Hit Consistent Iron Shots

Monday November 26th, 2007

THE SITUATION
You crush a drive so long and straight that you lose feeling in your toes because you pose on it for so long. On your ensuing approach, you regain feeling, but this time it's in your stomach — you want to vomit as you watch your ball fly 20 yards right of the green. It's the third pushed iron following a great drive this round.
What's going on here
You're swinging your irons like your driver. Every full swing traces the same shape with, hopefully, the same tempo. But your driver shaft is longer — and flatter — than those on your irons, so if you mirror your perfect driver swing with your irons, you'll come into the ball too flat and push it right or, if you're handsy, hit a smother hook.
What's the difference
The design of each club tells you how to move it to the top. With its flatter lie, a driver wants to trace a flatter path on your backswing, so it sets you taller in your address posture. Your irons are built to trace a steeper backswing path. The arc is the same -- only its relationship to the horizon changes. All you have to do is turn your shoulders so that the shaft angle at the top matches the shaft angle at address. With an iron, that means turning your left shoulder so it points more toward the ground than it does when you're swinging your driver.

A driver's longer shaft length and flatter lie angle set up a flatter swing plane. The more upright lie of an iron creates a steeper swing plane for you to follow. On-plane swings create matching shaft angles at address and at the top. Shaft angles at address and at the top are much steeper when swinging an iron.

How to find the right swing for each club
Assume your address position with any club and take your grip as best you can while holding a golf ball in your right hand. Now, take your right hand back like you would in your backswing, but in an attempt to throw the ball in your hand at the ball on the ground. Because of the way the club positions you at address, and your body's innate ability to target-locate, you'll automatically trace the correct backswing path, positioning your right hand exactly where it needs to be to properly deliver the clubhead from the top. Transfer this feeling to real swings, and you'll quickly hit your driver and irons like you're supposed to.

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