3 Golf Iron Swing Tips for a Flush Hit Every Time
Is It Time to Finally Fix Your Current Golf Iron Swing? Try These 3 Tips for Hitting Flush Iron Shots Every Single Time.
A stellar golf iron swing results in one of the greatest feelings in the game of golf: that clean, clear crack sound, that purely struck iron shot, that finish right at the pin.
It’s what all golfers chase. We work on perfecting our swing, we analyze which irons are best for our game, and we watch our favorite players closely for clues on how to strike ball the way they do. But if you’ve done all this and you’re still hitting inconsistent, less-than-pure iron shots, the routine can get pretty frustrating pretty fast.
Hang in there. If you’re not still flushing your irons on a consistent basis, I can help.
I am going to share three tips for hitting pure iron shots. Each tip corrects a common iron mistake, and each tip builds on the one before.
I’ll also share a bonus drill to help you put the most challenging tip into play. This drill is pretty advanced, but I wouldn’t share it if I didn’t know you could handle it.
So, here are the most effective changes you can make to your golf iron swing to finally flush your irons every single time.
Proper Golf Grip
Before we work on the golf swing, let’s make sure we are holding the club correctly.
There’s a number of things that go into having the correct golf grip, however, the most important thing is that you hold the golf grip in your fingers rather than the palms of your hands. Having the club in your fingers will help with your overall contact with the golf ball.
This will also allow you to actually feel exactly where the club face is from the takeaway to the followthrough. If you would like to learn more about holding the golf club correctly, check out our article that details all aspects of the golf grip.
Tip #1: Ball Position
This is the simplest tip to follow. It’s also advice that fixes one of the most common iron errors.
So many golfers struggle to get pure contact because their golf ball is in the wrong position within their stance. More often than not, they’ve got it too far forward. Now, that might be a great position for your driver shots, when the goal is to hit up on the ball.
But when it comes to your irons, you want to catch the golf ball on a descending motion. In order to do that, you want the ball positioned in the center of your stance.
If you’re not sure whether you’ve got the ball centered or not, try taking your setup like this:
- Stand with your feet together so the ball is clearly between them.
- Step your lead foot out towards the target.
- Step your trail foot the same distance away from the target.
Now you’re good to go.
Driver Swing vs Iron Swing
Typically, many amateur golfers use the exact same ball position for their driver as their irons, when in reality this is not the case.
Rather than having the golf ball positioned in the center of your stance, for your driver, you should position the golf ball on the inside of your lead foot. Slightly forward in your stance.
It might feel weird at first, but this is the correct golf ball position for when you hit your driver. This will allow your driver swing to catch up with the ball and you’ll see an increase in ball flight.
Tip #2: Pressure in the Feet
If you read my articles or watch my videos regularly, you know by now I have some strong opinions about pressure in the feet. But I have those opinions because I know what a significant difference it makes when you learn to distribute and shift pressure properly.
Now, you can find a lot more information about the nuances of foot pressure right here on the blog, but for now, I’ll give you the short version.
What I refer to as “pressure,” you probably think of as “weight.” Whatever you call it, we’re talking about the force of your body pressing through your feet and down into the ground.
Generally speaking, you should be shifting pressure back and forth over the course of your swing. You start with more pressure on the lead foot, shift pressure to the trail foot on the backswing, and shift back to the lead foot on the downswing.
It’s this last pressure shift that can screw golfers up. A lot of amateur golfers keep the pressure on the trail foot for way too long. This means that they’re holding their weight back, and when their weight stays back, they essentially pull their swing arc back, too. As a result, the bottom of their swing happens farther back behind the ball, and they wind up making contact on an upward motion instead of a downward motion.
To avoid this mistake, remember to shift pressure back to your lead foot early in the transition. By pushing down into the ground with that lead foot, you move the arc of your golf iron swing forward so you’re still swinging down at the moment of impact.
Now, you probably noticed that these first two tips are all about hitting down on the ball. That concept is central to hitting consistently solid iron shots, and if you’d like to dig deeper, you can find more advice and insights here.
For now, I’m going to move on to the third and most advanced tip for an improved golf iron swing.
Tip #3: Stop Pulling on the Handle
I say this tip is more advanced for a couple reasons. For one thing, it’s a bit more nuanced, and it takes some time, practice, and excellent self-awareness to recognize when you’re making the error I’m about to talk about.
Second, it relates to the concept of lag. If you’re not familiar, you can check out some of the other articles we’ve done on the subject of lag. For now, I’ll just say that lag refers to the practice of releasing your clubhead late in the downswing in an effort to kick more speed into the clubhead at impact.
A lot of your favorite Tour players use lag, and a lot of amateur players attempt lag by doing something called “handle pulling.”
Basically, this means that in the transition at the top of your swing, you pull straight down on the handle instead of allowing the club to swing outwards. This does create a lot of lag, but I don’t like to see even my top level players use this technique. Why? Because it makes distance control very difficult.
Now, your swing happens quickly, and it can be hard to feel whether you’re pulling on the handle or not. A couple telltale clues that you have this problem are:
- You’re frequently taking big divots with your iron shots.
