This story is for you if…
• You just finished a round of clunky iron contact.
• You normally hit practice balls off mats, not grass.
The next time you’re at the range, pull up some grass from an inconspicuous spot and place the pile one clubhead in front of the ball on the practice mat. On each swing, try to hit the ball, then the grass.
Why It Works
When you practice off mats, you’re hitting off a very cushy lie, which gives you a wide margin for error. Even if you hit slightly behind the ball, you’ll still get good distance and a good feel, which tricks you into thinking your swing is solid. Do the same on the course and the turf will cause your club to bounce and catch the ball thin. Great iron shots happen when you swing down into the ball and take a divot in front it. Catching the ball off the mat and taking the grass pile in front along for the ride helps you groove this type of contact, even if you can’t make or see a divot. If you can’t swipe the grass in front of the ball, try pulling your left hip pocket toward the target at the start of your downswing and then turning it behind you. You should see — and feel — an immediate difference.