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Proper Way to Hit Golf Irons

by Timothy Bodamer

    Hitting irons may be the difference between scoring a good or bad round. Irons are important as they are used for long shots out of the rough or approach shots near and around the green. Whether you're hitting a 4-iron from 200 yards or 9-iron from inside 100 yards, knowing the proper technique for iron shots is a key to success.

    Practice

    You want to practice each iron swing to get a comfortable swing. You can hit a bucket of golf balls with each iron at the practice range. Register your yardage in a notebook. This practice also allows you to experiment with grip, adjusting the face of the club and how the ball reacts to your swing.

    Divot

    A good iron shot may include a divot after your shot. When hitting the ball, players should hit the ball, then the ground. For example, when you hit the ball with an iron, the divot should always be created from the front of the ball on the target side. If you create a divot from behind the ball, you mis-hit the ball. The divot ensures you are hitting the ball, then getting under the ball by lifting a divot from the grass.

    Full Extension

    To attain full extension, you must complete your backswing with the club face coming above your head through downswing and take-through with the club finishing over your shoulder. To understand this, go to the practice range and try hitting a few balls with the backswing going no higher than your waist. You can't effectively scoop a shot and lift it with what is in essence a half-swing. So, by getting complete extension you'll be able to lift the ball and provide power.

    Shape Irons

    Shaping an iron is the ability to move the shot where you want to, such as a fade or a draw. To shape a shot, you'll open and close your club face by adjusting it to angle left or open to the right. Your swing tempo should be relaxed and smooth and after practice you'll be able to move your ball to the desired location.

    Grip

    A grip for iron shots should include a sequence of steps. For irons, grip the club in unison with both hands. Your arms will form a V to your shoulders. A good grip requires a secure hold, but not too tight. The grip will help you keep the club face in line with the ball and is important as you guide your iron through the ball and toward the pin.

    Posture

    A golfer's posture should be the same for every iron shot. Your back must remain straight with a small tilt to your shoulders. The back should be bent slightly to allow for the club to comfortably reach the ball. Stance will allow you to keep relatively upright.

    Body Space

    Space between your body and the arms is a key to a full and powerful swing. This space should be consistent with every iron in your bag. This should be a hand's width between your arms and body during the shot. Being too far away or too close to the ball may lead to a mis-hit, resulting in a higher score.

    About the Author

    Tim Bodamer is a freelance writer based in Seminole, Florida. He attended Edinboro Univerity of Pennsylvania where he studied journalism. He has 15 years of writing experience and specializes in sports, business and general interest topics.

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