Do you want to make better hits with the irons? Do you have a clear picture of what a good hit moment should look like? With a clear idea in which position you should bring your racket and your body at the moment of impact, you will be able to improve faster and more specifically.
The most important thing about iron is that you keep your clubface straight and, above all, you can make very solid ball contact. The decisive factor for solid ball contact is actually that the hands are slightly in front of the ball, the body rotates uniformly and the posture at the moment of impact is maintained a little longer through the impact phase.
The easiest way to train this is to move the feeling forward by rotating your body. Start with very light strokes. Check your position in the backswing: When the club is horizontal, the left arm and the shaft should form a line.
If you can, try slightly larger strokes. Always check your posture in front of you. If you fold your wrists a little, your wrist will also be angled at the front end which makes the posture incorrect.
Ideally, you should keep trying to get that front position feeling. Train yourself slowly from small punches to much larger punches. And the better you can do it, move on to much more powerful strokes. You will hit your irons a lot cleaner. You will play golf much better if you keep your impact stable.
Сallaway Tour tips for the best iron shots
Thomas Pieters has been playing on the European Tour since 2013 and has already taken three wins. Thomas Pieters has three tips for the long iron strikes:
- Ball position closer to the left foot. This gives you more time in the swing and the ball flies higher because you hit it in the upswing.
- Correct shoulder position. It is important that the shoulders are inclined to create a wide radius, i.e. the right shoulder hangs lower than the left.
- The speed. For the perfect shot, you should swing slowly and leisurely. The more time you give yourself, the better your long iron shots.
How you can fold your wrists in the right way for an iron shot
A well-played long iron shot is characterized by a few things. First, the point where hands are ahead of the ball at impact must be achieved. Then there should be a strong attack on at least three vital areas: The upper left arm must turn 90 degrees, the trunk must rotate 90 degrees, and follow through rotation of 90 degrees. This gives all muscles time to work together harmoniously. At the same time, it ensures that the clubface remains parallel to the target line until after contact with the ground.
For this purpose, you need great strength in forearm muscles - especially extensor carpi ulnaris. A good tip for proper alignment during the approach is to hold the club at an exact 90-degree angle using your right arm. This can be done by releasing your grip slightly before impact - this also ensures that the wrist remains flat.
The follow-through must be about twice as long as the swing itself. You should continue to rotate your left shoulder past the ball after impact until it goes completely around and ends up at around belt height to one side of you. If you ensure that all movements are relaxed and controlled, you will generate great power without effort because of good alignment with the club's path.
How you can get into a better posture for an iron shot
For perfect iron shots, it is important to have the right posture at address so that fits together well later on in the swing. A slightly open posture with the left side toward the target and a slight tilt forward (about 30 degrees) sets you up for a strong hit in which your weight is transferred to the front foot and gives you great ball-striking power. That's why it's important that the right knee does not bend too much when setting up, and that your hips and shoulders can turn against each other - especially in windy conditions.
During approaching: The whole swing sequence must take place in one plane. This saves you from restrictions or loss of power later on. You should also try to avoid tilting at address so that there is no change in the angle between the upper torso and lower body during swinging - reduces accuracy considerably because of lost time and power.
The left-arm must be kept in close contact with the body during the swing, right up to impact. This ensures that all power is transferred directly into the ball. You can think of your arms as levers working against each other when you are setting up too far apart or putting too much weight on one leg or another. Especially with irons, this almost always results in loss of distance because there is no connection between arms and club at impact. Ensure that things go well by keeping your wrist flat until after contact - you will save yourself a lot of trouble if you do it correctly from the start!
Clubface alignment is critical for an iron shot
One of the most important factors in long iron shots is correct clubface alignment. Only if this is done right can you hope to achieve the perfect long iron shot. If you align the clubface correctly, it will ensure that impact takes place along the correct line and at the optimum point on the ball.
When playing your iron shots, make sure to always hit through with your arms. If you do not keep them close enough to your body, they will take over too much during the downswing, which can mess up accuracy severely. The club should be jerked into the ball by hands that are turned out very far at address - but then turn in again until both forearms are up against each other like a vise before approaching. Only then does all power flow directly into the ball.
The wrists remain very firm during the stroke. If they are loosened, you will lose both distance and accuracy because of loss of power. Make sure to keep them as close together as possible for this reason - especially with short irons!
The thing that is most often messed up during iron shots is timing. If your body parts do not work in unison, it can be a recipe for disaster. It's important to realize where power comes from: As far as long or middle irons are concerned, it comes mainly from using the muscles between the shoulder blades, i.e., those belonging to your lower back and upper torso. These should provide about three-quarters of all necessary power when hitting an iron shot correctly. The remaining quarter should come from the muscles of the arms and hands. During an approach, these last two never stop working, but they should work together to drive the club into the ball - not against each other!
During downswing: The hips must turn toward the target during the downswing and ensure that power is transferred towards the ball just as easily as possible. This transfer of weight into another phase of motion is delicate with long irons because it can either produce a good shot or ruin everything right at impact if you fail to do it correctly. When playing an iron shot, concentrate on making sure that your body turns with your left shoulder always moving toward the target between downswing and contact. If you manage to actively involve all muscles in this process instead of using only those in your hands, you will save yourself a lot of grief.
When playing an iron shot, never forget that the strength to hit well comes from your legs - especially when hitting longer irons. If you manage to bring in the hips during the downswing in order to ensure power is delivered towards the ball in addition to using all major muscles already mentioned, it should be almost impossible for you to play an incorrect long iron shot. Make sure both thighs are well placed on the ground at the address and do not be tempted to stand too far away from your target during backswing - reduces accuracy significantly! Also, try to get weight over the left leg at impact so that there is no loss of power/distance. Finally, swing through with both arms and hands until after contact - you will save yourself a lot of trouble if you do it correctly from the start!
Checkpoints to make your iron shots even more solid
We want to show you which movements you can use to improve the quality of your hit moment and how you can hit harder shots with the irons. Consider making all of these four checkpoints:
Checkpoint 1: The position of the hands
At the moment of impact, your hands should be level with the inside of your front thigh. Then, you hit it in the center of the target.
Checkpoint 2: Flexion of the right wrist
The right wrist should be bent. In no case should your racket overtake your hands in the downswing, otherwise, the classic "spooning" will result. Your right hand can not take over the work of your left arm.
Checkpoint 3: Position of the lower and upper body
The center of gravity of your lower body (felt like your belt buckle) should tend towards the target. The center of gravity of your upper body (the center of the chest) should be at the ball level at the moment of impact, maybe even slightly towards the target.
Checkpoint 4: Rotation of the body
It is also important that you turn or rotate your body sufficiently. Little body rotation makes it difficult to hit a good hit with the longer clubs at the latest.
Iron shots are always more accurate when they are hit with a descending blow. So the ball is best struck on the rise if you want to be sure of where it will land. Take your divot after impact - not before, otherwise, you have shot too high!
If you only hit the ball just below center with irons, consider that this can certainly lead to big errors. The ball can jump or fly very far away from its intended target if it is hit slightly off-center. If the clubhead strikes the upper part of the ball it flies further than desired to right—the lower part makes for more leftward movement of the ball. If you miss on the left side, your shot goes right; hitting on top produces a slice.