EASY IRON MOVE 4: FINISH OVER YOUR LEFT SIDE
There are a lot of things going on during the downswing, and sometimes you need to step back and make things as simple as possible to keep it all from going haywire. For me, it's realizing that my weight and upper body are over my right leg at the top of my backswing and over my left leg in my finish. Really, your down-swing is nothing more than a shift toward the target as you whip the club through impact and into a nice balanced finish. When I start to feel like I'm hanging back a bit at impact or at the end of my swing (below center), I know I have problems. I'll immediately go back to basics and start making swings with the sole intent of getting my upper body over my left side at the finish. I'll exaggerate it until I feel like I'm falling toward the target (below far right). It's that important to get moving toward the target.
I've got two checkpoints you can use to make sure you're properly getting to your left side and not hanging back: (1) At impact, you should feel as though your right side is closer to the target than it was at address, and (2) when you finish your swing, the buttons on your shirt should be over the laces of your shoes. Get these right and you'll almost guarantee a full move through the ball.
TRANSLATION: TURN "FORWARD"
As mentioned earlier, Sergio has to make a flatter downswing turn in order to keep his flat approach from missing its mark. Some golfers require a steeper turn (right shoulder low) to approach the ball on plane. But all golfers need to move their right shoulder forward. As Sergio says, you need to get to your left side. Do it by continuing your turn as your hips move forward and around. Your goal is to get your right shoulder and hip closer to the target at impact when hitting an iron (and also at the finish on all full-swing shots). This is critical for a flat swinger like Sergio. It helps him move the low point of his swing forward (hello, perfect divot!). If you're a steep swinger, you'll have more of a hang-back look (above far left). If you're a flat swinger, you should look more like the photo at right in your finish.
This article originally appeared in the January 2013 issue of Golf Magazine, on newstands now. Click here to subscribe to Golf Magazine and to learn about Golf Magazine All Access.