Your golf irons are some of the most reliable tools in your golf bag and are arguably used more than any other clubs on the golf course.
But for all their advantages, they can be some of the more difficult golf clubs to use - especially the long irons which are notoriously hard to hit correctly.
This is why many golfers struggle with hitting fat golf shots (or chunking the ball) with their irons, where the club catches the ground far behind the golf ball, rather than striking the ball cleanly and taking a regular-sized divot.
It’s a common problem. But with a few handy tips and enough practice, catching the ball fat is actually one of the easier golf problems to solve. With this in mind, here are a few ways you can stop hitting fat golf shots with your irons, so you can get back to lowering your score.
Ways to prevent hitting fat golf shots in your golf swing
Use a correct posture
One of the biggest factors in players hitting fat golf shots is their posture. Too often, golfers will hunch around their ball, almost as if they’re trying to bring themself as close to the ball as possible.
While being closer to your work can help in some instances, when using your irons it can create the opposite effect and cause you to hit fat shots, barely moving the ball forward, if you're lucky enough to move it at all.
This is because the arms naturally try to extend on the downswing, and if you’re too close to the golf ball, they’re going to strike the ground way before they strike the ball, closer to your back foot, resulting in a fat golf shot.
But by taking a slight step back and elongating the arms, giving them enough room to work, you’re far less likely to hit a fat shot and take a reasonably-sized divot, eliminating fat golf shots - the same is true whether you’re using short or long irons.
Check your club angle
It’s recommended, for many golf clubs, that you hold your grip slightly forward of the ball, causing the club to lean slightly - this aids your clubhead in getting under the ball and propelling it into the air for a smooth, clean strike.
However, by holding your grip and golf club too far forward, with an excessive lean, you’re running the risk of the angle causing you to cut downward at the ball, rather than through it - as if chopping down on a piece of wood with an axe.
This will make you catch the ground and barely catch the golf ball, hitting fat golf shots nobody wants to see. To solve this, ensure you’re not holding your club too far forward in your stance before you take your shot. You only need to tilt your club in this direction by a couple of inches at most - if you’re stretching your arms because of the lean, you’ve gone too far and could wind up hitting a fat shot.
If long irons are the problem, consider switching to hybrids
The long irons are widely recognised as the hardest clubs in your golf bag to hit cleanly. Many golfers try to solve this problem by holding the club further down the grip, bringing themselves closer to the work, seemingly making it easier. But, as we discussed above, this often results in hitting fat shots.
Luckily, modern golf advancements have offered a solution in the form of hybrid golf clubs. Hybrid clubs - or “rescue clubs” - offer the consistency and control of a long iron combined with the brute force and playability of a fairway wood, for a club that’s as versatile as it is practical.
Because the design of hybrid clubs is closer to that of a fairway wood than it is to an iron, with a thicker, rounded head, the clubhead is able to skim cleanly across the grass, rather than taking a tremendous divot.
This means that, when swung correctly, the club head is in contact with the grass far longer than the head of a long iron, increasing your chances of striking the ball properly, rather than chunking it.
Perfect your golf swing and get rid of fat golf shots at Clarkes Golf
If hitting fat golf shots is starting to get you down and you’d rather not keep making the same mistakes when you’re out on the course, you can squeeze in plenty of practice at Clarkes Golf.
Our 27-bay driving range is perfect for improving your long-iron game and stopping yourself from hitting the ground too far behind the ball. That way, the next time you head for a golf game, you can play with confidence knowing your iron shots will be on point.
You can find us at:
Mill Lane, Rainford
St Helens, WA11 8LN.