Want to hit better irons? Top 100 Teacher Tony Ruggiero shows you how to swing along a rope to groove a perfect path and crush shots straight at the target.
SQUARE THE CLUBFACE
Without help from video, it’s tough to know if you’re swinging on the correct plane. Here’s an easy way to check. Lay a few feet of rope on the ground at the range. The rope serves as your target line. Tee up a ball just above it, or place it slightly inside the cord as I’ve done here. Next, settle into your address position and make sure the clubface is square to the target line. Position the club so that its topline and the rope form a “T” shape. That’s square.
FOLLOW THE LINE
The first few feet of your backswing are critical. If you fall off-plane here—by “rolling” the club inward with your hands or forearms, or by “lifting” it—you’ll likely make poor contact. The rope fixes all. As you take the club back, keep it over the line. Do it for two feet, or until your shoulder turn (not your arms or wrists) pulls it to the inside. The longer you hug the rope, the wider your swing. You’re on-plane and primed for power.
POINT THE GRIP AT THE ROPE
An ill-advised wrist hinge can ruin the good work of a sound takeaway. Rope to the rescue! As your hands near waist height, hinge your wrists so that the grip points at the rope, and keep it pointing at the line all the way to the top. Make some slow-motion swings to get it right. Hold your position at the top and close your eyes to hone a sense of awareness for where the club needs to be prior to starting down.
GIVE THE TARGET A BACKHANDED SLAP
Now that you’re perfectly positioned at the top, a pure strike is almost automatic. But to make sure it goes straight, make sure to square the face. As the clubface nears the hitting zone, point the back of your left hand at the rope, then point it down the target line through impact. Start with slow swings, then graduate to full speed. Your opponents will soon be the ones on the ropes.