This story is for you if…
• You don’t hit your irons as far as you used to
• Your backswing is shorter than it used to be
• You’d play and practice more if it didn’t hurt your back
You’re a full club shorter with your irons than you were five years ago because you can’t turn back as far as you once could. The reason? Your back feels stiff. The result? You hit longer irons into the greens.
Why It Happens
If you don’t have severe back problems but your back still feels stiff, you’re turning but not shifting your weight as you do so. That’s why your backswing — and distance — are shorter.
Make your normal backswing and hold it at the top. Now, raise your left foot a few inches off the ground. Notice how this frees you up to turn a few degrees more and — voila — makes the pain in your back disappear. That’s because all of your weight — and the stress that comes with it — went to your right foot.
Use a variation of this drill during play. Instead of raising your left foot, roll it to the right and lift your heel slightly. Feel like you’re pushing off with your big toe and moving your weight into your right foot. This should help relieve the pressure from your lower back and allow you to make a full turn.