Fundamentals of Irons Play

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Every golfer can hit a crisp, solid golf iron shot as long as they follow right fundamentals and principles. Here are some of the best iron play tips that you can consider to take your game to the next level.

1 Take it back low

It’s essential to take your club back easy on your backswing. A longer iron needs a smoother swing and a sweeping motion as compared to other irons. To achieve both, take it back slow and low for the first few feet and point your club shaft down to your target line with the toe up halfway back. This enables a shallow and smooth swing that you need to give a better iron play.

A longer iron requires more of a sweeping motion than other irons and a smoother swing.

2 Keep your posture in mind

Maintain your stance all through the swing. Keep your right arm fairly straight on the takeaway. This allows you to make your shoulder turn and not just lift your arms. Start down from the top as you push your right foot off. With your weight left, turn your hips through, enabling your arms to swing right into impact.

3 Use your whole body to smash it

To get the most distance and contact out of your irons, set your entire body behind the ball and finish that swing. Tackle the ball with a little tilt in your shoulders, angling your spine from your target. Your left shoulder must be set higher than your right shoulder. You also need to flare out your left foot slightly. This helps you pull off a powerful body rotation right through your shot. Before rotating your hips on the downswing, shift your hips toward your target just a few inches. Do this before you swing the club back.

4 Trap the ball and make a divot

Take a divot to achieve the best iron shot you can. Start by shallowing out your backswing. This sets up a shallow angle into the ball as well as a long and thin divot. This also helps if you turn your top hand’s knuckles to the ground through impact. This gives a clear sign that you are compressing the ball and trapping it right between the turf and the clubface. This will lead to a divot on the ball’s forward side.

5 Do not help the ball up

A common mistake among players is that they help the ball up into the air which only leads to a fading, short shot. Just keep things moving forward through impact, including your hands, arms, weight, and the club’s grip end. Hit the ball with the back of your left hand while facing your target. You will feel like you are backhanding the ball upon impact. You will deliver the club with the right loft so that an 8-iron will behave just like an 8-iron and you will hit more and more greens.

6 Sweep into contact with long irons

To take a shot with a long iron, a sweeping motion is a must. Sweep your longer irons rather than taking a divot. Position your ball slightly forward. Then, make a swing arc that’s shallow—not steep. Try this sweeping swing without the ball. Hit the turf forward of the center right at the bottom of the arc. Do it consistently and don’t dig.

7 Take more clubthan you think

Another common mistake golfers make is that they don’t take enough clubs when it comes to distance. You need to take an extra club and do your swing with a little less power and with a shorter finish. You can try playing a club longer than your normal one and establish a 3-quarter swing with a short finish.

8 Make a full backswing

If you don’t make a full backswing on your iron shot, you might swing the club too steeply into the ball. Appropriate shoulder turn is needed to complete a good backswing. Swing your arms back wide and then make a full shoulder turn. Get your back to your target and don’t get too excited to hit the ball. Turn to the top and turn through. Once you make a proper stance going back, your strike will be more level, and you’re less likely to hit it thin.

9 Set up closer to the ball

Hit your irons solid by gripping well and setting up closer to the ball. Take one extra club, grip down an inch, and stay close to the ball. This way, the shaft becomes more vertical. Also, getting close to the ball traps it between the turf and the clubface, enabling a solid hit and a better iron play.


Golf, like any other sports, needs mastery. If you intend to get better at it, you need to try different approaches and see what works best for you. With enough knowledge and practice, you’ll definitely be a pro in no time.

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