Monday, February 28, 2011
Quick tips for better iron play
Better iron play is at the heart of game improvement. It’s the center link of the golfing chain, and without a strong link in the middle, playing your best becomes an arduous, if not very frustrating, task. In other words, you may be capable of hitting great drives, but they really don’t mean much if you can’t hit the green. Second, hitting the green is one thing, but hitting the ball closer to the hole is the real secret to shooting lower scores. I’ve put together a few of the most common faults I see my students make pertaining to iron play. Each tip is designed specifically for the player who already has a mastery of basic iron fundamentals, but is struggling with a few particular faults. Does that sound like you? If so, read on and get ready to start shooting lower scores.
A normal setup, when the wind is not blowing, looks just like this. The feet are shoulder-width apart, the shaft is leaning slightly toward the target, and the body is in a relaxed, athletic position.
When the wind blows, no matter which way, it’s generally best to play a lower, more controlled shot. This means adding more shaft lean to-ward the target at address, and a narrower stance. This will help you get to your left side sooner on the downswing and cover the ball through impact.
In windy conditions, basically what you’re doing is hitting a knockdown shot. This is a lower, less-spinning iron shot that isn’t as susceptible to ballooning in the wind as a normal shot would be. But it’s not just a shot for windy days. A knockdown is a great option for distances in between two clubs, or if you need to hit a controlled shot under a tree.
Beat The Wind
To hit successful shots into the wind or facing a crosswind (go ahead and swing away as normal when hitting downwind), remember two key factors. First, keep the hands ahead of the ball at impact. This is what I meant by “covering” the golf ball on the previous page. Not only will this produce a lower shot, but a slower release of the hands ought to reduce spin, as well. Second, finish with the hands in a lower position. This will help you hit down and through, as opposed to down and up, which might add loft to your shot.
The simple solution to hit a higher shot is to change clubs in favor of an iron with more loft. But what if you need to add a higher trajectory to all your iron shots? Instead of fixating on ball position, weight shift and/or rotation, consider the following advice to hit higher shots.
Educate Your Hands
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