Hitting solid and consistent iron shots can help lower scores by leaving players with shorter putts. Hitting good shots with irons relies heavily on having solid swing fundamentals. The following tips and drills can help golfers of all skill levels refine their iron shots and shoot lower scores.
As with most golf shots, a good swing starts with a sound grip. When using an iron, most golfers should use a neutral grip, with the “V” formed by the thumb and forefinger of each hand pointing between the golfer’s neck and right shoulder (for right-handed golfers.) Grip pressure is another important aspect of playing iron shots. To get a feel for the correct pressure, grip the club as tightly as possible, then loosen your grip while keeping control of the club. The correct grip pressure is somewhere in between those two extremes and will allow the club to rotate under control during your swing.
The key to hitting good iron shots is to hit the ball at the bottom of the swing. When swinging with woods, golfers want to make more of a sweeping motion, but with irons, it’s important to hit the ball at a steeper swing path. When working on the driving range, focus on hitting the ball first without taking a divot. When aligning your shot, be sure to play the ball toward the middle of your stance. For longer irons, play the ball about an inch forward in your stance. Shorter irons should be played about in the middle of your stance. Should you be playing from the rough, play the ball back in your stance, so that you will hit the ball before the grass.
A common mistake that golfers make when hitting irons is keeping their weight back in an attempt to lift the ball. This results in mis-hit shots and costs distance. There are drills that can help golfers focus on making a good turn with their body and letting the club’s loft get the ball in the air. On the driving range, address the ball with your feet together, with a ball on the ground or on a tee in front of you. Take a relaxed swing, focusing on making a good turn with your body in the backswing and making a controlled follow through. This drill helps reinforce the importance of not swinging too hard or trying to force the ball into the air on iron shots.