There are several ways to miss a golf shot.
One of the most frustrating is hitting behind the golf ball.
When you hit behind the ball, the ball will not advance all that far, and the result is likely going to add a stroke to your game.
The good news is that there are ways to fix hitting behind the ball.
As soon as you can understand the reason for hitting behind the ball, the overall fix becomes considerably easier.
Let’s take a more detailed look at why you may hit behind the ball and the things you can do to lower your chances of a poor shot.
Why Am I Hitting Behind The Golf Ball? (Causes, Fixes)
1. Poor Setup
The most common reason for hitting behind the golf ball is that your setup is incorrect.
Many amateur players think that a setup in the game of golf is to simply stand over the golf ball.
However, there are specific positions for the hands, hips, shoulders, the head, and more.
It takes quite some time to perfect the setup, and if you are off, even by a small amount, the results are not going to be great.
Most of the time, the setup issues that cause a golfer to hit behind the ball will be related to the width of the player’s stance as well as the position of the ball.
If you tend to get too wide in your stance, you could end up hitting behind the ball.
In addition, if your golf ball is placed too far forward from the center, the club will not make contact at the correct point.
Hitting behind the ball causes problems that will make you think you have other swing flaws.
The good news is that you likely do not have other flaws and simply need to work on fixing your setup.
It takes time to get your setup perfect.
If you have golf alignment sticks to use, you can put them down while you practice getting a general idea as to where your feet need to go.
In addition, you can also place the alignment stick in the center of your stance to help you narrow down the ball position.
Remember that, as you move from one golf club to the next, the ball’s position may change.
For most irons, the center of the stance is perfect.
However, as you move up to the hybrids, fairway woods, and driver, the ball can be moved forward.
If you try and keep the ball in the same position for every swing, you may hit behind the golf ball some of the time.
Setup is such an easy thing to fix.
It just takes a bit of time and patience to spend at the range working on it, but once you have it down, you will barely have to work on it again.
Take the time and get comfortable with your setup to stop hitting behind the golf ball.
2. Slowing Swing Down
Another problem that causes some golfers to hit behind the ball is that they decelerate or slow their swing down.
When hitting a golf ball, you will always want to be accelerating through the impact position.
If you can learn to accelerate, you will end up with much more clubhead speed and a higher chance of hitting the golf ball far.
It may seem strange that a golfer would slow their swing down as they come through the golf ball, but it is actually quite common.
Golfers have this desire to hit the ball a long way, but they also want to control their shots.
It’s impossible to slow your swing down at impact and control the shot.
The only way to learn proper control in your swing is to get the clubhead in the proper position and swing on plane.
There is nothing you will be able to do at impact by slowing down and correcting the position of your club head.
Players who are new to the game will learn that slowing their swing down is not effective and should be avoided at all costs.
Where you really see this becoming an issue is with short chip shots around the greens.
Golfers who are trying to manage these smaller chips and pitches often decelerate.
Sometimes you even see it in a bunker, and the result is almost always a golf shot that does not go very far.
Slowing the swing down is a problem, but the good news is that it can be fixed.
Fixing a deceleration through the impact of your golf swing will require you to have a mental focus on accelerating as well as the proper swing mechanics.
Sometimes working with a swing trainer like the Orange Whip can ensure that you are swinging the club through the impact position without ever slowing down.
Slowing down the golf swing is a problem that requires a bit of confidence to fix.
If you are confident in your ability to move the club through impact with more force, your overall chance of success is much higher.
Start this process on the driving range and work on getting to a complete and high finish without ever slowing down.
On the driving range, you won’t be worried about where the golf ball is going to end up, and it makes this process considerably easier.
3. Sloped Lie
Some golfers hit behind the ball because they are not accommodating to a lie that is sloped.
As great as it would be to have a nice flat lie each time we head out to the golf course, it is simply not the case.
A sloped lie happens often as the ball can come to rest in the short grass or the rough and force you to make some changes to your overall setup and stance.
The sloped lie requires players to adjust both their swing and their setup in order to not hit behind the ball.
New golfers who are unsure as to how this works could end up hitting behind the ball simply because they have not made the proper adjustments.
The fix for a sloped lie is rather simple.
You will need to learn to accommodate what to do if the ball is below your feet or above your feet.
For the most part, when a golf ball is above your feet, you are going to want to choke up on the club and take a bit more of an abbreviated swing.
This slightly shorter golf swing can help ensure that you have control and keep the ball a bit straighter.
The natural tendency on a shot like this is a golf ball that ends up going to the left.
However, it is possible to hit behind the ball as well.
Try to have much less movement when the ball is above your feet, especially if it is severely above your feet.
For the shots where the ball is below your feet, then you will have to stand with your weight a bit more on your toes.
In addition, you will want to hold the club towards the tip of the grip.
Golfers should know that these lies with the ball below the feet will often cause a shot to go to the right.
If this happens, it can be detrimental to the score.
Players need to ensure that they stay level and that they don’t stand up or down as they move through their golf shots.
Stay stable and grounded, and your overall results will be considerably better.
4. Head Slide
Sliding your head around in the golf swing is a mistake.
The head should stay still.
