hitting the ball fat off the ground

I tend to hit the ground behind my ball when hitting my irons.

Other than getting a lesson, I would say adjust your ball position.  When I first leaned how to hit down on the ball I would hit if fat on occasion.  A lesson would be the best thing, but a good driving range session and some alignment sticks (or tees) can help you decide where to place the ball.

one thing that has helped me alot is to work around the chipping green. I have found that when i chip tons of balls things come around

Keep some of your weight on your forward foot.  Make your ballance about 55 / 45 or even 60 / 40 forward.  Kinda like the stack and tilt method, just not that dramatic. 

a drill for getting ball first is to pretend that the ball is a couple of inches infront of where it actually is, and try to hit the imaginary ball.

Josh P

a drill for getting ball first is to pretend that the ball is a couple of inches infront of where it actually is, and try to hit the imaginary ball.A

 

Actually, I "visualize" a spot just forward of the ball to hit the ground with my short irons and a little further forward with my mid irons. Even further forward with long irons and hybrids. Then as I start my takeaway the thought of that image is in my head but I aim at the back of the ball. Works for me. I also keep my weight forward, even on my backswing, at least 60%, and finally I make sure to swing a bit  inside out. It helps to keep your right elbow close to your body on the backswing.

I got my 6 year old grandson to hit down on the ball by placing the ball on top of a quarter..   "Hit the quarter,  put it in your bank".   After 5 swings he got the concept of hitting down and through the ball.  Pretty simple drill.  

This approach is explained well in Bobby Clampett's book "The Impact Zone". Clampett explains that better players have divots that begin at or slightly ahead of the ball, and tour players actually have the lowest point of their swing (as determined by measuring their divots) 4" ahead of the ball.  Clampett has a number of very good drills to help instill the mechanics needed to produce these kinds of swings.

Think of the golf swing as an arc around your body.  Every arc has a bottom point.  Where your bottom point occurs during your golf swing tells you where your weight is at the moment of impact.  If you are hitting the grass before the ball, it is generally one of two issues; either you are shifting your weight to far right (laterally) on your backswing (assuming you are right handed), or your lower body is not delivering your weight to your left side prior to your club reaching the ball on your downswing.  If you lower half has shifted weight onto your left foot prior to impact, the bottom of your arc will always occur after, or in front of the ball.  Take a video of your swing and try to determine which factor is causing your "fat" shots. 

I like this idea. My problem is that we hit off of mats most days of the week (very nice mats, but still a mat) and I tend to get in the habit of hitting fat shots. The penalty is not severe since the mat bounces the club into the ball. I'm going to try this trick next time I hit on the mats. When hitting of grass, I use two tour sticks; one for alignment and the other perpendicular of the alignment stick. My goal is to have the divot in front of the line coming from the second stick.

next trip to the range, put your ball down, then put a tee into the ground about  3 inches behind the ball. Leave it sticking up about an inch, and practice making contact with the ball without touching the tee, this little drill will help you start to bring the clubface to the back of the ball. If your problem persists, you might want to check your setup, you may just be playing it too far forward in your stance. 

I have noticed for me that when I hit the ground behind my ball, I also am usually weighted on my back foot at the end of my swing.  In my practice swings, I therefore try to ensure that I'm transitioning properly to my front foot during my downswing.  When I do that, I notice that my ground contact tends to move forward and my ball contact improves.

Hope that helps!

Stan

Nathan, you have already noticed there are many opinions of why you hit your irons a bit heavy. Mr. Hogan taught me to keep it simple as is possible.

When you hit the ball fat, you are usually trying to hit the ball TOO HARD and are not starting down with your lower body first. The check for this is to determine where balance is at the finish of your swing. I'll bet you end up with a lot of weight on your back foot.

Let me add, please check that your gloves and grips are in good condition. Any slippage will cause you to hit the ball fat.

Another good tip is to put a towel behind the ball. Similar to the tee drill mentioned above but I find it a bit less distracting. Same idea, just put the towel just a few inches behind the ball to start, then scoot it in closer as you get used to it. Just get ready to head down the range for that towel from time to time!

The impulse to hit from the top with the right side will cause you to hit fat shots. I use Paul Bertholy's "The Golden Exercise" to insure contact with the ball first. You can find the drill using "Google".