Chunking the golf ball is perhaps one of the most frustrating misses that you can come across as a golfer.
The problem with a chunk is that the ball will hardly advance.
You reach back to take this great big swing with big plans for where the ball will end up, and then it lands just a few feet in front of you.
Aside from the embarrassment and frustration of hitting a chunk shot, they can sometimes be painful to hit.
Luckily, the reason you could be chunking the golf ball is usually pretty easy to figure out.
If you are tired of chunking golf shots and are ready to make a move towards becoming a better player, we have all the information you need.
Take a look at these nine reasons you could be chunking the ball and the appropriate ways to fix the issue.
Chunking The Golf Ball (9 Reasons, Fixes)
The top nine reasons for chunking the golf ball will vary depending on your athletic ability and experience in the game.
Start at the top of the list and work your way down to find why you could be chunking the golf ball.
1. Stance Is Too Wide
The golf setup and stance are some of the most challenging parts of the golf swing to try and figure out.
When a golf stance is too wide, you can have quite a bit of balance and stability.
For most players, this is a positive.
Therefore, golfers start to think that they must have this great big wide stance in order to feel like they are going to have the stability necessary to hit the golf shot.
However, there is a point at which your stance can get too wide.
Too wide of a golf stance means that you can have a hard time transferring weight from one side of your body to the other.
You will likely not get all of your weight back on your right foot (right-handed player) and then not get it forward again to the left foot on the follow-through.
The stance being too broad is a common mistake that many golfers easily fall into.
Part of the problem with the wide stance issue is that golfers do not have a specific stance width that they are supposed to be using for their game.
As golfers change from one club to the next, they have to adjust the stance that they are using.
For instance, a golfer who is swinging with a pitching wedge will need a narrower stance than a golfer with a hybrid in their hands.
As the club gets longer, the stance can get wider.
However, you can get too wide, and the movement you require from your golf swing will be too much.
Instead, try and keep things more compact.
Make a simple turn so your weight can transfer, and the club won’t be left behind.
As your body turns through the golf shot efficiently, your club will follow and create that clean and crisp shot that helps you succeed.
In the end, the stance being too wide ends up being the most common reason a golfer chunks the golf ball.
The fix is so simple that it really makes sense to attempt this first and then go from there.
Work on standing with your feet closer together.
Learn to hit shots with your feet entirely together and see if this is easier.
From there, make the stance wider until you find something consistent and comfortable.
2. Too Close To The Ball
Just as there is a fine line between standing with your feet too wide or too narrow, there is also a fine line between standing too close or too far from the golf ball.
When you stand too close to the golf ball, you are going to have a hard time moving the club through without crashing it into your body.
The club coming through and making contact with your body on the way down is quite possible if you stand too close.
You always want to ensure that you have enough room to swing your club freely and it never makes contact with you as the player.
When setting up to hit a golf ball, make sure that your arms can hang freely.
They should be down at your sides and then slightly forward.
If you feel as though your head and eyes are directly over the golf ball, chances are you are standing way too close.
Although you can move closer to the ball when chipping, putting, and pitching, it is still very important to have space.
This space also allows golfers to get the club head speed that they need as they come through the golf ball.
Without club head speed and the ability to rotate, you will likely end up with shorter distances and even some chunked golf shots.
Standing too close to the ball is another mistake that is similar to standing with your feet too wide.
It only takes a second to fix the issue, and you can be back to hitting the ball cleanly and crisply in no time.
Similar to how you fix the issue of the stance being too wide, start experimenting with different distances to the golf ball.
Play one golf shot where you have to reach for it a bit, then move in and try and find a comfortable position.
3. Ball Position Too Forward
If your ball position is too far forward, there is a good chance that you can end up hitting behind the ball.
Although certain clubs require you to keep the ball towards the front of your stance, most will need a ball position around the middle of the stance.
A golf ball position that is too far forward can cause you to hit behind the ball and make it difficult to get the distance you need.
In fact, some golfers have found that playing a ball from the middle of the stance or just behind the middle is one of the best ways to play.
They find that this is much more consistent than trying to play the ball forward and ends up increasing the chance of a crisper golf shot.
The great news about the ball position being your issue is that it is very easy to fix the problem.
Try hitting the majority of your golf shots from the direct center of your golf stance.
If you find this to be ineffective, move the golf ball up just one ball length at a time.
Don’t make a big adjustment in the ball position, as it could have you hitting behind the ball in the end.
4. Club Not Sitting Properly At Setup
The club not sitting correctly at setup can lead to a chunked golf shot.
When you set up to hit a golf shot, your club should be flat on the ground with the face square and not turned or manipulated in any way.
Of course, if you are trying to hit a certain type of golf shot, you may manipulate the club head a bit to try and get a better overall golf shot, but for the most part, it should stay relatively square.
As you swing the golf club, ensure that you keep the club face square like this.
If you set up and have the toe of the club turned down, when you get back to the impact position, you could end up digging the club into the ground.
This type of golf chunk shot is easily avoidable.
The club not sitting properly at setup just takes a moment of your time to fix.
Some players don’t realize that they are turning the club face in their hands and shutting it down.
They simply do it as a habit.
The quick fix is to set up using a 90-degree angle as a guide.
Hold the club in the doorway of a room and make sure that you are resting your club face at 90 degrees before you swing.
Once you have an idea of what this should look like, you should have no issues getting it to work.
5. Too Steep Of A Golf Swing
If a golf swing is too steep, you could end up chunking the golf ball.
