The 4-step process to hitting better iron shots
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At the Jim McLean Golf School, we have researched thousands and thousands of golf swings from the best players in the history of the game and have found the best iron players have proper weight shift in their swing. In so many of my lessons, one of the major faults I see in the iron swing is the reverse pivot.
Here at the top of my swing (see opposite photo), you can see my weight has definitely shifted toward my right side. As you can see in this position, if you plant your weight on the inside of your right foot and keep your right knee flexed, your weight will be properly loaded in your right leg so that you can unload that energy into the golf ball.
If you hang out over your left foot at the top of the swing, you're going to have a tough time getting to the proper impact position. Instead, let your body weight shift as you rotate, and you'll get in the proper position at the top.
TO HINGE OR NOT TO HINGE
I like to think of the hinge of the wrists as a gauge for controlling your shots. In the photo at right, I have a ton of hinge, much as John Daly had in his prime. I might be able to muscle one and hit the ball a long way from this position, but I'll likely suffer in terms of accuracy. Controlling the clubface with this much hinge is a tall order, but possible for some.
The bottom right photo is probably my ideal amount of hinge with an iron. My left arm and the clubshaft form a 90-degree angle, there's good separation of the club from the body, and my weight is predominantly over my right side. I'd consider this a hinge I can control, and one where I can still feel the clubhead and the orientation of the clubface. And, still have plenty of power.
Lastly, the top left photo shows a position with much less hinge, but one that can still enable a powerful move. J.B. Holmes swings like this and still manages to swing with incredible speed and power. So, choose the right amount of hinge that works best for your game. Within these guidelines, there's no right or wrong amount of hinge at the top of your swing.
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