Whether you are looking at the lateral or vertical movement of the head, it’s going to cause issues that are hard to come back from.
The head slide is typically caused by the player who is looking to create more power in their swing.
However, this movement does not create more power.
For many years, players would make a large turn away from the ball, and it would move the position of the head.
The great players would be able to get their heads back to the proper position for impact, and the poor players would end up hitting behind the ball.
Overall a head slide is a difficult thing to overcome at times because you may not even realize you are doing it.
Most players think they are doing one thing with their golf swing when in reality, they are doing another.
A head slide does not have to be a difficult thing to fix.
The first thing you can do for yourself is to record a video of your swing.
When you record this video, you will see that the movement is not necessary and that there is not much of an effect on the power of the swing by increasing head movement.
Once you have established that you are indeed moving your head too far behind the ball, it is just a matter of stopping this.
As you set up to hit your golf shot, try to stand with your head over the golf ball.
When you do this, you should be able to see that things become easier and more efficient in your golf swing.
In addition, there is much less work to do at impact.
Golfers who are able to stay more stable like this typically have better results on the golf course and an increase in distance and consistency.
Watch the professional golfers and the control they have over their heads as they swing.
5. Improper Weight Transfer
Do you transfer your weight in your golf swing correctly?
Players should start with their weight relatively distributed between both feet.
If the weight is balanced, you can then transfer to the right side (right-handed player) on the backswing and then through to the left side on the downswing.
The weight transfer is what allows us the extra power we need to be able to hit great golf shots.
If you are a player who struggles to get power and hits behind the ball, chances are you are not transferring your weight properly.
Many times the issue with hitting behind the ball comes from shifting your weight back but not being able to shift it forward.
Working on weight transfer is a bit of a conscious thought that will take some practice on the range.
As you move from the standard position to the backswing, feel your right leg load up with extra weight.
This only happens if you have a good turn in your swing.
Once you have this weight in the proper position, you can start to rotate towards the target and transfer the weight towards the left side.
All of this needs to be timed correctly to get the best results, and that is the part that many golfers struggle with.
With the practice of this process, you can learn how to effectively transfer weight in your golf swing.
6. Standing Too Close To The Golf Ball
Finding the perfect distance to stand from the golf ball can take a bit of time to learn.
Many players tend to reach a bit too far for the ball, and this causes issues with hitting the ball to the right and staying in balance.
However, if you are one of the players who stands too close to the ball, chances are you will hit behind it.
When you stand too close to the golf ball, there is not enough room for your arms and hands to swing through the shot without your body getting in the way.
Many good players will describe this as feeling jammed up at impact.
When this happens, and there is nowhere for the club to go, the club ends up striking the ground first and not the ball.
The overall result is a shot that only rolls a few feet and then comes to a stop.
This is frustrating and something that needs to be fixed quickly if you want to start making solid contact again.
Of all the reasons that you could be hitting behind the golf ball, standing too close is the easiest one to fix.
The best way to fix this is to experiment with different distances to the golf ball and find the perfect amount of space.
Some players find that holding the club upright and then dropping it down where their arms naturally hang gives them the best ball position.
However, others will find that even with this process, they still don’t feel comfortable.
This distance to the ball will change and vary depending on the club you have in your hand and the type of player you are.
If you suddenly start hitting behind the golf ball, chances are it has something to do with how far you are standing from the golf ball.
This is a problem that can sneak up on a player.
Is Hitting The Ball Fat An Easy Miss To Fix?
Hitting the ball fat or hitting behind the ball is a very common mistake for players.
Unfortunately, this is something that makes many beginner golfers give up on the game.
However, it does not have to be a major issue that causes you extreme frustration.
Chances are the reason you are hitting behind the ball is relatively simple.
Most players are going to find that hitting behind the ball is a result of setup and stance-related issues.
Others will look at their turn and realize that it is not nearly as efficient as it could or should be.
In the end, the issue of hitting behind the ball can be rectified as long as you are able to identify what causes it.
With golfers having access to portable launch monitors and the ability to quickly video a swing with your phone, it’s easier now than ever to identify what is causing you to hit behind the ball.
This should be easier to fix than a golfer who has an issue with slicing or hooking their golf shots.
Is It Better To Hit A Golf Ball Thin Or Fat?
Most great players will agree that hitting the ball thin is a better miss than hitting the ball fat.
The great thing about a golf shot that is hit thin is that you will be able to get some distance out of it.
The ball may not stop exactly where you wanted it to, but chances are you will be much closer to the hole than if you were to hit behind the ball.
Hitting behind the ball can result in a shot that only goes a few feet, and it really is more of a wasted shot than anything else.
When you hit a thin shot, the distance factor helps to make it a better overall miss.
Hopefully, you now understand all that is involved with hitting behind the ball and how you can work towards fixing this mistake in your game.
For players who struggle with hitting behind the ball consistently, it can make sense to schedule a golf lesson and see what is causing the issue.
If you only hit behind the ball with certain clubs, chances are you are changing your setup or your stance with this club in your hand, and it is causing the problem.
Head to the driving range and start working your way down the list of our causes and fixes until you stumble upon something that will help correct the issues in your swing.
Chances are crisp and clean golf shots are in your near future!