Iron Shots, Understanding the Basics Part 2

Iron Shots, Understanding the Basics Part 2

Every good golf shot starts from a stable foundation, and that goes double when hitting iron shots. Assuming you are hitting your iron shot off of the grass (and not a tee), there is going to be very little margin for error when you get down to the point of impact. If you are going to hit a solid shot time after time, you have to be able to deliver the club perfectly to the back of the ball. When you hit an iron shot just a little bit fat, it will come up short. Hit it a little thin, and you are likely to send the ball well over the green. Solid iron
shots are key because they allow you to control your distance far more reliably.

So, what do you need to do in order to hit solid iron shots most of the time? Get your fundamentals down perfectly. While you will never be able to make a perfect golf swing each and every shot, there is no reason you can’t have your pre-shot fundamentals rehearsed to a point that they are reliable for every shot all round long. The more consistent you can be with your stance and posture prior to starting your swing, the easier it will be to achieve predictable results.

It all starts with a good stance. The golf stance for irons is similar to the stance you will use for your driver, except it should be a little more upright to accommodate the swing you are trying to make. It is important to understand that your iron swing should be more ‘upright’ than your driver swing – that is, your arms should swing higher up into the air on your backswing, rather than around you. To facilitate that upright swing, you want to take a stance that is slightly closer to the golf ball and has your back in a relatively upright position. If you find that you are hunched over your iron shots too much, try taking a small step closer to the ball and adding some flex in your knees. Those two slight adjustments should be all it takes to put you in a better golf stance for irons.

Hand position is another important element of hitting iron shots, although it is frequently overlooked. First, understand that when you reach impact, you need to have your hands in front of the ball (closer to the target). This provides you with the ability to make downward impact, which is key to hitting solid shots and getting some backspin on the ball. With that in mind, make sure your hands at address are slightly ahead of the ball – just like you want them to be at impact. By setting up this way before you ever start your swing, you will stand a much better chance of returning to this position later on.

The last of the basics that you should focus on prior to getting your swing started is the position of your back knee (right knee for a right handed golfer). This knee is important to your golf iron swing because it has a lot to do with the balance you are able to maintain during the swing. When that trail knee is allowed to sway back away from the target, it can take a lot of your balance with it. Make an effort to keep that knee as stable as possible – while still making a full turn – and you will quickly see the quality of your iron shots improve. Side to side motion in a golf swing is never a good thing, so try anchoring your swing around a steady back knee.