This story is for you if…
• You blade your chip shots
• You push or pull your irons
• You — dare we say it? — shank
Your hands are out of position in your backswing and at impact.
The bench next to the tee box may look like a place to kick back between holes, but it can also double as a training aid. Here are two drills that will make sure your hands are where they should be on iron shots and chips and pitches.
CHIP LIKE A PRO
If you’re blading your chips and pitches or hitting the ground before impact, your clubhead is probably reaching impact before your hands. To correct this, stand about six feet in front of the bench, and try to chip some balls under it with an 8-iron. Concentrate on keeping the club shaft pressed forward toward your target through impact. If you do this correctly, you’ll be able to hit the ball cleanly under the bench without blading or topping it.
HIT BETTER IRONS
Stand about two feet outside one end of the bench, so that you’re facing the same direction as the backrest (the top of the bench should be parallel to your target line, see left). Take a normal iron backswing. If your plane is correct, your clubshaft will be parallel to the top of the bench and the target line (not too far inside or outside) when it’s parallel to the ground.