One of the best feelings in golf is to hit a crisp iron into a green next to the hole. The PGA Tour players hit the ball far with all their clubs and one big reason for that they have their hands ahead of the ball at impact. You can hear them compress the ball when they hit it.
(NOTE Our tips are addressed to right-handed players so lefties please adjust the information accordingly.)
Hitting good irons starts with a good grip, stance and posture.
Make sure your distance from the ball is correct. The weight should be in the middle of your feet with your feet shoulder width apart (inside of heels=outside of shoulders). Tilt from your waist to the ball with your chin up-back straight.
If your weight gets too much on your toes you may have a tough time with your balance. You will usually tend to come over the top of the ball (swing outside the target line to inside the target line) if your weight is on your toes and you stand too far from the ball. Your hands and arms hang from your shoulders-usually about a hand width between your hands and your left thigh.
Start the club back with the thought of your left hand, left arm, left shoulder, left hip and left foot all starting back together in one-piece. Your left wrist will start cocking the club as your hands get to waist high, left arm is straight, and your shoulder stretches back so it is behind the ball-with the weight more on the right foot.
As you start unwinding your hips, your right foot drives to the target. Your weight goes to the left foot, your head stays behind the ball and your hands are ahead of the ball at impact.
You want your elbows as close together as you can throughout the entire swing-especially after you make impact. The club stays low after impact and the feeling is extending into your finish.
Many of you will tend to help get the ball up in the air and to scoop the ball into the air. To hit good iron shots you want a descending blow when you hit the ball. A great way to practice this is to hit shots out of a shallow divot.
DRILL: Place the ball in a divot and address the ball with the ball back toward your back foot (more toward the right foot for right-handers) and hands ahead of the ball. Feel like when you hit it you are driving the club down into the back of the ball and feel like you will hit the ball lower.
The descending blow reduces the loft of the club, you will compress the ball and your shots will go farther. You will increase your club-head speed without even trying.
Get in front of a mirror, your patio window or take some video (preferably with your PGA Professional) to check your positions during your swing. Practice diligently, give your swing changes some time, and be patient!
As always, we hope this tip helps you enjoy this great game and that 2010 is your best year ever on the links. See a Purtzer Golf Academy highly-skilled PGA professional to make sure you are working on the correct technique to get your game to the next level.