- You struggle with distance control, hitting the same iron 180 yards on one shot, then 205 yards on the next, then 160 yards . . . you get the idea.
Pulling on the handle can be extremely frustrating to any level of golfer. Because the club head is behind the rest of your swing, it makes it very easy for the club face to open or close. It also might feel like you’re swinging the golf club with more speed, when in truth your swing speed is actually going down.
So, let’s say you suspect you might be struggling with this habit. How do you fix such a subtle aspect of your swing?
Luckily, I’ve got a drill for that.
Golf Swing Drill for a Solid Iron Swing
You won’t be hitting any balls for this drill. The point of this drill is to help you get the feel for a proper golf iron swing before you approach the ball.
Here’s how it works.
- Backup next to a wall, positioning yourself as you would be at the top of your golf swing. The clubhead should be against the wall.
- Take your downswing. If the clubhead immediately comes off the wall, you know you’re pulling the handle.
- Practice your downswing motion a few times, careful to keep the clubhead on the wall through the early transition.
The swing motion you learn from running this drill ensures that the clubface is square and you’re achieving a shallow angle of attack. This golf tip will start to move your swing on a better swing plane. You’ll also begin to generate a better swing sequence and you’ll see an increase in your swing speed.
I’d encourage you to also watch the club the first few times you practice this drill just to give yourself a clear visual of what’s going on at the start of your downswing.
It may feel awkward at first, but I promise that with time, you’ll get a sense for the feel of that correct transition. That sense will transform your shots, and you’ll start getting better contact and distance control with iron shots.
Does This Change the Way You Approach Your Golf Iron Swing?
Do these tips make sense for your iron shots? Has this advice been helpful? Do you have a difference of opinion or tips of your own to share?
Drop us a line in the comments and let us know. We’re always happy to hear from you.
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These Swing tips are really helpful, thanks to usgolftv for this amazing article.
Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment Eugene! Be sure to check back with us, more great content to come!
Wow! the drill for a solid golf swing is Great… It gives you immediate feed back in a controlled environment. I realized my club head was immediately coming off the wall, which means I am pulling the handle. I am on the wrong path. After a few attempts got used to it. Now I will take this to the Driving Range. Thanks for the tip, it was very useful.
Kazim, you got it! Our pleasure…more great stroke saving information to come…stay tuned.
The Rimer Ball Position Trainer helps you see and repeat the ball position for all clubs. Go to: carsleygolf.com and watch other videos by Todd on ball position. Train your eyes and hit more solid irons.
Todd: playing around on the range I stumbled onto something.
I fight an over the top move. I started addressing ball with my hands on right inseam, shaft pointed at right shoulder. I know this goes against most instruction but it really seems to give me a clean hit & straight ball flight. Any thoughts? Thanks. Love the tips
your video on how to hit irons specifically says pull down on the handle early in the transition. the video how to hit crisp iron shots on command says just the opposite. Simple question…which is it?
Phil, I like where you are going with this for the irons. Good stuff. However for the driver, you want this set up https://youtu.be/G3lKPdz0Sbw
Just purchased the vertical swing series. Very helpful. First problem I uncounted is that strong grip. Works great with driver but causes a pulled hook with my irons. Any suggestions?
It’s great that at the top of the list you mention ball position. It is so crucial and many as you say tend to have their ball too far forward when hitting irons. Great instruction.
Your tips and drills have been helpful. For 40 years I was able to muscle the ball down the fairway. Now as a senior golfer dealing with less flexibility and various aches and pains, are there any tips on how to adjust my once gung ho swing? I can get a full swing on my driver and fairway woods with success. I’m guessing the length of the clubs give me a natural lag. The irons are a different story. I just can’t take a full swing without getting in trouble. More of a 3/4 to half swing to make solid contract. This naturally loses distance. So do I just succumb and adjust my play to this new chapter of my life or are there any tips to overcome the turning of the calendar pages.
Todd, you have the BEST tips and your explanations are easy to follow.
I try to be completely relaxed @ the top of the backswing, regardless of iron or wood ‘n driver shots and keep my arms connected with my body.
When do you move the club away from the wall?
The first one my email was spelled wrong!!!!!!
Good question, the club will move away from the ball as it clubhead nears weight height on the downswing.
Being relaxed will never hurt when it comes to golf!
Charlotte, you are too kind! Be sure to also check out our YouTube Channel https://youtu.be/4mrDxYvckko
Thanks for the kind words. We have an entirely new swing system just developed for the “experienced” golfer. Check out our YouTube channel or the full program here https://www.verticallinegolf.com/landing-page1620850340667
Appreciate the kind words! What other topics would you like to see us cover?
Thanks for your purchase. Glad to hear you are finding the information helpful. Here is a good video from our YouTube channel which will help https://youtu.be/syMsXsEVmn4
Thanks I will try this drill and get back
Awesome! Be sure to let us know how it goes.
In your Tip #2: Pressure in the Feet why not just leave the pressure on the front side without having to time the pressure shift from front to back to front again?
Good question. We like to see pressure, weight movement as it is a way to increase clubhead speed. Young strong golfers can stay on the front foot and create speed, however it is difficult for the average golfer. Here is a good place to start https://youtu.be/13ZYPnAiXio