Golf Instruction Zone: How to Avoid Hitting It Thin

Mel Sole of the Mel Sole Golf School at Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club in Pawleys Island, S.C. demonstrates a simple practice drill that will help prevent this common pitfall.



Today I want to talk about hitting thin shots. And I have a lot of students who’ll come to me, in fact I had a lesson just an hour or so ago with a student of mine who was having this very issue of hitting thin shots.

Now, when you’re hitting thin shots, what it’s telling you is that you’re not controlling the bottom of your arc. So when you’re hitting thin shots, it means that the club is slightly higher than when it started. So that’ll cause you to hit that thin shot.

So how do you control the bottom of your arc? Well, when you’re in your address position, your head and the length of your left arm are the only two things that can change the bottom of your arc. If I do this with my head, or sometimes we might be talking about spine angle, so if I change my spine angle, my arc is higher, I’m going to hit a thin. Or, if we allow that left arm to collapse a little bit, same thing. So this is the famous chicken wing, if I hit it. So both of these issues can be cured with a good body rotation.

So when you come through, if I don’t turn my body, you can see what happens to my arm. It breaks immediately and I’m going to hit a thin. When I lift my hips, turn, it’s now very, very easy to keep my arms straight. So if you do this little exercise, if you stand like this and try and put the club, you can see I can’t reach. But if I let my hips turn, boy, it’s pretty easy.

So I want you to practice hitting little half swings, extending the arm, and doing what I call the “brush-brush.” When you go through, it’s going “brush, brush.” Now, go to the ball, “brush.” You can slowly, as you start hitting balls out the middle of the club face, you can now add some speed. Your thin shots will be a thing of the past!