Golf Tips: Ten Essentials To
Solid Iron Play
By Jack Moorehouse
Long drives and clutch putts grab most of the attention these
days. The media tracts PGA players who smash 300-yard drives or drain
15-foot putts to win tournaments. These skills are where the money is
in golf. But PGA pros and god players with low golf handicaps know that
solid iron play is almost as important to achieving low scores as long
drives and clutch putts.
What are the keys to good iron play—consistency and accuracy.
Common elements of all great iron players, they are the ultimate
objective of nearly every golf lesson session given. They're also what
should strive for during practice sessions. Below are ten essentials to
achieving accuracy and consistency, and driving down golf handicaps.
Use them like a checklist to see how many you implement in your swing.
Check Your Setup
The setup position is a vital but often overlooked element in good iron
play. It's also among the most ignored fundamentals in golf by weekend
players. The setup is one of the few things in golf we have complete
control of, so there's no reason for not getting it right. All good
iron players have setup routines for every iron shot. And while the
routines may be different, they all have the same goal—to put them in
the best position to hit the golf ball.
Three essentials to a good set up are:
(1) good posture,
(2) consistent ball position, and
(3) proper address.
The shaft's length determines your posture. The longer the
shaft the father away from the ball and the more upright you should
position, to a large extent, dictates angle of attack: the shorter the
club, the steeper the angle of attack. Some players change ball
positions with each club. Others employ one ball position. Whatever you
do, be consistent. Maintaining a proper address position—feet/shoulders
in parallel alignment, weight evenly distributed, hands over, or just
ahead of, the ball—is also vital.
Build a Repeating Swing
The more we can repeat the same swing, the more often we'll achieve a
predictable result—the secret to lower golf handicaps. To build a
repeatable swing, we must:
(4) stay connected and
(5) set the club on the correct plane.
Staying connected is a common factor found among all good iron
players. The shoulders, arms, hands, and club should all move away from
the ball in unison. Hinging or cocking the wrists sets the club on the
correct plane, which keeps the clubface square to the path of the
Two other important essentials in building a repeatable swing
(6) swinging to the top of the slot and
(7) retaining power in the swing.
If the club's shaft is horizontal to the ground, it should be
parallel to the target line. The angle of the club should match the
angle of the forearm while maintaining the original spine angle and
head position. Settle the weight smoothly on the front side and
start unwinding the upper body. The right elbow should be dropped down
to the side.
Concentrate on Impact
Impact is the moment of truth when it comes to clean,
crisp iron shots. Everything in the swing is designed to be channeled
this moment. The quality of the shot determines the quality of the
impact. The essentials are:
(8) collect the ball and
(9) open the shoulders at impact.
Iron shots must be struck with a descending blow, if you're to
hit them accurately and consistently. A good image to have in mind is
"collect" the ball, not hit the ball. The hips, body, and shoulders
should be slightly open at impact. This creates the needed for the arms
to release the ball down the correct path.
Swinging to a Balanced Finish
Although you can't influence ball flight once you've hit it, the
follow-through is still important. Concentrating on certain
post-impact positions during the swing often encourages improvements in
the swing itself. The essential here is:
Try to stay with the ball as long as is comfortable though
Drive the right shoulder past the chin. This is known as extension. The
swing should finish with the spine straight and the back shoulder over
the front foot. Maintaining balance is critical for good iron play.
Have a friend review your swing or record your swing to see if
incorporating these 10 essential elements in your swing. If you're not,
it may be why you're not as consistent or as accurate with your irons
as you’d like to be. Golf lessons will help, but they're not enough.
You still need to practice hitting those irons, if you want to lower
that golf handicap and reach your full potential as a player.
Jack Moorehouse is the author of the best-selling book "How
To Break 80 And Shoot Like The Pros." He is NOT a golf pro, rather
a working man that has helped thousands of golfers from all seven
continents lower their handicap immediately. He has a free weekly
newsletter with the latest golf tips, golf lessons and golf instruction.