Quick tips for better iron play

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Play Sidehills Correctly
When faced with an uneven lie, the key for a successful result is to examine how the ground will affect the flight of your golf ball. Let’s look at how by using a couple sticks. The stick on the ground is pointed directly at my target. The other stick is put into the ground, perpendicular to the slope. Now, here’s what you need to know. The stick in the ground, perpendicular to the slope, represents the direction in which my ball is likely to fly if I aim directly along the target line. The more sidehill, the more the shaft will lean and the more likely my shot will veer away from the target line—even if I set up perfectly square to the target line.

The fix? In this case, play for some added draw on the ball. Close your stance a bit and play the ball a ball or two farther back in your stance.

The slope will still cause you to swing from the inside and produce a draw, so be confident in your decision. Just remember to always look at the slope and, if you need to, stand behind the shot and draw an imaginary line perpendicular to the slope. That’s the direction in which you should expect the ball to fly. Be sure to compensate by aiming in the opposite direction. And in case you’re wondering, this strategy works just as well when the ball is below your feet, too. When that happens, squat more, play the ball forward and make a full finish.

Why You Thin It
Okay, here’s the real reason you hit thin shots: You aren’t getting off your right side through the shot. It’s not from scooping the ball, or trying to hit up on it. In most cases, it’s as simple as not finishing on your forward leg. Practice coming to a full finish on your forward leg (your left), and you’ll stop hitting thin shots.

Why You Hit It Fat
A fat shot and a thin shot are quite different. Chunks aren’t from not shifting to your forward side as much as from a swing that’s both too steep and, often, from outside in. In this sequence, the club is coming down too steep into the ball. Ouch!

How To Hit It Good
In this sequence, compare the first two photos to the first two in the above sequence. Here you see I’m swinging not only on a flatter plane, but also from the inside of the target line. This is key for better, longer iron shots.

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