"Thin" is the opposite of "fat." With a thin shot, the golfer's club often doesn't strike the ground at all, whereas with a "fat shot" the clubhead digs too far into the turf.
"Thin" and "blade" are often used interchangeably, but it's possible for them to mean different things. A bladed shot will be struck near the equator of the ball with the leading edge of the club (striking the ball with the "blade" of the club). While a thin shot is often struck with the leading edge, it might also mean catching the ball on the very lowest portion of the clubface.
It's also important to note that a thin shot is not always a bad shot. In fact, highly skilled golfers who have great control of the club in the swing will sometimes intentionally "thin" a ball in order to make certain they don't hit it fat. For more recreational golfers, however, a thin shot is almost always the result of a mis-hit.
See the Thin Shot Tip Sheet, for a quick checklist of possible causes of this type of shot.
Return to Golf Glossary index
"That ball is going over the green - I caught it thin."