Golf Iron Shots That Absolutely Rip
How to hit irons for beginners
Here are some clear and easy concepts so that striking the iron solidly will seem very manageable or at least easy to work on for you.
The number one concept that I would like to get across is that it is not your job as the golfer to get the ball in the air- that job belongs to the club designer. Your job as the player is to take the golf club and simply apply pressure to it and to strike it and drive it forward. The fact that the designer builds loft onto it- that’s what gets the ball into the air. This is such a big problem- particularly for beginners.
One great teaching method that I often use is a wooden mallet, for this exercise I attach a golf club shaft to the handle of the mallet to extend it. For players who may be struggling, I encourage them to use this to just simply bump a few balls forward, as there’s just no way that anyone is going to get a ball in the air with a mallet because there is just zero loft. After a few hits, people stop worrying about trying to get the ball into the air and instead are just content to drive forward and strike it more like they would in croquet, and that’s how you want to be hitting your irons a little bit more.
When going from a mallet to using a golf club such as an 8 iron, note that you now have loft with the club. This means that you will actually have to tilt the club forward a little bit for really solid contact, however instead of trying to add loft and help the ball into the air, what you want to be doing is driving it forward and actually reducing loft. If you can do this, you will make solid contact with the ball. What also often happens with golfers is that there is this ferocious attempt to make contact with the ball, however hammering down or chopping down on the ball will get you nowhere.
I would recommend starting on a small scale course and practicing making little small swings first, concentrating on making solid contact as opposed to trying to get loft. I also strongly recommend hitting your practice holes with a nice firm, short finish. Especially for beginners, you don’t want to go to strike and have the club wobble and flip out of position. After a while, then you can move onto practicing pushing your hands forward slightly with each swing, to really ensure that the sweet spot on the club makes solid contact up against the ball, almost bowed under there.
Once you’ve mastered this, you can try to add some speed and you will be hitting these irons solidly in no time.
How to stop hitting fat golf shots
We all want to stop hitting fat golf shots, and so whether you are a beginner or not, here are some great pointers that will help you and your game.
If you’re going to be a good iron player of a normal sort of a lie, with no tee under the ball, you have got to at least brush the ground, if not take a slight divot on the front side of the ball. Now, believe it or not, the true bottom of the swing should be about 5-inches in front of the ball and not at the back of the golf ball. This means that the shaft of your club should become vertical beyond the golf ball and not beforehand. Some factors that will help you achieve this is concentrating on your swing arc. It should be narrow and pretty close to your body, later opening up wide on the other side of your swing- after impact with the ball. Also, try to turn your hips towards the target. If you can do this, you will see that the bottom of your swing should be several inches in front of the ball.
A pitfall that many people get into when they first learn that the bottom of their swing has to be in front of the ball, is that they tend to come down too steeply, which will not only make them hit slices and lose power but can cause the club to dig into the ground and start taking huge heavy divots. To combat this, try practicing with an alignment rod, dug into the ground at the angle of the club that you are using (should be a short iron, such as an 8 iron), stand back a few inches, and just make a few little swings underneath the rod so that you know that you are not getting too steep. You can even do this in your backyard to practice to really develop some skill.
When learning and practicing something new, it’s also good to remember to play with it a little bit. Once you’ve done a drill a couple of times and you feel like you are having a little bit of success, compare your swing to different techniques so that you can develop a real feel for it, and see for yourself what is working and what is not.
It’s as the saying goes, ‘Practice makes perfect’, however don’t forget to have fun with it.
How to stop hitting thin golf shots
Here I want to talk to you about how to stop hitting thin golf shots. We’ll look at some of the common causes of thin shots and we’ll also look at some of the details of what is required at impact to avoid a thin shot. We will also see how much is the correct amount to hit down. Of course, we’ll look at a couple of the things you can do to work on for the correct impact position. If you like this content is sure to check out some more awesome golf classes go to https://bit.ly/george-gankas.
Let’s get started, let’s just say there can be predetermining factors that would encourage you to hit thin shots. In this section, we are not going to get into the backswing because things can certainly crop up there would lead to a swing that lands you a thin shot.
Rather, in this section, we’re going to look at two of the most common things that often lead to thin shots. The first of those two things are excessive steepness towards the ball on your downswing. When that happens then is you are either going to jam the club into the ground, or much more likely, your body reacts to that and hikes up a little bit. That reaction pulls the arms up and the body up in an attempt to rescue the shot. However, a lot of the time you will over-correct too much and thin it.
