GLF PRO TIP 16. IMPROVE YOUR IRON PLAY
Published on by Gordon McCallum
One of the greatest feelings in Golf is hitting the ball long and straight off the tee. Everyone is impressed by long hitters particularly if they land on the fairway. How often do we hear people talking with amazement about how far somebody hits the ball and generally they are then considered a good player. With the continual improvement in technology with the longer clubs gaining distance with the driver, fairways or hybrids is getting easier and easier (notice I didn't say easy!). However it doesn't matter a jot if your approach shots don't go close to the green or pin.
This month's tip will help you to gain confidence in your irons and see the ball fly closer to the pin on a regular basis.
- Your ball position is the first thing to check if you're making poor contact with your irons. For those of you who remember a previous tip on ball position - "L.L.". It means the longer the shaft (first L) the more the ball position moves left from the middle of your stance towards the left heel (second L). e.g. The ball position for a pitching wedge should be in the middle of your stance. The ball position for a 5 iron should be 2-3 inches towards the left heel in your stance due to the fact that the shaft is longer.
- Good iron contact with ball comes from a downward, descending strike. To hit down, your weight has to be moving toward the target. You may struggle with iron play because you hang back on their right side to try to lift the ball. A great practice drill is hitting some irons with your feet together. Don't try to swing with more than 3/4 speed and if you struggle to start with tee the ball up. Too much wrong movement in your swing will result in losing your balance.
- Another great practice drill is the unusual one of trying to hit a 5 cent coin instead of the ball. You will soon see just how precise your contact is and when you go back to hitting the ball it will seem like a tennis ball in size. I know it sounds a bit crazy but try it you'll be amazed. The coin wont go far so also don't worry that you'll lose your money.
One of the secrets of consistent iron play is to swing within yourself. Don't get tense; don't rush it. Stand tall, complete your backswing and try to stay balanced through the shot. There's no better feeling than seeing the ball fly straight at the pin from a good iron shot.
Well apart from hitting a great, long tee shot but that's a different story and a different day!!!!!!