3 Golf Iron Swing Tips for a Flush Hit Every Time

By Todd Kolb
September 26, 2019

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.

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:

  1. Stand with your feet together so the ball is clearly between them.
  2. Step your lead foot out towards the target.
  3. Step your trail foot the same distance away from the target.

Now you’re good to go.

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.

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.

Drill for a Solid Golf 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.

  1. 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.
  2. Take your downswing. If the clubhead immediately comes off the wall, you know you’re pulling the handle.
  3. 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. 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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