Hitting irons purely and watching the ball land on the greens is one of the most satisfying feelings for any golfer. Hearing that crisp impact sound and seeing the ball fly exactly as you intended is what every golfer strives to achieve. However, this also happens to be quite a rare occurrence for several golfers, even professionals.
Besides the mental satisfaction of hitting an iron perfectly, strong iron play is critical for winning games. You might be surprised to know that the past seven winners of The Players Championship had the best performance with their irons than any other club.
Golfers often struggle to hit irons perfectly quite often and end up gaining unnecessary strokes. In this article, we’ll get right down to the fundamentals and share some valuable tips that will transform you into an excellent iron player.
Keep in mind that all the information and suggestions we have mentioned are from a right-handed golfer’s perspective.
Best Tips for Hitting Irons: Primary Checklist
After countless hours on golf courses and driving ranges, our team of experts has found four primary factors for hitting irons perfectly. Due to the variable length, the technique for hitting short, middle, and long irons is slightly different. However, these four factors are universal for hitting every iron, irrespective of the length. These are :
- Your focus should be on hitting the ball first and the ground after.
- Instead of providing a higher launch yourself, your goal should be to allow the club’s loft to do that.
- Divots are inevitable, and you shouldn’t worry about them.
- Your head should remain still as much as possible during the entirety of the golf swing.
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Stance and Posture for Hitting Irons
Like other golf clubs, your posture and stance are vital for hitting irons. Your body position, feet width, ball position, and weight distribution, all of these come under the umbrella of stance and posture. This is how you should set up before hitting irons:
- Your feet should be as wide as shoulders.
- Place the ball nearly a couple of feet away from your feet. The ball position is ideally in the center of your feet. But for long irons, you can place the ball a tiny bit forward.
- As we mentioned earlier, hitting the ball before the ground is of utmost importance for striking irons purely. The ball position directly affects the impact and whether you’ll hit it fat, thin, or clean.
- If the ball is too far back, odds are you will hit the ground first. And if the ball is too forward, you’re more likely to hit the ball too high, causing a thin shot, often leading to a slice.
- Next comes your body position. Your sternum and chest should be directly above the ball with a minute tilt towards the left.
- Instead of distributing your body weight evenly on both your feet, try to tip the balance slightly in favor of your left foot. Roughly 60% of your weight should rest on your front leg.
Related: Best Game Improvement Irons
Swing Tips for Hitting Irons
- As mentioned above, your head should remain as still as possible for the entire duration of the swing. This includes the backswing and the downswing.
- You should resist rotating your head as much as possible. We know this is much harder than it sounds; that is why we have a simple drill to help you with this. You can practice this drill in your home using only a mirror. It can work better if you have a camera and a tripod stand. Here it is.
- Step in front of a large mirror where you can see your upper body.
- If you have a camera, place it in front of you and make sure your upper body is in the frame.
- Cross your arms in front of you and bend your body as if you’re taking an iron shot.
- Now look in the mirror and rotate your upper body as if you’re hitting an iron.
- Notice if your head is changing positions or not. If it is, then you know where the problem lies.
- Repeat until your head remains nearly stationary without any rotation.
- Perform this drill every day for a few minutes for the best and fast results.
- Next, you need to concentrate on executing the downswing in such a way that the clubhead’s path direction is downwards into the ball.
- To accomplish that, you need to move your sternum a little beyond the ball position and rotate your upper body to the left around your front leg. All of this needs to be done as you’re coming down with the swing.
- Simultaneously, you need to modify your weight distribution. From a nearly even distribution, you need to transform the majority of your weight onto your forward (left) leg. By the end of the follow-through, nearly 90% of your weight should be on your front leg.
- When you complete your follow-through, you should completely extend your arms without any bend at the elbow.
- Follow these steps on the course or on a driving range regularly to improve your iron game.
Final Thoughts On Hitting Irons Successfully
Irons are undoubtedly one of the most challenging golf clubs of them all. Even some scratch golfers struggle with consistency in iron play. But if you follow our tips and suggestions with dedication, the number of near-perfect iron shots will be much higher than mishits, fat shots, and thin shots.
All you need to do is keep those four essential factors we mentioned earlier in your mind at all times. Eventually, you’ll notice a stark difference in your iron play.