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Hitting the driver well is easier than you think



Keys to Hitting Solid Iron Shots

Proper Set-Up


Ball position within the stance is crucial to a solid impact.  For the wedges, 9-iron, and 8-iron, the ball is in the center of the stance, while for longer irons, the ball position moves forward (toward the target side) from center in ½ inch increments. Your stance is shoulder-width apart to the outside of the feet with shorter clubs and then changes to shoulder-width apart to the inside of the feet with your longer clubs, starting with the 5-iron through the driver, which is played off your left heel.


The distance away from the ball also varies according to club length and design. At the address position your short clubs or scoring clubs (wedges, 9, 8 irons) will be closer to the body than the longer clubs.  Standing too close to the ball with long clubs will promote hitting behind the ball (fat shot), and standing too far away with short clubs will promote missing the ground and topping the ball (thin shot).


Finally, at address position with the wedges, 9 and 8 iron, your chin should align with the front of the right hand. With your 7, 6 and 5 iron, your chin should align at the front of the left hand.  With the rest of the longer clubs, the chin should align at the butt-end of the club.

Proper Weight Shift


With irons, hybrids and fairway woods you have to have a descending blow into the ball to achieve a solid impact.  Most golfers struggle to hit down into a shot because our mental side tells us we have to swing up to get the ball in the air. This thought could not be further from the truth.  Swinging up will only cause your club to work away from the ball forcing your weight to shift opposite of your target. To get the ball up,  you must swing down into the ball allowing your weight to shift towards your target before swinging the club. This should cause you to hit the ball first and then hit the ground 3 to 6 inches in front of the ball 

Here are a couple of great drills that will help you mentally and physically to achieve a descending blow:


  • The first drill I call “left foot-right toe”.  This drill will cause all your weight to shift to the left side.  Address the ball as you normally would and then shift your weight onto your left foot. Place your right toes lightly on the ground to maintain your balance.  Hit several shots from this position until you have begun hitting down and through the shot consistently. 


  • The second drill focuses on the takeaway and should follow the first drill.  Address the ball with the left leg pulled back about 1 ½” from normal set up and then horizontally slide your hips a little to the left side (target side) to put an additional 10% to 15% of your weight on the left side. Take the club away from the ball by pushing it straight back smoothly with your left arm as you keep your head and your lower body very still.  Stop swinging the club when your left shoulder hits the chin.  Do this drill repeatedly until you can take the club away without swaying or shifting weight to the right side, or over-swinging.  After mastering this takeaway movement (which will take some time), begin hitting shots. 

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