How to Stop Pushing Your Irons

By Steve Silverman

golfer in mid backswing
Golf is a game that requires intense mental discipline and constant introspection once you are on the course. Golfers take several seasons to learn the basics of a good swing. They learn how to address the ball, adjust their stance, take the club back, strike the ball and then follow through. They build a repeatable swing and they practice at the driving range. However, in certain tournaments or matches, golfers may start pushing the ball to the right with their iron shots instead of following through. Here's how to overcome that problem.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
  1. Square your left shoulder to the hole. If you want to hit the ball on the green and get close to the hole, make sure you are aimed at the hole. Your left shoulder should be pointing at your target and your left foot should be directly underneath.
  2. Take one practice swing after you walk up to the ball. Concentrate on having a full hip turn and and high follow through. You want to hit the ball correctly and you do not want to baby the ball. Many golfers want to take a half-swing with the iron, thinking that they don't need a full swing to get the ball to fly to the green. This is poor preparation and will hurt your swing in the long run.
  3. Visualize yourself coming into the ball with your hips leading the way. Your hands will follow shortly and your wrists will break on impact. Make sure your bring your hands up high while you keep your head down and watch your clubhead make impact with the ball. Now execute the shot the same way you saw it in your mind's eye.
  4. Do not stop. Stopping a swing is the same as not finishing. Golfers get anxious and fearful, particularly if they are on the back nine of a meaningful round. They want to limit their mistakes instead of executing their best shot. Stopping a swing will almost always result in a shot that is pushed to the right. Just remember to keep your eyes on the back of the ball and to not lift your head until your hands have come through the ball and your club has reached your front hip after impact.
  5. Go to the driving range and concentrate on making a full swing. You do not have to swing hard or rush your swing, but don't go to the driving range without a purpose. Your job is execute a full swing and develop the muscle memory and confidence to use this swing in all situations.

Tips & Warnings

  • Bring your hips all the way through so you finish your swing facing your target. If you just try to block the ball with your club instead of swinging through it, you will push your iron shot to the right.

About the Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.