You've hit your drive right down the middle and you are in perfect position to play your second shot to the green. You are about 150 yards from the green and you take your 5-iron. You know you can make this shot, but you are sweating profusely. You know you have an opportunity but you don't want to blow it. Here's how to hit that iron cleanly.
Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
Square your shoulders to the green. If you want to hit the ball to the putting surface, you better make sure you are aimed correctly. Your left shoulder should be pointed directly to the green and your left foot should be right underneath. Golfers tend to open their shoulders with their irons and that's a mistake.
Play the ball in the middle of your stance. With a shot from the fairway to the green with a middle iron, there's no need to get tricky. You don't need to play it off your back foot to create spin or near your front foot to get it in the air. Play it in the middle of your stance.
Strike the ball firmly. You should hit about a quarter of an inch behind the ball and taking a divot when you hit is an indicator that your have hit it correctly and not babied your shot.
Grip your club firmly but do not choke it. You should be holding the club at the equivalent of a medium handshake. Call it a "5" on a scale of 1 to 10. Holding the club any tighter will restrict your distance and hurt your accuracy.
Practice your iron shots at the driving range. This is the key to getting confident so you can hit clean iron shots. Everyone will mess up from time to time, but if you can hit five good iron shots in a row at the range, you are on your way to building a repeatable swing that produces excellent results.
Tips & Warnings
Hit your iron shots with a purpose. If you baby this shot because you are afraid you'll go long, the results will not be what you want.