The second of the two common mistakes which leads to thin shots is that many golfers are too far back behind the ball while the swinging. That makes the clubface bottom out and hit the ground too early. The brain isn’t going to let that happen consistently so it reacts with a tendency to either hit up or hike up a little bit to avoid hitting straight into the ground. This, again, often leads to thin shots.
Let’s take a look at exactly what we are trying to do and what is really required when we are trying a make a downward hit. Once you understand the geometry it is very simple for you to fix it.
As we already know, a thin shot is when the bottom edge of the club is too much against the ball, or up high on the ball. There is no any benefit to heading very far down on the ball. There are two things that you have to do, however. The first thing is to hit the ball in the sweet spot of the club. With an iron that’s in the center of the clubhead, on-line with about where the club shaft meets the clubhead. That’s not all, the club also needs to be slightly tilted forward so that the clubhead hits more square with the golf ball. This means that it needs to be a slightly downward hit when you have a lofted clubhead and there’s no cushion under the ball. Also, you want to be able to hit the ball before you hit the ground. So, you need a little bit of downward hit but there is no magic property to heading down other than creating solid hit. Of course, if you’re in a lie that has a lot more cushion (taller/spongy grass), you hardly need any downward hit to hit that solidly. When there is room under the ball to push the sweet spot against the ball then even a very slight downward hit is enough for solid contact.
Ok, so now we know that under normal conditions you have to hit a little bit down on irons, but most people’s concept of that is very poor and isn’t correct. That is to say there’s too much downward hit. Great players really don’t do that, they’re hitting much more level. If anything there is more of an upward trend through the shot. What gives the club it’s downward blow isn’t downward hitting, it’s the club shaft being forward. Anytime the handle is past the ball and the shaft is leaning forward it creates a downward hit- that is tempered by a forward sweeping motion. Let me briefly show you a great player in action and then we will talk about how you can do it and a drill you can do to work on it.
Here is a photo of pro golfer Adam Scott hitting a shorter.
Let’s have a look so you can see that the handle of the club passes the ball. The divot from impact is also past the ball, so there’s definitely a downward hit.
If you put a line on the shaft and look at him after impact when the club is about parallel to that, you’ll easily see that there is an element of a rise to the swing (as I mentioned before).
You’ll notice that the left side of his body is getting longer and there is a little bit of an upward trend that tempers that forward lean and that downward hit, so it doesn’t pound into the ground. Again, it’s the forward lean that gives the downward hit, not an overall downward lash at the ball.
Ok, so one of the simplest examples/drills that I know of is to take a little broom (cut the top off the end of the handle to match the length of your irons, if needed) and imagine that you had to brush the floor and flick the dust forward. You would have to have some forward lean to do this to have some pressure on the bristles. You can’t brush the other way and you can’t brush when you’re above the ground. You also wouldn’t have to that a downward hit so that you push the bristles into the ground or bend the stick. The motion of brushing and flicking the dust forward is exactly the motion that we’re trying to do.
Brush with the handle forward and with pressure on the bristles with a sweeping trend (that you can translate to a golf swing). You can imagine that’s pretty easy to do. Most people, if you handed them a broom wouldn’t think, “geez I’m going to need a lesson on hip-turn before I can brush the floor here”. You just feel it. That’s precisely what you’ve got to do with a golf club.
Now, let me just say to you the difference between heading down say 5 or 6 degrees, and not heading down at all: 6 degrees is the single stroke of the second hand on an analog clock. It is very small. That’s why someone can’t just give you a swing tip and say “keep this knee straight”, or, “don’t bend that”, or “tuck your elbow in”. Something like that won’t magically give you control of the club at that level of precision. You’ve got to get the club in your hand and feel it out. I promise you it’s as easy as brushing the floor, it just takes a little bit of practice. This is something you can absolutely practice at home. Picture the grass in a golf course as the carpet or even just a little rug. Just take little swings so you can you get the handle forward and just tick or skuff the ground a little bit. Do it just enough to where you feel comfortable you can get the sweet spot on the clubface, rather than a broom.
Keep practicing that until you can hear the little tick-mark, the little brush-mark of the clubface brushing the grass until you get the correct feel. Now, if you’re at the driving range doing it you’re going to want to hit a few balls. Try with a 7 iron and just do a few little small hits. Be sure to practice it on a small scale until a feels like the broom and until you can repeat it and get consistency. You want to just barely pick it off the ground, and eventually, you can add speed in. If you struggle with extra speed just come back to the small ones and gradually build up. This isn’t that difficult. When you get the geometry right (aka the correct amount of brush and the correct amount of forward lean) you can really great consistency. If it’s a combination of the wrong angle of attack and bail out or something, I don’t care how much you practice, you’re just not going to get the consistent type of downward hit that would avoid hitting thin shots going forward.