Hitting better iron shots is key if you want to shoot lower scores. There’s no doubt about it. It’s really the great equalizer if you will: the link from the tee box to the green. If you hit great drives and are putting well, it’s not going to matter if you keep hitting substandard iron shots, missing greens or, worse, finding your approaches in the rough, bunker or water. So let’s look at a few positions in the golf swing you should pay attention to so you can start hitting better shots from the fairway, leaving yourself many more chances at par or birdie.
STEP 1: SET UP FOR SUCCESS
The setup is the easiest place to get things right. It’s also a pretty common place to get it wrong. Look at these four photos. The left-side photos indicate a setup position I often see from my higher-handicap students, with the arms scrunched together and a lot of tension. And the moment tension creeps into your swing, consider your swing dead! The weight’s on the left side and in a squatting position, with a fairly upright upper body. I’ll bet this position comes from people being told to flex their knees and keep their elbows close together.
The correct setup is to flex the knees (yes, my knees are flexing under those slacks) comfortably, and hinge the upper body toward the ball from the hip. Bend as much as you need to so your arms hang naturally, and don’t feel as though your elbows need to squeeze inward toward your chest. Neutralize your weight over both feet, and lastly, the left arm ought to be on the same line as the shaft, as seen in the face-on photos. And remember, there shouldn’t be any need to reach for the ball. Let the arms hang naturally. Doing this correctly should lower the right shoulder–that’s what you want.