice is to get instruction, either in person, or through video analysis.  One great way to start that is by posting videos of your swing in this section:

https://thesandtrap.com/forums/forum/13-member-swings/

Be sure to open the Hidden Contents to see the format for your posts, and review the tips on Filming Your Swing.  

Welcome to The Sand Trap!  

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(edited)
4 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

One thing that I think is pretty universal is that NONE of us can diagnose our swing faults accurately based on feel and/or results.  Poking around Youtube and other online instruction is bound to be hit or miss, probably mostly miss.  Even less reliable is to rely on strangers like us for that diagnosis, strangers who have never seen you swing.  The best way to get decent advice is to get instruction, either in person, or through video analysis.  One great way to start that is by posting videos of your swing in this section:

https://thesandtrap.com/forums/forum/13-member-swings/

Be sure to open the Hidden Contents to see the format for your posts, and review the tips on Filming Your Swing.  

Welcome to The Sand Trap!  

I would agree 100% with that Dave, and will try to get my swing videos up there soon. I guess I was thinking if anyone else had this same problem they could not seem to shake and what helped them when they finally did get the problem solved.

And thanks happy to be here! 

Edited by TheArtfulDodger
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Just now, TheArtfulDodger said:

I would agree 100% with that Dave, and will try to get my swing videos up there soon. I guess I was thinking if anyone else had this same problem they could not seem to shake and what helped them when they finally did get the problem solved. 

I hope you get some advice that helps.  Unfortunately, there can be a bunch of different causes for a singly "symptom", so what has helped me might make your situation even worse.  Good luck!

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I had the same problem as a lot of high handicappers must.  What has helped me is to have a little bit of forward shaft lean at impact and try to hold that angle such that for short shots my club doesn't get ahead of my hands on my follow through - at least as far as P9.  I have quite a bit of wrist hinge in my backswing, but none in the follow through. I have to think of hitting the ball with a body turn, if my swing is too armsy I can't hold the angle through follow through.  Ideally I brush the grass with no divot.

 

Edited by No Mulligans
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What other people have said about not truly being able to diagnose your problem without seeing it is true.  

I will say that with *all* of my irons-wedges, I try to keep my shoulders feeling level (they aren't, but it's what works for me).  The other thing that causes me to hit fat shots is not getting my weight forward enough when swinging.  I notice I do this when I don't plan my backswing properly (swing too far) and I subconsciously try to hold back to not hit the ball too far.  Trying to specifically keep my backswing shorter and powering through the ball has seemed to keep me from mishitting my partial swings.

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Thanks for the info guys. Interestingly enough, went to range today after work and tried to mess with getting the left shoulder a little lower but you wanna talk about fat shots, LOL. Anyway, right off the bat I started blocking the short irons right. I looked on the club-face and they were fairly square so I started feeling like have a bit more of an out-to-in swing path and then they were fine. As a matter of fact I started hitting my wedges really good. Weird game, but I am sure the fat/thin curse will return! :)  

Off topic but I tried a new 3 wood i purchased, a Taylormade Aeroburner 15 degree, and my last ball landed BEYOND the 250 marker. I about crapped my pants, lol. I bought because I love my Aeroburner hybrid. Everyone says they are loud hitting, but I don't hear it.

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While I agree with all of these guys that there can absolutely be multiple reasons why you are hitting it fat and thin, I think there are definitely a few places to look first that REGARDLESS of what other problems may be present will probably improve ballstriking consistency. Namely key #1 which is keeping a steady head, as well as key #2 which is weight forward. If the majority of your misses are fat well it's pretty safe to assume that you at least have some problems getting the weight forward and getting the low point of the swing past the ball.

I'm a newer golfer so take my advice with a grain of salt but these two points are really so crucial that even if you are say a 10 handicapper you should probably be revisiting some of these points every once in a while.

I'm also big on the parts of your game you can change "to get things for free" so to speak. In that realm I would mention the grip...make sure yours is working for you and isn't causing any issues. Then is the stance at address including turning out (flaring) both feet about 30 degrees.

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14 minutes ago, Grizvok said:

While I agree with all of these guys that there can absolutely be multiple reasons why you are hitting it fat and thin, I think there are definitely a few places to look first that REGARDLESS of what other problems may be present will probably improve ballstriking consistency. Namely key #1 which is keeping a steady head, as well as key #2 which is weight forward. If the majority of your misses are fat well it's pretty safe to assume that you at least have some problems getting the weight forward and getting the low point of the swing past the ball.

