Hitting Iron Shots for Left-Handed Golfers
While it is great fun to hit the ball miles from the tee, it does you little good if you cannot them hit your second shot onto, or at least very close to, the green a majority of the time. The technique for hitting crisp, accurate iron shots is different from that of hitting your driver or other wooden clubs.
- Address the ball by bending forward from your waist without bending your back to ensure you have good posture over the ball. Your arms should hang comfortably in front of you, and your hands should be level with or in front of the ball. Your right hand should be a little down the shaft to help you make a more controlled swing. Gripping too near the end of the club can cause looseness and lack of control.
- Position the ball in the center of your stance for mid-length to short irons and an inch further forward toward the right foot for the longer irons. This will ensure you hit the ball with the necessary downward strike. Positioning the ball too far forward encourages sculls or fat shots.
- Start your backswing with a movement of your arms and shoulders to the left, rather than by cocking your wrists or just pulling your hands back. This will help set your swing on a correct arc, rather than a narrow, steep path.
- Transition from the backswing to the downswing in a smooth and unhurried fashion. It is almost impossible to start the downswing too slowly. Conversely, rushing into the downswing movement will often lead to a lunge at the ball and an over-the-top swing plane. This causes the ball to slice to the left, or a tendency to hit the ball fat.
- Accelerate your club smoothly through the ball. Concentrating on continuing the swing through to a full, high finish will make sure you don't decelerate before hitting the ball.
- Transfer your weight during the downswing onto your right side to make sure you finish your swing. Hanging back on your left side will tend to make you scoop at the ball, leading to topped or thinned shots.
Tips & Warnings
- Height from your iron shots comes from the compression of the ball between the club and the ground as you hit it, plus the loft on the club face. Trust these factors and resist any temptation to help the ball up into the air. Doing so will lead to hanging back on the left side and scooping at the ball, as mentioned above. If you strike the ball with the correct downward path, you will take a divot. This divot should all be in front of where the ball was lying; if not, it indicates you are catching the ground first.