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Are you struggling to hit solid iron shots? Here’s a scenario that plays out all over the golfing world. You’re playing with your weekly group of buddies and then it happens… again… a topper. You think to yourself, “That’s a great ground ball to second base.” Then, one of the guys yells, “Keep your head down.” Another one says, “Don’t move around so much.”

Though this advice is well-meaning, it typically causes more damage than good to your game. Don’t listen to them. Try these 3 tips to hit solid iron shots instead.

Tip 1: Weight Forward

Weight forward

When you set up for an iron shot with your weight forward on your lead leg and foot, good things tend happen. This setup helps move the bottom of your swing forward, and finding the bottom of your swing is the No. 1 fundamental in golf. The expert player can hit the ground in the same spot every time because he or she is setting up with his or her weight forward.

Many struggling golfers bottom the club out early and behind the ball. This happens because their weight starts and stays on the back foot/leg, which generally leads to a slice. My most successful students say they hit the ball more solid when they consciously set up with their weight forward.

Tip 2: Handle Forward

Handle Fowrard

Now that you’re set up with your weight forward, the handle of your golf club needs to be leaned forward as well. Having both in sync will shift your path more to the right for the right-handed golfer, and it will do just the opposite for the left-handed golfer. This type of path makes it more likely that you’ll hit a draw.

When your handle leans backward, you are opening the club face to the path. That leads to a slice, and it’s also a much weaker motion that will not allow you to compress the golf ball at impact as well.

Tip 3: Arms Straight

arms-straight-e1503338082112

Keep your arms straight as you strike the ball, and keep them straight through your finish. Having straight arms at impact and keeping them straight through the ball allows the forward wrist to flatten and the trail wrist to bend. This important detail also generates pressure into the back of the golf ball. Keeping your arms straight through the ball is crucial if you want to hit your irons solid.

The majority of golfers coming to me for golf lessons have their arms pulling apart through and after impact. Losing structure in your arms causes all sorts of issues, including the “chicken wing.”

Bonus Tip: Raise Your Belt Buckle!

raise the belt

Raising your belt buckle means to allow your body extend. Many struggling golfer stay down as they swing. As soon as they make contact, they’re basically done with their swing. Don’t do this. It’s key to allow your body to naturally move with the motion of the golf swing.

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Jess Frank is a PGA Teaching Professional at Deer Creek Golf Club in Deerfield Beach, Florida. He's owner of the Jess Frank Golf Academy, and his passion is to help golfers play better and have more fun on the course. Students have described his instruction style as non-intimidating, friendly and easy to understand. Jess works with every level of golfer, and his lesson tee includes complete beginners and high-level golfers. Playing lessons are also a very important part of his lesson program. His greatest joy is seeing his students smile and get excited about playing golf! Please feel free to email him at pgapro@jessfrankgolf.com or contact him directly at 561-213-8579.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Jess Frank

    Sep 17, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Hello Sam, thank you very much for reading my article and taking the time to make a comment on the post. You are correct in saying hitting the sweet spot is crucial and I often address this with my students. The majority of students I teach stay flexed over way too long and bend their arms way too much, especially the lead arm. So extending or raising the belt buckle and straightening the arm actually improves their arc or radius and makes hitting the ball more solid easier. Weight forward, arms straight and raising the belt buckle to the sky has helped golfers play better for sure:) Thanks again for your comments and have a great week!

    • sam

      Sep 18, 2017 at 2:26 am

      Hey, Jess …. you are responding to my comment below, namely:
      “The 3 tips will help duffers hit the ball but it still won’t be a solid hit because impact will still be all over the clubface. Only sweet spot hits will feel solid.”
      ———————-
      What most recreational golfers do is block their hips coming into impact because they cannot rotate their hips open and maintain the spinal tilt through impact. They block their hips in order to keep their balance because if they continued rotating their ‘belt buckle’ their Center of Pressure would move outside their feet area and they would topple over. Also they go erect coming into impact as a natural reflex to ‘hit hard’. It’s all so so wrong.

  2. OX

    Sep 13, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    If you don’t match your shaft flex with your swing speed you will have impact feel problems.
    A slow speed swing and a stiff shaft will make impact feel dull and not satisfying. You will only get solid hits if your shaft tip flexes adequately to whipsnap the clubhead through impact. With a stiff shaft you are not releasing the clubhead through impact.

    • H-Pylori

      Sep 17, 2017 at 8:14 am

      Match your shaft flex for added moi right?

  3. Speedy

    Sep 13, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    Good tips, Jess. You got me back on track with my irons.

    • sam

      Sep 13, 2017 at 3:24 pm

      The 3 tips will help duffers hit the ball but it still won’t be a solid hit because impact will still be all over the clubface. Only sweet spot hits will feel solid.

    • Jess Frank

      Sep 17, 2017 at 8:19 pm

      Hey Speedy! Thanks for reading and great to hear!:) Please let me know if you have any more questions!

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