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Answer How Can I Improve My Iron Strikes

One of the most effective ways of improving iron strikes is to achieve a correct angle of attack during the down swing.

The correct angle of attack will have been achieved when the hands return slightly ahead of the ball at impact. This will cause the shaft to lean towards the target. In technical terms, the club arc (the circular motion the club takes around the body) will bottom out just after the ball causing a divot.

To create this slightly descending blow with the irons, the club head cannot overtake the hands until after impact. If this occurs the club could either bottom out before impact causing a heavy shot or miss the ground all together and cause a thin.

To help strike down on the ball, use the correct ball position. For a pitching wedge, the ball should be hit from the middle of the stance which will allow the swing to bottom out its arc just after the ball. As the clubs get longer, the ball moves further towards the front foot allowing the club to bottom out progressively. During all the shots, however, the hands should return ahead of the ball at impact.

To help ensure you strike down and through the ball, add a forward press into your set up routine.

To help make sure the hands are ahead of the ball at impact, use the left thigh as a checkpoint.

  • At address lean the shaft towards the target pressing the hands forward until the hands are in front of the left thigh.
  • This forward press pre-sets the impact position.
  • When swinging through impact, feel as though the hands return to the same position opposite the left thigh.
  • This should bring the club down trailing the hands and impart a good strike on every iron shot.

Although there are a number of reasons why someone could mis-hit their irons, bottoming out the swing arc just after the ball by leading with the hands is a must.

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Drivers and fairway woods favor a sweeping motion because of their head design and length. However, irons are designed to impact the ball with a descending blow to create back spin. It is the creation of this back spin which will allow golfers more control over the ball flight.

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Returning the hands into impact ahead of the left thigh will cause the club arc and angle of attack to increase. This will cause the golfer to strike down on the ball hard, causing a massive divot and/or a very low ball flight. Players need to strike down marginally on the ball, not dig it out!

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Purely focusing on keeping the head down will more than likely lead to an increase in tension during the swing and cause more problems. Concentrate on maintaining a solid but relaxed posture, hitting down and through the ball.