Connect with us

Published

on

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.

Your Reaction?
  • 135
  • LEGIT11
  • WOW2
  • LOL3
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP4
  • OB3
  • SHANK23

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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Instruction

Trackman Tuesday (Episode 2): Driver Loft

Published

on

Welcome to Episode 2 of Trackman Tuesday. In this weekly series, I will be using Trackman data to help you understand the game of golf in a little more detail and help you hit better shots and play better golf.

In this week’s episode, I look at driver loft. What effect does driver loft have on your shots and how important is it, really?

Your Reaction?
  • 3
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP2
  • OB0
  • SHANK22

Continue Reading

Instruction

How Far Away from the Ball Should You Be at Address?

Published

on

How far away from the ball should you be at address? This video is in response to a question from Tom McCord on Facebook.

In this video, I look at the setup position. I offer a simple way to check your distance from the ball at address with your driver, irons and wedges.

Your Reaction?
  • 47
  • LEGIT5
  • WOW1
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK4

Continue Reading

Instruction

Tour Pros Revealed: 3 Tests to See How You Stack Up

Published

on

You want to be better at golf, more consistent and longer off the tee. I am sure a lot of you would love to stop hurting. You would like these things with minimal work, if possible. You also want them yesterday. That about sum it up?

In the next 5 minutes, you’ll learn about the one thing that solves these problems for good. Before we dive in, though, I want to tee up three stats for you from my research.

  1. PGA Tour players can jump between 18-22 inches off the ground while LPGA Tour players can jump between 16-20 inches off the ground. Long drive competitors can often leap 30+ inches off the ground!
  2. Elite-level golfers who drive the ball 300+ yards can shot put a 6-pound ball more than 30 feet with less than a 5-percent difference in right-handed to left-handed throws.
  3. Elite golfers in the world can hurl a medicine ball with a seated chest pass just as far in feet as they can jump in inches (ie. a 20-inch vertical leap and a 20-foot seated chest pass).

What do these numbers have to do with you and your game? More importantly, what do these stats have to do with solving your problems? Let’s start by telling you what the solution is.   

Objective Assessment and Intelligent Exercise Prescription

Say that three times fast. It’s a mouth full… But seriously, read it two more times and think about what that means.

It means that before you act on anything to improve your health or your game, you need to objectively assess what the problem is and get to the root cause. You should use quality objective data to arrive at intelligent health and golf improvement decisions based on the long-term likelihood that they will be successful. We can’t just select exercises, swing changes or training aids based on what is hot in the market today or what the latest celebrity was paid big bucks to sell to us.

There is a reason why the infomercials you see today on Golf Channel will be different in 2 months. The same gimmicks run out of steam when enough people realize that is what they are… gimmicks. When looking to achieve your goals of playing better golf and/or having less pain, don’t just grab for the quick fix as so many golfers today do. 

We are in the information age. Information from quality data is power. Using this data intelligently, you can fix problems in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost. Hopefully, I am giving you the power to make a meaningful and lasting change in your game. I’m sorry to say that most amateurs will not be hitting 300+ yard drives despite what the latest marketing ploy will have you believe. But, if you know what tests you can do to measure the areas that affect your distance off the tee, you can at least gain insight into where your biggest return on your time investment will be. 

This is where working with a golf fitness expert can be so valuable to you. Not only can they help you interpret your results from the tests, but they will also be able to prescribe you the most effective means to move closer to 300 yards from where you are right now.  

If you have a problem with your car not accelerating as fast as you would like or not being able to reach top end speed on the highway, I hope you take it to the mechanic and don’t just look up quick fixes on YouTube to see what you can do on your own. The reason you pay the mechanic to fix your car is because that is what they do all day. They will get it done as quickly as possible. More importantly, they’ll get correctly so that the problem doesn’t pop up again in 2 weeks.

A golf fitness expert is no different. Use them for their expertise and knowledge. Once you have a diagnosis of what is holding you back and a plan to correct it, you are on your way and won’t have to waste any more time or money trying silly quick fixes that never stick.

The three statistics mentioned earlier represent numbers measured across the globe by industry leaders and at our facility 3-4 times per year on hundreds of golfers each time. Our facility has thousands of data points. With this much data comes the ability to draw conclusions from objective assessments. These conclusions drive the intelligent implementation of successful solutions directed at the root causes of problems for thousands of golfers around the globe.

The first three statistics have an R-value of over 0.85 in correlation to clubhead speed. Translation: if you perform well in the first three tests with high numbers, you are very likely to have a high club speed. Further, if you improve in any of those three tests relative to where you started, you are almost assured to have a higher club speed than when you began (assuming swing technique and equipment is relatively unchanged).  

Keep in mind that in statistics, correlation is not the same as cause and effect. But when the R-value is that close to 1 and anecdotally you have seen the results and changes we have, you put some weight behind these three tests. So:

  • See how high you can jump
  • See how far you can shot put a 6-pound medicine ball
  • See how far you can chest pass a 6-pound medicine ball from a seated position

Doing so will give you an idea of how much power you have in your lower body, total rotary system and upper body respectively. Train whichever one is the worst, or train them all if you want. Rest assured that if you improve one of them, you will more than likely increase your swing speed.  

By doing these assessments and addressing the one or two weak areas, you will improve with the least work possible. Sounds about what you were looking for, right? If you are able to identify where you need to improve BEFORE you buy whatever is claiming to fix your problems, you will save lots of money and time. You will actually start to improve with the least amount of work possible and in the least amount of time possible.  

What’s next? After completing the assessment tests, start working to improve them.

  • Coming Soon: Lower Body Power for Golf
  • Coming Soon: Upper Body Power for Golf
  • Coming Soon: Rotary Power for Golf
Your Reaction?
  • 92
  • LEGIT20
  • WOW4
  • LOL8
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP7
  • OB1
  • SHANK82

Continue Reading

Trending