How do I stop chunking the golf ball? Why do I hit the ground before the ball? How do I hit the ball first?
We are here to help
Firstly lets talk about the problem. You’re hitting the ground before the ball.
What an absolutely terrible and disgusting feeling. Hitting it FAT. Also known as CHUNKING the shot. It looks as bad as it feels. And oftentimes to add insult to injury some mud and dirt will fly up and hit you in the face.
Leaving you dirty and tasting divot and disappointment.
You need to understand whats really making you chunk the ball: Hitting the ground before the ball is the symptom of other problems.
The general idea is; you need to swing more like a baseball bat and less like you’re digging a ditch with a shovel.
Digging into the ground before the ball is caused by swinging ‘too steep’. Your swing is too ‘up and down’ instead of being a circular rotation. Picture someone hitting a softball off of a tee. The swing is around the body. Not up and down.
Of course this will be different depending on the club you’re using. Its easier to get the tee ball type motion with the driver and longer clubs. And with the shorter clubs and wedges its tempting to try and hit down on the ball sharply.
Practice hitting your driver off a very high tee. This will promote the right type of shoulder turn and keep you from delivering a descending blow to the ball. With the driver its better to catch the ball evenly or on the upswing. Never hitting down on the ball with the driver.
After some practice with the driver and high tee. I want you to try hitting your nine and pitching wedge off a high tee. This drill will really help your tempo. Make sure the ball is a few inches in the air. Not like how you’d usually tee up a nine iron. This drill will feel a little awkward but thats alright.
Take some practice swings on the side of a hill. With your body facing the incline. Meaning your feet are below your club head. Once again we are trying to simulate the tee ball type swing motion. Circular around the body swing, instead of a steep ‘up and down’ type blow.
Ball position can be another factor. Starting with the driver, you want the ball forward in the stance. Up near the left foot. And tee it up high.
As the club gets shorter you move the ball ever so slightly back in the stance. But never further back than inside the right heel. This will help keep you from chunking your short irons.
Another tip is to swing through the ball and hold your finish position for a count of five seconds. We do this to improve our balance. You may hit the ball fat because you’re off balance. Holding your finish position will help ensure you’re not swinging out of control. Hold the finish as if there were photographers snapping pictures.
The other side of this coin is hitting the ball “thin”. This is when you don’t take a divot at all. You hit the ball near its equator and it flies low to the ground.
Hitting it thin isn’t great but its much better than hitting it fat. “Thin to Win” as I like to say. When you hit it thin the ball will have little to no side spin so that means it will go straight. It wont have the perfect ball flight but often times you will get away with it. Unfortunately it wont have much ‘backspin’ so if you’re under 120 yards it will probably go over the back of the green.