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Mishit Tip Sheets

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2 of 5

Thin Shots
Thin Shot Impact

Thin shots occur when the clubface contacts the ball near its equator or a little below.

Illustration by William Glessner
(Editor's Notes: A thin shot occurs when the club makes contact with the ball near the ball's equator or slightly below, or when the leading edge of the clubface strikes the ball first (called blading the ball). This usually results in a shot whose trajectory is very low, whose distance can be greater than intended, and, often, whose ball flight is unpredictable. The tips below are written by instructor Roger Gunn from the perspective of a right-hander; lefties should reverse the directional elements.)

Diagnosing Thin Shots


Grip
Not normally a factor in thin shots.

Set-up
Your shoulders could be pointing well right or well left at address. This puts the bottom of the swing in the wrong place.

Ball Position
Look for a large deviation from the norm. A driver's ball position should be around the front heel, moving progressively farther back until it reaches the middle of the stance with short irons (photo).

Backswing
The club may be deviating from its gentle arc on the backswing, tracking a path that's either too much inside or too much outside. Posture should remain constant without raising up.

Downswing
No effort should be made to lift the ball into the air by pulling your arms up through impact. Check to make sure the circle of your swing is in the right place by making practice swings to see if you can hit the ground slightly after the ball. (Irons are design to strike the ball with a descending blow - see Hit Down, Dammit! for more on this concept.)

Next page: Topping the ball

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