To hit pure iron shots you need to make solid contact with the ball. This means that you are hitting the ball first and taking a divot after the ball. While this won’t guarantee your ball flies straight or starts on your intended target, you can’t hit pure iron shots if you aren’t making proper contact.
One of the misconceptions that golfers have is that the bottom of their swing should be where the ball is. But if the bottom of your swing is at the ball, you won’t be hitting down on the ball. Professional golfers all have divots that start at the ball or past the ball. This means that the low point of their swing is often several inches past the ball when they hit iron shots.
This is the key to hitting solid and pure iron shots. Here are 5 tips to help you control the low point of your swing and encourage pure contact.
- Learn the proper release
- Keep your arm and writs positions
- Change your focus
- Learn to transfer your weight
- Practice the proper rhythm and tempo
1. Learn the proper release
At impact and past impact, you want your hands to be ahead of the ball to hit pure iron shots. One popular drill is to set up like you normally would. Then change your positioning to look like where you want to be at impact. Your hands will be a little ahead of the ball with a bowed lead wrist. Your body will be rotated a little towards the target, and you will also add a little right-side bend ( for right handed golfers ).
2. Keep your arm and wrists positions
From this position, rock your shoulders back and then forward and try not to change the position of your arms or wrists as you do this. Even after impact you want to keep the lead arm straight and your lead wrist should continue to be bowed. This will give you the feel for a proper release with an iron shot. Once you get the hang of this with small shots, you can try lengthening your backswing until your arms are parallel to the ground, while keeping your arms and wrists in the same impact position, to hit longer shots. This is a good warmup routine before hitting full swings to train the proper release.
3. Change your focus
Imagine the ball is 2 inches closer to the target as you swing. Your goal is to make contact with the ground at the imaginary ball. Another drill is to actually place the ball several inches closer to the target. Practice making contact with a very forward ball position while you warm up. Once you can consistently make contact with the ball at its forward ball position, move it back to your normal ball position.
4. Learn to transfer your weight
You need to make sure you are shifting your weight and pressure forward in the downswing. You should be following through with the majority of your weight on your front foot. If you hang back and don’t shift your weight towards the target, you will often hit the ground behind the ball. There are many drills to help you with the proper weight shift. One popular drill is a step drill. Start with your feet together and as you are about to start your downswing step towards the target with your lead foot. This will encourage the proper weight transfer.
5. Practice the proper rhythm and tempo
When you are trying to hit pure iron shots, remember your goal is to make a solid strike, not to hit the ball as far as possible. A proper tempo will help you make better contact and help you keep your balance which will lead to more solid iron shots.
You may not know this, but all of the best golfers in the world have a backswing that takes about 3 times as long as their downswing. This means that the time it takes to go from setup to the top of the swing is roughly 3 times the time it takes to go from the top of the swing to impact. One way to do this is when you start your backswing, start your count, 1-2-3-4. When you get to 3, start your transition and try to make contact with the ball when you say 4. This may take time to figure out the right tempo for your swing. Once you are consistently able to make your backswing about 3 times as long as your downswing, you will have a better tempo to help you hit more solid shots.
The five tips above consistently help many golfers improve the quality of their contact with iron shots. Remember that the fastest way to improve your golf game is to work with a teaching professional. Skillest coaches can help review your swing and give you a personalized plan for helping you hit more pure iron shots.