Most amateur golfers scoop iron shots with a swing off the back foot and either catch the ground behind the ball in a fat shot, or hit the ball off the bottom of the club in a thin. Learn to transfer weight onto the left foot to hit down onto the ball to hit crisp, clean irons shots with the classic ‘ball turf’ sequence.
Hitting an iron shot off the fairway is much more difficult than hitting a shot off the tee. When the ball is sitting on the ground the margin of error is very small and even the slightest mistake in the swing can mean a fat or thin strike.
To encourage a consistent strike a golfer needs to shift the arc and body weight forward onto the left foot to hit down onto the ball. This downward blow creates backspin on the ball, which gives it more control when it lands on the green. Many of the ways a golfer can help to hit down onto the ball can be achieved in the stance position.
Make sure the ball position is in the middle of the stance for an iron shot. The tighter the lie on the fairway the more the ball should be played off the back foot.
Experiment with different ball positions and don’t be afraid to exaggerate. Hit a few iron shots with the ball right off the back foot to see how easy it is to hit down onto an iron and take a divot.
Hitting down onto an iron will send the ball out on a lower trajectory than if you collected the ball at the bottom of the swing arc. Do not try to hit the ball high into the air if you want to secure a crisp clean iron shot. With the ball back in the stance the hands will naturally be more in front of the ball.
Keeping the ball back in the stance means the ball is positioned behind the lowest point of the swing arc and will naturally promote a downward blow onto the ball for more backspin.
Even though hitting the ball with a ‘later hit’ the hands will soon learn to release or square up the club head at impact. The first few shots may leak to the right and this is to be expected.
Apart from the stance, the most important aspect of hitting the ball correctly is weight transference.
When club golfers try to scoop the ball into the air weight gets stuck on the back foot, but to hit down onto an iron to create backspin the swing arc must move forward.
This can only be achieved if the body weight moves forward onto the left foot with a positive weight shift.
Rather than trying to carry out a complicated set of instructions inch by inch, a good weight shift is achieved by perfecting the finish position. Make sure the right foot has come up into the classic finish position to guarantee that weight has shifted onto the front foot.
Alter ball position and transfer weight to hit down onto iron shots for more control and backspin.
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