Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Who needs 14 clubs? Your 6-iron can do just about anything.
Labels: Instruction, Iron Play, Strategy/Troubleshooting, Ballstriking, Short Game, Equipment, Irons, Swing, Full Swing, Drills, Exercises, Shots, Slicing, Shotmaking
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A typical 6-iron has a loft of 30°, which places it between your pitching wedge (48°) and driver (approximately 9°). This mid-iron position makes it one of the game's most versatile clubs. And versatility is what this article is all about.
On the following pages, I explore six different ways you can use the six-iron. Some are slightly unorthodox, while others you may be familiar with, but in the end, I hope you realize that this one club can be your new go-to stick when you find yourself in numerous tough predicaments.
Punch It Out!
As you can see here, I've got a really bad break. I pulled my drive just a bit and ended up in the left rough with the limb of a California oak between me and the green. To advance my ball toward the 18th green here at Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, I've got to keep it low and curve it from right to left. While that might sound daunting, it's not too difficult to pull off if you set up correctly.
Now, while I'm using a 6-iron for every shot in this story, it's important to remember that depending on how high your obstacle is, you can use any club from a 3-iron to a 9-iron to punch out. I've determined here that a 6 is the perfect club for the job, but practice this shot so you know exactly how high the ball flies. (This is also a great shot to play when faced with a headwind.)
To pull it off, play the ball back in your stance, so it's a couple of inches off your right foot and choke down a couple inches on your grip. Choking down a couple inches on your grip and pressing your hands toward the target so there's some forward shaft lean delofts the club and helps keep the trajectory low. Swing smoothly with an abbreviated backswing and followthrough. To add a little hook spin to your shot, move your hands to a little stronger grip position and allow your arms to release or roll over on the forwardswing. This also helps advance the ball even farther as hook spin produces an end-over-end roll.
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