In recent years golf equipment technology has moved on leaps and bounds in drivers, wedges and the golf ball, making the game significantly easier than it has ever been for the club golfer.
Yet, despite all these technologically advances the average handicap has not changed in the last 30 years – why is that?
It would be fair to say that one of the reasons can be attributed to the fact that most full swings during a round are made with irons, and most club players don’t strike these anywhere near consistently enough to give themselves realistic birdie chances.
Most amateurs struggle with their irons as a direct result of not taking enough club and then trying to hit the ball far too hard. Swinging within yourself is central to consistent ball striking as it allows for better balance and rhythm, which significantly increase the chances of making good contact.
Follow these simple tips to help with your iron play:
• Take an extra club than you normally would and swing within yourself
• Play the ball left of centre in your stance – in line with the logo on your shirt is a good reference point
• Stay over the ball in your backswing – reducing lateral movement will make it easier to return the clubface to the correct position on the downswing
• Make sure you move forward towards the ball and the target on the downswing – think of it like a tennis serve, the players throw the ball up in front of them and move on to it
• This will result in the bottom of the swing being after the ball, giving you the desired strike of ball then turf.
A simple drill to help with this is to adopt your usual address, but move the ball forward an inch or two. However, start your backswing from where the ball would usually be.
From this position there is no option other than to move toward the target and through the ball.
Alternatively, hitting balls from the normal address position but from a slight downslope will also encourage a better, central to forward swing, so important for crisp and accurate iron shots.