There’s nothing more frustrating than smashing a drive down the middle of the fairway, only to waste it with an iron shot that is so bad it’s hard to believe the same person hit both shots.*

Here are our top five tips for clean ball striking with an iron that will hopefully give you a better chance of finding the green, or at least getting somewhere close. And not chunking the ball 10 yards or pulling it 50 yards left (we’ve all been there). These are not ridiculously technical but, rather, drills and advice that can hopefully give you more consistency.

1. Stay calm

Right, the ball is sitting pretty in the middle of the fairway. Don’t get carried away though – you’ve played a good shot to get here but you’re not Rory McIlroy. It doesn’t mean that if you’ve got a 7-iron yardage you’re now going to get home with an 8-iron. Play it one shot at a time, and hit the club you feel most comfortable with.

2. Drill it

At the driving range, hit some shots with your feet together. It’s an old drill but the best one for ensuring you are well-balanced and don’t try to hit the ball too hard. You’ll find your ball-striking is good, consistent and repeatable. Now, replicate the same swing and speed with your normal stance.

3. Relax

Relax your grip with your right hand (if you’re right-handed). Too much tension there can often be the cause of bad ball-striking but if you loosen the grip you’ll find the swing is much smoother.

4. Play it safe

This may take the fun out of things, but play it safe. If there’s water in play, or a nest of bunkers lurking, play away from them. To go back to point one, you are not – repeat, not – Rory McIlroy, so don’t feel you should attack every single pin. Get it on the safe part of the green, or even just off the green as long as you’re in play. You may reduce your birdie chances but in reality, how many do you make anyway? (There’s a mental assist here too – by taking the bad stuff out of play, you’ll be more relaxed and more likely to make a good swing).

5. Choose a favourite

Have a favourite iron. It can be anything, though chances are it will be one of the shorter ones (probably your 8 or 9-iron). When at the range, hit this one until you love it. It will be a fact that your 5-iron swing (or sand wedge/driver/anything else) will be different but it shouldn’t be. Try to replicate the swing speed and balance you feel with your favourite club with every club in the bag.

For more tips on how to hit pure golf shots, watch this video by AskGolfGuru Mark Crossfield.

[youtube width=”600″ height=”400″ video_id=”RWjgIhlBTR8″]

*Other things that are equally frustrating – the duffed chip. The thinned chip. The three-putt. The four-putt. The water you didn’t know was there. The shank. Hitting yourself on the ankle with your putter. The whole game of golf.

Dan Foley

Dan Foley

Editor and journalist at a variety of websites over the last ten years. Closing in on 10,000 hours of golf practice with no sign of mastering the game.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.