Wouldn’t it be great if you could hit rock solid irons every time? Well, you can. All you have to do is make two adjustments. Don’t believe it? Neither do the students in our golf instruction sessions—until they do it for themselves. Learn to execute these two moves we discuss below correctly and you’ll hit your irons longer and straighter, and cut your golf handicap by 3 or 4 strokes.
Players with high golf handicaps often struggle with their irons for two reasons: One is a setup error, like poor alignment or incorrect ball position. The other is poor sequencing at the top of their swings. Correct these two flaws in your own swing and you’ll hit your irons farther and with pinpoint accuracy. Hitting pinpoint approach shots can’t help but lower your golf handicap.
Hit rock solid irons with these two golf tips below:
Setup Errors Can Kill You
Setup errors can kill you when hitting irons. You can make last minute adjustments during your swing, but you can make up last minute changes if you set up incorrectly. And there’s no excuse for it. You may not hit the ball as far as Phil Mickelson or Vijay Singh, but you can learn to setup like them no matter what your golf handicap. Here’s how:
Take your 7-iron and set up to a ball like you normally would. Now check your left hand. Is it positioned correctly on the club? Many golfers with high golf handicaps use a weak left-handed grip. By that we mean they have the back of their left hands facing the target. A weak left-handed grip often spells trouble. It encourages your shoulders to be open at address. That in turn causes you to aim slightly left of target.
Bad things happen when you do this. When you set up left you tend to straighten up at impact, resulting in pulls or slices. Bad shots like these can boost your scores and your golf handicap. To correct this setup mistake, turn your left hand slightly to your right. Make sure the V created by your thumb and the side of your left hand points at your right shoulder.
Making The Magic Move
Having corrected your left hand grip, you can now focus on making the “magic” move, a key move that will have you hitting rock solid irons every time. With your left hand positioned correctly, make a normal backswing. If you do this correctly, you should be fully turned at the top of your swing with the club parallel to the target line. Now you’re ready to make a smooth transition to your downswing.
But this is where many golfers we see—including those in our golf instruction sessions—go wrong. They move their shoulders out then and around the golf ball instead of down and toward it. Doing this encourages your upper body to move ahead of the ball and your club to cut across the ball from the outside in, resulting in a slice or pull.
But if you start your downswing with a slight shift of your spine to the right and away from the target before coming forward, you’ll automatically shift your hips to the left and drop your shoulders slightly. Now you can swing your arms down through impact closer to your body and rotate. You’ll make solid contact and drive the ball straight and true, just like the pros.
Be careful, though. You don’t over shift to the right. It’s easy to do. Over shifting causes you to swing too much from the outside. You’ll hit shots with right to left spin and create divots pointing to the right of your target. Visit the practice range when this happens and work on being a little less aggressive with your spine tilt.
Making the two moves discussed above—strengthening your left hand grip and shifting slightly to the right before transitioning—can help you hit rock solid irons with pinpoint accuracy. You’ll hit more greens in regulation and chop 3 to 4 strokes off your golf handicap. You may break 80.