The goal of a golf swing is to take the club back on a certain plane and potentially even a slightly shallow plane.
The shallow plane makes it so that you can hit the ball slightly from the inside and create a more penetrating ball flight.
When golfers take the club back too steeply, it is typically because the takeaway is quick, or it uses too much hand and wrist action.
If you want to play a much better game of golf, you must keep the club lower and along the ground on the backswing.
The idea is that once you get the club up on too steep of a path, the only place it has to go from here is down.
As the club falls down and into the ground, you will take quite a bit of grass with it.
This grass comes up in a large clump, and the ball will not travel all that far.
When you want the ball to get started on the proper path and continue this way, your club needs to approach the ball from a shallower angle as opposed to something so steep.
If you have the ability to video your golf swing, it can give you some really good insight as to why you are chunking the golf ball.
This is one of the best ways to look at the plane of your swing and see if you are too steep or shallow.
The video and a golf shaft alignment stick typically make up the best combination.
If you happen to struggle with your abilities around the green with chunking the ball, be sure to practice this concept there as well.
Some golfers pick the club straight up and forget to swing it more around, causing a chunk shot on a chip.
One of the most important things that a golfer can do in their swing is to accelerate the golf club through impact.
If you slow the club down in any way, this is called deceleration.
When the club decelerates, you are going to notice that it tends to spend way too much time in the impact position, and it will almost get stuck in the grass or the dirt.
The deceleration happens quite a bit around the putting green.
This is because golfers start to get scared about the club that they are hitting, and they end up slowing down to not hit the ball too far.
The result ends up being that the ball goes nowhere, and people are rather disappointed by the overall results of what deceleration will do to their golf game.
It is much more critical to accelerate through and hit a clean and crisp golf shot than to worry about hitting the ball a bit past the pin.
Overall, deceleration is a very common mistake for amateur players, and it can be worked on to be completely avoided.
One of the best things you can do to stop decelerating on your shots around the green is to think about your finish position.
Always try and finish in a position where you have rotated, and you are facing your target.
If you’re able to do this, chances are you will have had some acceleration through the impact position.
Golfers who hang back or slow down through impact will notice major issues in the consistency and dependability of the golf shots that they hit.
7. Too Much Shaft Lean
Have you ever seen a golf club that was offset?
The offset golf clubs tend to have the club head and the shaft slightly offset.
This technology is in place to help players who struggle with forgiveness and launch of their golf shots.
One of the things that players with offset golf clubs tend to do is push their hands a bit forward at impact.
This is called a forward lean, and for the most part, it is a very good thing.
However, the amateur golfer has been known to take this forward lean to an unnecessary level and end up causing issues in their game.
The good news is that this is easily fixed by the player, typically, and not necessarily a big fix.
When you look down at an offset club head, you can see that the amount the shaft is set back from the club head is not all that much.
For most golf clubs, it is just about a ½ inch or so.
When you push your hands forward at setup to create the forward lean, this is all that you will need to compensate for.
There is no reason to have your hands pushed five or six inches ahead.
The only thing that will happen when you do this is you will leave the club head way behind, and it will cause you to chunk the golf shot.
Try to be reasonable about how much forward lean you have, and you will see much fewer chunked golf shots.
8. Not Using The Bounce
Many golfers chunk their wedge shots.
Unfortunately, this is a common mistake for golfers, and there are several reasons behind it.
However, one of these reasons could be the fact that the player is not using the bounce on their wedges properly.
If you have ever examined the bottom of your golf wedge, you likely saw that it is designed a bit differently than the other clubs in your bag.
The wedge has a large thick area at the bottom that creates bounce for the golfer.
This is supposed to be the part of the golf club that digs into the ground and then allows golfers to make clean and crisp turf interactions with the golf ball.
If a player is not properly using the bounce on their golf club, they will have no way of getting the club to properly travel through the grass.
Instead, what will happen is they will likely hit down on the golf ball, chunk it, and see the ball fly much lower and without the proper spin.
Overall, there is a very specific way to use a wedge with bounce, and it is important that you use it properly.
Learning to hit a variety of wedge shots around the green is really the only way to get better at wedges and be able to be more precise in the shots that you hit.
The easiest way to fix this issue is to start hitting shots around the green to practice much more.
You must spend your time learning where to strike the ground and how to make good contact with the golf ball.
If you are continually chunking the ball or hitting it thin, chances are you are not using the bounce on the club in the proper way.
9. Weight On The Toes
Last but not least, you could be chunking the golf ball because you have too much weight on your toes.
The weight distribution issue in golf is a tricky one.
You must make sure that you have your weight properly distributed between your left and right feet but also between the toe and heel.
The best place for a golfer to hold their weight is on the balls of their feet.
However, some players forget this fact, and they move their weight to their toes.
The end result of this is a golf club that travels straight down into the ground as opposed to traveling through the ground and up to a full finish position.
Weight on the toes is something that many players don’t even realize they are doing.
However, it is something that happens quite often, and luckily, the fix is easy.
When a golfer has too much weight on their toes, they simply need to move it back at setup.
Typically, when the weight is too far forward, you will see a player leaning a bit too far forward at setup.
The fix is to feel your weight rock on your feet a little until you can get it to rest and stop in the middle of the foot.
Getting the weight to settle right in the middle of the foot will make a huge difference in your swing and your abilities as a player.
You will have more balance and more speed as soon as you can balance the weight and lock it into the appropriate position in your stance.