Iron Out The Kinks

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

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Seek The Plane
Jack Nicklaus had it correct when he said it's best to allow each club to "seek its own plane." What that means is, the longer the iron, the flatter the lie angle and the flatter the swing at the top. My take on all this? Forget about it! Don't get bogged down in worrying about your club plane and the lie angles of your irons. Instead, focus more on what YOU do during the backswing with each of your clubs. For instance, you'll find that it's easier to hinge your wrists faster with shorter irons than with longer irons. So allow some extra time in the backswing with your longer clubs. Think more of YOU and not your club's lie angle or plane. You'll focus a lot better on swinging the club rather than manipulating it.

If you were to look at both these swings from the waist up, it'd be hard to tell which one produces solid results and which one doesn't. But check out my lower half. Better golf shots require a solid base. And a solid base comes from making a good rotation away from the ball, not a sway. A good lower body rotation frees up the upper body to coil even more, resulting in greater power and control. Be sure to rotate and keep your weight centered during your swing.
To hit a draw, moving the feet right of parallel isn't enough. The entire body needs to reorientate in that direction. As you can see, my entire body is rotated, meaning I'll make a pass through the ball from inside to outside the target line. The key is to not force the hands to rotate. Let them do their job naturally.

To hit a fade, just do the same, only in reverse. Open your stance relative to the target line and, again, don't force the hands to under- or overrotate. Keep them aiming at the target. The club will travel from outside to inside through impact, imparting slice spin to help curve the ball from left to right.

Forward Neutral Back
To hit the ball higher, let your ball position handle it for you. Adjust your ball forward of where you'd normally play it. This will cause additional tilt in your shoulders away from the ball, as well as eliminate any forward shaft lean. The result will be a longer, lower swing that sends the ball on a higher trajectory.

To hit the ball lower, play the ball farther back in the stance than normal. Make sure the clubface is square to the target (it may appear more closed than usual) and keep the hands in the same place as they'd be with a normal shot. Then, swing all the way to the finish! You don't have to finish low to hit it low!


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