I'm a newer golfer so take my advice with a grain of salt but these two points are really so crucial that even if you are say a 10 handicapper you should probably be revisiting some of these points every once in a while.

I'm also big on the parts of your game you can change "to get things for free" so to speak. In that realm I would mention the grip...make sure yours is working for you and isn't causing any issues. Then is the stance at address including turning out (flaring) both feet about 30 degrees.

I will be sure and check my head movement next time my shots start to go south. Sometimes it can be hard to notice in the middle of a round. As far as weight, yes I am aware of the issue, however, I am not sure what I can do. I actively try and get my weight to my left side but still end up chunking a lot. The real problem is once I get too many things going in my head it becomes very difficult to have a good swing. With my short irons I have to think about having more of a out to in swing or at least to feel that way as I have a tendency to push shots. Add to that "keep head still", "move left on downswing" and it's getting iffy. I know it doesn't look like a lot to think about but as a fellow golfer I am sure you would agree that the swing happens pretty quick and it can get hairy with too many swing thoughts. Funny, it seems like the more I actively TRY and have a great shot the worse it comes out. When I am free/relaxed and don't really give a damn what happens with the shot, like at the range, I have a pretty decent one.

I will say my range session today was quite a bit better. I really tried to shorten my backswing and it seemed to help a lot. I was getting distances I never got before. One 56 degree wedge went about 130 easy, which was not necessarily a good thing, lol.

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What helped me a lot was keeping my right knee (I am righty) inside of my right foot a little bit, sort of flexed it. This kind of locks my leg and resists swaying my body back in the swing and leads to more precise hits. 

Another thing was practicing chipping a lot, and positioning the club carefully, just behind the ball exactly where I wanted to strike it, before each swing. Focusing on hitting the ball an exact way for a controlled swing like chipping made a difference on other swings. Or at least, when my chipping practice goes well, my round tends to be better.  

 

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38 minutes ago, TheArtfulDodger said:

I will be sure and check my head movement next time my shots start to go south. Sometimes it can be hard to notice in the middle of a round. As far as weight, yes I am aware of the issue, however, I am not sure what I can do. I actively try and get my weight to my left side but still end up chunking a lot. The real problem is once I get too many things going in my head it becomes very difficult to have a good swing. With my short irons I have to think about having more of a out to in swing or at least to feel that way as I have a tendency to push shots. Add to that "keep head still", "move left on downswing" and it's getting iffy. I know it doesn't look like a lot to think about but as a fellow golfer I am sure you would agree that the swing happens pretty quick and it can get hairy with too many swing thoughts. Funny, it seems like the more I actively TRY and have a great shot the worse it comes out. When I am free/relaxed and don't really give a damn what happens with the shot, like at the range, I have a pretty decent one.

I will say my range session today was quite a bit better. I really tried to shorten my backswing and it seemed to help a lot. I was getting distances I never got before. One 56 degree wedge went about 130 easy, which was not necessarily a good thing, lol.

The real problem isn't that it's how you are going about attempting to build a better swing. You will never get better going to the range trying to do every single thing correctly at once and have this 'aha' moment that you think will click and will become some easily repeatable motion. That just doesn't happen. Instead you need to be segmented and specific in how you practice. Go read the thread on the 5 S's of good practice. And if you aren't videoing your strokes to get an idea of what's actually happening you are simply guessing at your mechanics and probably bullshitting yourself. My range sessions are typically pretty bad as far as the actual hit on the ball is concerned but I've learned not to really care about it one bit because I'm so focused and diligent on a specific aspect I'm working to improve that how I end up hitting it is largely irrelevant. Good practice should be very slow. I hit a ball every 3-4 minutes and spend the time between practicing a specific piece, going over video, or just thinking about what is it I'm doing.

 

21 minutes ago, Moppy said:

What helped me a lot was keeping my right knee (I am righty) inside of my right foot a little bit, sort of flexed it. This kind of locks my leg and resists swaying my body back in the swing and leads to more precise hits. 

Another thing was practicing chipping a lot, and positioning the club carefully, just behind the ball exactly where I wanted to strike it, before each swing. Focusing on hitting the ball an exact way for a controlled swing like chipping made a difference on other swings. Or at least, when my chipping practice goes well, my round tends to be better.  

 

Except you absolutely want to straighten the back leg on the backswing...

Edited by Grizvok
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