Iron Out The Kinks

Better iron play is a matter of making a few quick fixes


The hard part is over, right? You've boomed a 300-yard drive right down the middle, leaving no more than a short iron into the green. The last thing you want to do is shank, duff, hook or slice, especially considering how well-struck your drive was.

To avoid making a mistake from the fairway, there are a handful of quick tips that ought to become second nature to you so you don't waste that well-struck drive. Although they may seem simple and minor, these changes can have a profound effect on your ability to not only hit the green, but also shape shots into tight pin locations and avoid making critical mistakes that will end up costing you strokes. So, let's get started, shall we?

The first tip is the easiest one to master: course management. In this photo, I'm 185 yards from the center of the green, with water to the left and bunkers to the right. Now, if you were me, what club would you choose to hit, and where would you aim? 

Tricky, isn't it? The right choice in this scenario is to do two things. First, add some extra club to make sure you clear the water, in case you pull it. Second, aim slightly right of the target. Yes, this puts the bunkers in play, but hitting a bunker won't cost you penalty strokes like a water ball will. The key with every shot is to carefully plan out where you want the ball to land. If you pay more attention to your course management, you may find yourself worrying less about your swing, which will help you hit better shots. You owe it to your great drive to follow up with a solid approach.

Often, golfers seem to think that how they address their feet determines what type of shot they'll be likely to hit. And while that's true, in part, how you adjust your feet also affects how your body swings—not just the way the ball curves. Consider this: If the target line of the golf ball remains constant, then your feet can be adjusted three ways that will affect the way your body rotates. First, the feet may be positioned parallel to the target (shown left). From here, the body will make a free turn in both directions (away and through), thus providing the perfect blend of power and accuracy. Second, the feet may be positioned slightly left of parallel (bottom left). This position will help golfers restrict their backswing length and, in turn, help them make a more complete rotation through the finish position. It's a good feet position for golfers who over rotate on the backswing.

And finally, the feet may be situated to the right of parallel. This will help the golfer make a bigger rotation on the backswing and help you feel more "loaded" at the top of your swing. This positioningof the feet is very helpful for golfers who tend to take quick, short backswings without fully loading their right side at the top of the swing.


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