Iron shots are some of the most crucial golf shots in a round of golf, yet not all players make the perfect hits of the same. A game of golf requires a series of chain reactions that lead to scores. The chain reaction requires linking up different best golf clubs for various stages of play on the course. The clubs include the driver, wedge, irons, putter, and most probably the hybrid.
If you ask many golf players what their most boring and mysterious golf club is they will most likely mention the iron. Irons lack the unique characteristics of the hybrid, the sensitivity of the putter, and the power of the driver. However, the uniqueness of your hybrid or the mammoth power of the driver will not mean much if you do not follow them up with solid iron shots.
Making the perfect iron shots is one of the most rewarding feats to accomplish on the golf course. An excellent iron swing that lands your golf ball closest to the hole for a stress-free birdie putt is a feeling that every player longs for and looks forward to throughout their golf careers. Iron shots take on various styles and shapes, but only one-thing matters: the closest the ball ends to the hole.
Moreover, your golf bag also carries more irons than all the other clubs combined do, but rarely do players use them to improve their swings on the practice range. Hitting the perfect irons shots does not come easy for all the players. When practicing hot iron shots on the practice range, you require intense concentration and many golf balls. However, hard work pays, and perfecting your iron shots influences your scores significantly. The following tips will give you guide you into hitting the perfect iron shots.
Tips On How To Hit Good Iron Shots
1. Analyze Your Divots
Divots are unavoidable on the golf course. They are the marks golfers make on the course as they brush the turf with their clubs. A divot can also be a hole left where a club gouged out turf on the course. Divots occur when using the irons or the wedge because the designs of the clubs are for striking the ball on a descending path.
Some amateurs might not know this, but divots are common and expected results of good golfing with an iron. However, even with this knowledge, some plays tend to ignore the divots. Failure to read a divot or its fear is one of the mistakes many players make when they hit an iron shot.
Another reason why some players ignore or fear the divot is that it can be intimidating. However, avoiding the divot might lead to your clubface’s bottom producing a low shot without a backspin because of making contact with the ball at an undesirable higher point. Note the following key points to help you with reading the divot easily.
- The swing path-When you look down at the divot, the first thing you should pick is the swing path taken, which you will identify quickly by the direction pointed by the divot. Look down on the target line that your shot took by standing behind the divot. The intention here is to identify the direction the divot faces, directed towards the target or to any of the other sides away from the target. You hope that the path of the divot matches your intentions with the shot.
- Depth of the divot-the depth of the divot is as crucial as the direction it faces. The depth dictates the downward angle you will use through the hitting area. A steep swing will give you a deep divot, while a shallow divot will result from a shallow swing. The intention is to avoid highly steep divots because they will make your short iron shots too challenging to make. Excessively deep divots can also lead to wrist and hand injuries, poor trajectory, and an uncontrollable spin rate.
- Consistency: Your divot’s character will reveal itself as you take several rounds on the course. Once you identify the pattern you take on each divot with your short iron swing, it becomes easier to repeat the same shot over and again with more accuracy. If by any chance, the divots look different from one shot to the next, you will need to correct your fundamental techniques. Your divot pattern and our golf swing should not dramatically change from one shot to the next.
2. Do Not Swing For Distance
Remember that you are hitting with the irons and not the driver, so you do not have to use all your power to hit as far as you can. The objective of hitting the perfect iron shots is to maintain distance control, and you can do that by comfortably taking a smooth swing that will use only 75% of your power.
Your aim should be to nail the actual distance you want with each iron shot, irrespective of whether you are leaving space for a chip or shooting for the green. Remember, the design and purposes of the irons are for distances less than 200 yards.
3. Know The Average Yardage Of Each Iron
The irons run from tip number 2 to number 9. A good idea of each club’s average yardage will help you know the tip number to use for any particular shot. Do not use any iron number by assuming that it is the perfect one for the shot. Instead, spend some time on the practice range and hit several balls with each club to determine how far or near the ball rests from the yardage markers.
To figure out your average yardage, eliminate the shortest five hits and the longest five to settle for the middle figure of your remaining distance hits. What you get is your average yardage. The following table shows the iron yardage an average golfer should make after solid contact with the cubs.
Note that it is hard to attain the following averages when you are starting to learn how to make iron shots, but you can get closer to the distances with consistent practice.
|Iron Tip No.||Number Average Yardage (Men)||Women|
4. Listen To The Sounds Of The Iron Shots
When you are on the practice range, you might not see the flight of the ball, but you can rely on how the shots feel and how they sound. The sound of the clubface as it hits the ball should also produce a unique sound that should tell the kind of shot you just hit. After much practice, you learn the distinctive sounds of thin shots, shots that hit a shade fat, and the sound of the ball struck on the toe.
The best sound you are looking for is the crisp thwack one that you hear at impact. After you learn the sounds, you can easily tell if your iron shot lacks enough spin to hold, if it will come up short, or if it will be mis-hit.
5. Locate The Sweet Spot Of Your Irons Clubface
One of the best feelings in golf when using the irons is connecting the sweet spot or the center of the clubface for the perfect shot. On the other hand, hitting the much dreaded chunked, thin, and shank shot is every golfer’s nightmare. Hitting the sweet spot with consistency provides you with the confidence you need for swinging your irons.
