How To Hit A Golf Shot Poorly

I bet you were expecting something else from my daily musings than what I am indicating from the title. I bet if you did a quick search, you would be overwhelmed by the number of articles claiming they have the answer to everything. As you know, from reading many of my articles, I like to talk golf and most of my conclusions are things that work for me; and I like sharing my thoughts with you just in case they are helpful. Believe it or not, I know how to hit a poor golf shot 100% of the time and this might be the most important piece of information I have ever shared at The Grateful Golfer.

Golf is a tough sport. Being able to consistently hit solid golf shots is actually a thing of beauty to watch. However, hitting the ball poorly most of the time is like scratching your fingernails on a chalkboard. You can only stand it for a few seconds!

During my round yesterday, my chipping from around the green was horrendous. I could not get the ball within 3 feet from between 15 and 20 yards, even if I had 100 chances. I was hitting the ball so poorly that I stop myself from changing the way I chip right there on the golf course. I hit every chip thin and as a result my ball waved at the hole as it shot by to 10 feet. Actually, I was hitting most of my iron shots that way and now that I have had a chance to think about it, I know why!

I was placing the ball too far back in my stance and the leading edge of my irons was hitting in the middle of the ball before anything else. My ball was positioned about inch too far back in my stance…..for some reason…..and as a result nothing was hit well. So, I think I can reasonably say that I know how to hit a golf shot poorly!

I was taught a life lesson a long time ago that we rarely learn anything beneficial if we don’t make any mistakes. I can say with authority that I learned from my mistakes from yesterday. I understand that my ball position is critical to playing solid golf, so today I am going to focus on my pre-shot routine to ensure my ball is in the proper position.

There is always something to learn from consistently hitting poor golf shots. The trick for me is not to panic and to objectively analyze what needs to improve without thinking I am in avalanche of poor play.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!


6 thoughts on “How To Hit A Golf Shot Poorly

  1. Jim, the trick is to understand what your misses are. Terminally searching is very harmful to good play. I generally know my trends, but a few weeks back I had a case of the shankaroos with my full swing wedges and I had no idea what was going on. Thankfully my pro straightened me out. Now some stuff has popped up with my putting. . . the journey continues 🙂




    • Brian,

      You make a very good point about chasing or searching all the time. Personally, I wait for full round or two before thinking about making possible changes. My game is quite mature and as such I also recognize potential challenges. It is a journey and one that I love taking.

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your graphic is a good starting point. I don’t move the ball quite as much as you maybe but it’s the exact same idea. But I think your graphic misses part of the equation. At least from what I’ve been taught. Ball position is important, but your stance should be combined with it. Your feet should be closer together for the wedges and wider apart when hitting your woods and long irons. And stability is only part of the reason. The rest is lie angle of the club. As it changes, we adapt to it by adjusting our stance wider or closer. Think of the angle from our shoulder to the ball. That angle changes with how far from the ball we have to stand to hit the club we chose. We can help insure the angle matches the lie angle of our club best by changing how far our feet are spread apart. Technically, we have a different swing plane for every club in the bag (unless we’re playing the Cobra one length clubs I guess) and how far apart our feet are in our stance is how we can adjust the plane of our swing to fit the club.

    When your struggling out of the course reading your divot is the place to start looking for the right answer. A toe first or heel first divot means you aren’t on the proper plane for the club you chose. In general heel first means you need to close your stance a bit and stand taller and toe first means widen it up a bit and get closer to the ground with that club.

    And there are other benefits to paying close attention to ball position and stance width. Want to hit a draw? Move the ball back a little from your standard position and away from you just a little bit too maybe (I do that maybe just a half inch. It’s a visual thing that helps me). That will force you to swing inside to out. (note: I would generally also drop my trail foot behind the aim line half a half inch or so too to help me insure I swing on the right path) A fade? Move the ball forward in your stance and in just a hair and you’re more likely to swing over the top and out to in and hit a little pull fade if you close the face or a big slice if you leave the face open. A 3 iron stinger? I’ve have the ball dead center of my stance to help make sure I hit it low. I’ll still get more air under than I want sometimes (like when I hit those wires on the first tee last week), but in general I get the low one I asked for most of the time.

    So it’s not just about hitting shots poorly. It’s way more important than that. It’s about hitting the shot you want.


    • Kevin

      Every thing you mentioned makes complete sense. The challenge we have is all the information is greek to the beginner. I realize we are mature players and I understand what you are saying, it is just tough to fire hose someone who does not really understand ball position. Having said that, thanks for the info. I especially like the low stinger tip….I use hybrids and it works for them as well.

      Cheers Jim


      • Yeah, you’re probably right about it being a bit too advanced for the beginner. But it might help one or two out there that are trying to break the 80 barrier so I figured why not. And, I never count myself an expert on anything so I’m always open to hear someone tell me I’m wrong on any subject and see where that might lead too. Without speaking up and sometimes making a fool of myself, I’d never get that added opportunity to learn.

        Liked by 1 person

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