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Golf Tips on Iron Play

by Steve Silverman

    Golfers love to swing hard with their driver and go for maximum distance, but the irons require finesse. With shorter shafts than the woods, the irons are easier to single and can produce more accurate results if used correctly.

    Step 1

    Hit the shot you know you can hit, not the shot you think you should hit or even wish you should hit. If you usually hit a 9-iron from 100 yards, but you think you can hit a pitching wedge because you've hit it that distance once or twice, don't let your ego take over. Hit the 9-iron -- the club you know you can hit.

    Step 2

    Dial-down your swing. Take a three-quarters swing rather than a full one. Irons are meant for accuracy not distance. An accurate three-quarters 7 iron has a better chance of hitting the green than an all-out 6 iron.

    Step 3

    Catch the ball at the bottom of your swing, not on the upswing. Your divot should be shallow, not deep, and should be underneath and in front of the ball, never behind the ball. To check your divot, place a tee across from the ball, opposite the toe of the club. After you hit the ball, the divot should be in front of the tee.

    Step 4

    Use your 7-iron to play a low bump-and-run shot if you are playing on a hard and dry course with few hazards. This shot will allow you to run your shot up to the green and to the hole. Play the ball back in your stance (toward your back foot), take a short backswing and a mid-length follow-through to have it roll toward the green.

    Step 5

    Punch the ball out of deep rough with a lofted club such as a 9-iron or pitching wedge. The deeper the ball, the more lofted the club should be. Use a steeper-than-normal swing and hit down on the ball. Aim toward the fairway for a safe layup rather than try to hit an impossible shot onto the green.

    Tips

    • Take your irons to the driving range and notice the different angle on each club. This angle determines the height and distance of the shot. The higher the number, the greater the loft and the less distance you will get.

    About the Author

    Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.

    Photo Credits

    • Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images