Create the fizz of a truly pure strike more often by following these steps below
Iron shots work best when struck with a descending attack angle. This creates the compression and spin needed for the optimal power and flight.
Club designers help you deliver this ball-turf strike by engineering shaft lean and offset into each iron, but you can also work on your technique to make the most of that technology. Here's how to find a pure strike and a penetrating flight.
Step 1: Three Ball Drill
To get a feel for creating a compressing attack angle, place a ball on the ground a couple of feet ahead of your object ball, on your target line. Take your 7-iron and address the ball as normal, though with your gloved hand only. Hold a third ball in your trail hand.
➤ Forward Lean
Before we get into the technique, sit the club in its maker's position for a moment. See how, with the ball in the middle of your stance, shaft is angled forward towards the lead thigh. This, allied to the club's offset (shaft forward of face) helps put your hands ahead of the ball at address.
➤ Use the club as a guide
Always form your set-up around the way the club was designed. This is a simple way to put yourself in a strong position to deliver the club with this forward shaft lean and a downward, compressing attack angle. Play the ball centrally or just forward of centre in your stance.
➤ Throw down
Keeping the clubhead behind the ball, simply try to throw the ball in your trail hand down on top of the forward ball. This drill gives you a feel for applying downward pressure through the impact zone. You'll also create forward shaft lean naturally as you release the ball.
➤ Delayed release
This drill also helps educate your trail hand to give the delayed release needed to nd that downward strike. A more flicky, casting release sees the clubhead rise through impact, causing thins and duffs.
Step 2: Learn to cover the ball
To boost your ability to strike down on the ball, work on an action that keeps your upper body over the ball till after impact. Known as 'covering' the ball, it helps you create an extended low point to your swing after impact, promoting a downward strike. Follow this plan.
➤ Cane marker
Place a cane or old shaft against the outside of your lead foot, angled slightly inward. Take your regular stance and make yourself aware of the gap between your lead hip and the cane.
➤ Mind the gap
Swing back; but as you rotate, feel the gap between the lead hip and the cane remains constant. This holds your upper body over the ball. It also keeps your backswing tight and compact.
➤ WATCH for this
Once that gap increases, your weight and low point shift behind the ball. It takes a big lateral shift from here to get back in front and over it, one that's hard to control and leads to inconsistency.
➤ Nudge the cane
As you swing into impact, allow your knee and hip to move laterally to touch the cane. This gives your swing a 'central-to-forward' feel that lets you cover the ball and promotes a downward attack. Maintain an angle in the back of the trail wrist to reduce dynamic loft.