How Each Iron can Affect your Golf Swing
For most golfers, the irons are the true workhorses of the game. Learning to master the irons, however, can be a daunting task. The good news is, while successful iron play can be challenging, it is certainly not impossible.
All the best equipment in the world won’t help you one iota if your swing technique isn’t up to scratch. The Golf Swing Speed Challenge has all the secrets you need to see serious improvement in your scores:
To master your irons, you need to know how each one demands a change in your swing and what those changes are.
The Long Irons
The long irons are the 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-irons. You almost never see the 1-iron anymore. It had about as much loft to its face as the common putter does, and it was (and still is) one of the most difficult clubs to master.
The 2-iron is almost as extinct as the 1, having been replaced by the hybrid woods now available.
When playing long irons, it is best to avoid taking too wide a stance at address. A stance that is too wide can result in your playing the ball too far back. Instead, your feet should be a bit wider than shoulder-width with the ball played toward the forward foot.
A good long iron shot demands that your body stay behind the ball and that your hands and arms are pulling your body through the impact zone.
The Mid-Irons (5-, 6-, 7-irons)
There are no set rules for playing your mid-irons other than doing what is needed to make the shot. Mid-irons are incredibly flexible clubs, and any one club can perform the job of many other clubs if used properly for the occasion.
For me, mid-iron play is dominated by my shoulders. As my shoulders turn away for the backswing, my arms and hands follow. This allows for the club head to take a swing plane inside the line.
Somewhere around hip-height, my wrists cock upwards, thus putting the shaft on its vertical plane. The right elbow stays in close, and the weight shift begins.
At the top of the backswing, about 85 percent of your weight should be on your right side. It is important to remember to keep your weight centered on the inside of your right foot and leg, not on the outside.
While your shoulders are at a 90-degree turn, your hips should only be at 45 degrees. This gives your body the tension it needs to coil as it begins the downswing.
The Short Irons (8-, 9-iron)
These two clubs can be a godsend for those who have trouble playing their wedges. Both the 8- and the 9-iron have plenty of lofts to get the ball up in the air, when needed, yet not so much that they cannot be used for low-chipping and pitching.
The manner in which you change your golf swing when playing these clubs depends on the lay and the shot you are trying to make.
For example, if you need to get some elevation on the ball, but only have a few yards before you need the ball to come down, try weakening your grip. For right- handed golfers, this means rotating the hands slightly to the left.
One of the most common mistakes made with these clubs, however, has everything to do with your swing: Don’t ask your irons to do more than they should when it comes to distance.
Many golfers will often try to get 125 percent out of their 8- or 9-iron (in distance, that is) when they would do better if they tried 80 percent with a 7-iron.
The short irons require that you swing down on the ball while keeping club head speed. Positioning the ball properly in your stance is the key to performing this trick.
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Remember, your short-iron swing does not always have to be a full swing and it does not always have to be 100 percent (or more)!