You're Correct!

Should I Hit The Ground When Playing A Golf Iron Shot?It is absolutely correct that when you are playing with your irons, you need to strike downwards and you need to strike the ground.

What you want to work on doing here is making sure your set up is correct, so that it gives you the correct angle to swing the club head back down to the ball, so that you strike the ball and then strike the ground.

The way your iron heads are designed to get the ball up into the air, is for you to strike downwards towards the ball and then the angle, or the loft, on that club face will compress the ball and it will force the ball to spin up the loft and that is what forces the ball into the air. In order for the loft of the club face to work, you need to make a downward striking action with the club head as it hits the golf ball, so that you hit the ball and then the turf afterwards.

This is a great drill to see if you are actually doing that. Place a tee peg on the ground, just about one inch to the far side of the ball as you are looking at it, so that you have got the tee peg, the ball and then yourself in a line. Now what you want to do is set up and play your iron shot and in order to get a downward strike there are a few key points here at set up to help you do that.

Initially, place the ball in the middle of the stance for your shorter iron and then it just moves slightly further forward in your stance for your longer irons. Play your wedges and 9 iron in the centre of your stance and then move the ball half a golf ball forward for each subsequent iron.

Set your hands forward of the ball and this is the key to striking down well. To set your hands forward, you want to create a straight line from the left shoulder, down the left arm and then extend this down the shaft of the golf club. If you set the straight line from the left shoulder all the way down and through into the club head you will find that you have got the shaft leaning forwards and that is going to promote the downward strike.

Also set your nose so that is just on left side of the ball (for right handed golfers) and doing this, with the hands forward, should mean that you get slightly more weight on your left side, you should feel slightly more weight through the left side than the right.

This is now going to allow you to swing the club head up slightly more during your back swing, than if you were playing with a longer club and it will allow the club head to be swung on a slightly steeper plane, which will give you a steeper angle of attack back down to the ball, meaning you will strike the ball and then the ground.

If you pop that tee peg about an inch outside the ball as you are looking at it the next time you are playing, play a shot and then look at where you have taken your divot from, relative to the tee peg. If you have not taken a divot you are not striking down on the ball enough. If you have taken the divot before the tee peg, which was opposite the ball, you have hit the ground before the ball which is incorrect. You do not want to hit the ground before you hit the ball, because if you do that, all the club head speed will transfer into the ground and the ball will not go as far as it could.

Similarly, you do not want to take the ball cleanly as it means you will catch the ball on the up swing and if you are catching the ball on the up swing you will start to top the ball or hit the upper part of the ball and you will not get a sweet strike and as much distance as is possible. This will also give you issues with directional control.

To hit good golf shots with your irons, make sure you hit the ball and then hit the ground. You should see that your divot is on the left of the tee peg if you are striking down correctly and if you follow those tips you will be improving your iron shots in no time.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

Striking your irons and avoiding hitting the turf can lead to a very small margin of error and will often result in topped shots.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

If you hit the ground before you hit the golf ball when playing your shots, then you will see that the golf ball does not travel as far.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

When the club head strikes the ground first, before striking the golf ball, then the speed that the club head is travelling at, is transferred into the ground rather than the ball. As a result, the club head strikes the ball at a much lower speed, or it is the turf that moves the ball and both of these will produce a much shorter golf shot.