The iron sweet spot varies from one iron number to the next depending on their designs, but the best way to locate it is by holding the iron with its face open and dropping the ball into it. The point where the ball springs off the face is the club’s sweet spot. It is also the position of the clubface with the most responsiveness and flex.
In most clubs, the sweet spot is at the center, but you can sometimes find it located slightly near the heel. During practice, you can also try to locate the sweet spot or the place of the clubface with the best feeling by using an impact tape.
Understanding The Basics Of Good Iron Shots
A good shot, irrespective of the club you use, starts from a steady foundation, and that goes extra when hitting an iron shot. If you are not hitting your iron shot off the tee but the grass, your error margin will be minimal during impact. If you want to manage solid iron shot hits repeatedly, you have to master the ability to deliver the club to the back of the ball flawlessly.
An iron shot will come up short if you hit it a little bit fat. If you hit a thin one, you might end up sending the ball too far off the green. Hitting solid iron shots is crucial because they enable you to have better control of your distance. What you need for the perfect iron shots is consistency with your posture and stance before taking the swing.
Lots of practice will also help you to achieve your most predictable great results. Here is a look at the pre-shot techniques that will help you out.
Every golf swing, irrespective of the club you use, starts with a good stance. However, the stance you take with the irons should be more upright than the one you take with the driver because it will allow you to accommodate the swing better. An upright iron swing requires a higher up into the air swing with the arms on your backswing and not around it.
Take the stance with your back positioned relatively upright and with you standing much closer to the golf ball. Move closer to the ball as you add flex to your knees if you find yourself hunching too much over your iron shots. The two adjustments are crucial, and they are all it takes for you to improve your stance for the perfect iron shots.
One of the crucial elements overlooked by many golfers when hitting the perfect iron shots is the hand position. However, hand positioning plays a massive role in impacting your shot. You will need to understand that your hands should be closer to the target and in front of the ball when you reach impact.
The position gives you the ability to get some backspin on the ball and hit solid iron shots by making a downward impact. Moreover, positioning the hands slightly ahead of the ball at address gives you a better chance of returning to the same position later on.
Weight Forward Swing
Another essential element in making the perfect iron shots, especially on your downswing, is creating a more considerable amount of power on your front leg. Many players with the best swings on the course stack more energy on their front leg and straighten out their back leg. A front leg with more power provides the shoulder and hip with more incredible turns, allowing the golfer to strike the same spot on the ground consistently.
It also allows the player to have better control of the ball curvature and have enough power to hit the ball as far as they need in the course. Additionally, more power on the front leg helps eliminate the slice by promoting an inside-out swing path.
Before taking your iron swing, the knee position is another element that you should consider as it has a significant effect on your shot. The back of the knee helps you to maintain the balance you need during a swing. On the other hand, the trail knee sways back away from the target, which in turn compromises your balance.
Ensure that your back knee stays as stable as possible, especially when making a complete turn. Remember that stability is because side-by-side motion in any swing, irrespective of the golf iron or club you are using, can change your game. Therefore, try to anchor your swing around a stable and steady back knee as you allow the trail knee to sway.
Keep Your Eyes On The Ball
Keeping your eyes fixed on the ball as you address it is crucial to your iron shot. The front of the ball refers to the half part furthest away from the clubface or the half facing the target line. Do not look at the whole ball in general or the place it sits. It would be best if you also avoided the temptation of looking up early.
Just focus on the front of the ball until you are through with the hit. Keeping your eyes on the front of the ball only promotes focus intensity rather than gazing on the whole ball that might lead to a loss of focus on what you need to concentrate on for the perfect hit. It also helps you strike the ball first before your iron penetrates the ground to create a divot.
Focusing on the front of the ball is especially great for players that regularly hit fat shots. It is also helpful for players that want to get rid of their repeated thin shots.
Moment Of Truth
The point of impact, which also goes by the moment of truth in golf circles, is the time all your hard work pays off. It is also a moment that does not require nervousness or shyness because it one of the fastest on the golf course. The moment happens in a fraction of a second where your club touches the ball, and the next thing you know, it is up in the air.
You will have no time to fix any errors you have on your trail, and the slightest flinch or nervousness can undo all the hard work you put into taking that shot. Maintain complete conviction and confidence as you hit through the shot, then look up after the impact to check if your ball is flying directly towards its target.
What Different Shots Can You Create In Your Iron Game?
When making your iron shots, you will most likely have to conquer three types of shots. The three are:
- The punch shot is a low iron shot that you use less than a full swing to hit. The shot helps to make it easier for the ball to bounce to a back-hole location, especially when it is windy.
- The high draw/fade shot is a challenging shot within the iron game. It can stop fast without risking the ball landing into trouble spots by bouncing off the green. The quick ability to control also allows you to play more hole locations in the course.
- The go-to shot is that one shot you can count on each time you need it. It is not the perfect shot, but when you feel nervous, it comes in handy to save the day.
Wrapping It Up
The irons are not fun to play, but hitting the perfect iron shots is every golfer’s dream. Even though most new players practice more with their driver, wood, wedges, and the putter on the practice range, it is essential to practice as much with the irons so that you never have to worry about hitting lousy iron shots.
More experience provides you with confidence and the ability to brighten your repertoire with more shots. I hope the information in this article will help you in perfecting your iron shots.