How to Avoid Hitting a Thin Shot

By Steve Silverman

golfer standing over a tee shot with iron
Hitting a thin shot is a problem that regularly impacts inexperienced golfers. You hit the ball thin when the bottom of the club strikes the midpoint of the ball or just below that spot. Balls that are hit thin tend to be low shots without much trajectory. Sometimes they bounce on the ground shortly after contact is made.


Difficulty: Moderate
  1. Take an aggressive and athletic stance when you address the golf ball. Make sure your knees are bent and that your clubface is directly behind the ball. Your left shoulder should be facing your target and your left foot should be directly underneath your left shoulder. This will give you balance, which is something you probably don't have if you are hitting thin shots.
  2. Grip the club firmly. You should be holding the club at a "5" on a scale of 1 to 10. If you hold it more loosely than that, you will not be able to make solid contact, and that will probably increase the chances of hitting a thin shot.
  3. Go at a smooth and steady pace once you begin your backswing. Thin shots are often the result of swinging too quickly. Instead of using a full hip turn to drive your swing, you become much too hand oriented and struggle to hit the bottom of the ball with your swing.
  4. Make sure you take a divot when hitting from the fairway. If you take a 3- to 6-inch divot, you will not be hitting the ball thin and you will make full contact. Some golfers believe that if they take a divot, they are tearing up the golf course. However, as long as your replace the divot nobody on the course will have a problem with you. Taking a divot usually means you have taken a solid and full swing.
  5. Go to the driving range and work on your timing. A smooth and steady swing will almost always result in hitting a full shot, and you won't hit it thin. A golfer who has anxiety and wants to see his ball fly down the fairway will likely miss his shot and hit it thin.

Tips & Warnings

  • Take a divot when you hit from the fairway.

About the Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.