Ask the Top 100: Stop leaving short irons short

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Dear Top 100 Teacher,I love to play but I’ve had this recurring problem hitting my short irons. I just get no distance with them and leave everything short. I just turned 50 and I am still in pretty good shape. So how can I start hitting these clubs farther? Thank you for taking the time to listen to me cry.  I do appreciate your help and this web site for all of us that love the game   Bill, via email To hit your short irons farther, the club needs to still have some energy stored in it through impact, resulting in solid contact and a descending blow. Here's how to stop the tears and get some smash on that golf ball in three easy steps. Step One: Check your grip to make certain the club is more in your fingers than in your palm. The pad of your left hand should cover the grip and the V’s formed by your thumbs and hands point to the right side of your face. Step Two: Stop halfway through your backswing to make sure your left arm and shaft form an “L” and the clubshaft is pointing toward your right shoulder.  Complete the backswing by turning your left shoulder slightly behind the ball.(You should feel like your weight is loaded into your right hip and the inside of your right heel while your back is facing the target.) Step Three: Try the pump drill. At the top, let your lower body initiate the downswing getting you back to the address position while pumping the club down in front of your right thigh so the “L” is maintained.  Keep your body and arms moving to the finish.
While practicing your short irons at the range, do two pump drills with the ball on a short tee and then one continuous swing with the ball on the ground.  Two-for-1 is a great ratio for change, and you'll start flying those irons all the way to the green.

Best,Gale Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Gale Peterson teaches at the Sea Island Golf Learning Center in St. Simons Island, Ga.

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