Achieve Precision with These Iron Shot Tips

By Todd Kolb
September 27, 2023

Think You Have to Practice for Hours to Hit Flush Iron Shots Consistently? Think Again. This Strategy Proves How Easy It Can Be.

You can probably identify flush iron shots by sound.

Maybe you’ve heard that sound from the golfer next to you at the driving range. You’ve definitely heard it if you’ve been to a tour or a high-level amateur event. At the very least, you’ve heard it on T.V.

And maybe you’ve even created that deeply satisfying sound yourself. If you have, I’d bet money you’re eager to do it again… and do it consistently.

That’s what this article is all about. I’m about to share one simple tip that’ll help you get better contact and hit flush iron shots regularly.

But before we can get to that, we need to make sure you’re not making the same critical error most amateur golfers make. It’s an overlooked detail that explains why most casual and senior golfers can’t improve their ball striking no matter how hard they try.

I gotta ask you:

Is Your Ball in the Right Spot?

I ask this because my tip on how to hit flush iron shots will get you absolutely nowhere if your ball position is off. And a surprising number of casual golfers do, in fact, have their golf ball in the wrong spot. More specifically, they’ve got it too far forward in their stance.

Why Does This Matter?

When we’re hitting our irons, we want a downward angle of attack. This means that the clubhead makes contact with the ball as it’s traveling downward.

If you visualize your golf swing as a hula hoop, you can see that there’s a downward curve, a low point, and then an upward curve. In order to ensure impact happens while the clubhead is in a descending motion, you need to make contact with the ball before that low point.

You want to hit the ball and then the turf.

Most amateur golfers have the ball too far forward in their stance. This means the low point has already happened and the clubhead is traveling upward by the time they make contact. 

They could have the most beautiful swing in the world, but they’re still going to bottom out way too soon and top the ball.

So What is the Proper Ball Position for Irons?

The rule of thumb I give my students is to position the golf ball between the logo and buttons of your golf shirt. This sets you up to make contact at or slightly before the low point of your swing.

Now, at some point in your journey as a golfer, someone may have told you to put the ball a little more forward in your stance. But see, most traditional golf instruction is based on what the best players in the game do. It doesn’t necessarily reflect what works for the everyday golfer.

My personal experience with amateur golfers—and especially senior golfers—is that their low point naturally falls closer to the center of their stance. So you want to back the ball up to meet it.

If you’re having trouble finding the exact spot, you can find more in-depth guidance in this article on how to hit irons.

For now, let’s get to the tip I promised you.

One Simple Tip for Hitting Flush Iron Shots

The secret is in the takeaway. This is where most golfers miss their chance to hit flush iron shots.

Amateur golfers have a tendency to rotate the clubface open as they move the clubhead away from the golf ball. They get their shot all squared up at setup, then immediately alter their face orientation on the takeaway. 

When you open the face that early in your swing, it’s gonna take a miracle to get it back where you want it in time for impact. For most golfers, that miracle never comes.

Now, to make matters worse, you can’t watch the clubhead as you swing away. Or you shouldn’t, anyway. That makes it tough to even notice if you’re making this error, let alone fix it.

Fortunately, there’s a better way.

Instead of worrying about what your clubface is doing, pay attention to your knuckles. More specifically, notice your last three knuckles—the knuckles on your middle, ring, and pinky fingers. Where do they go when you swing away from the ball?

If they rotate upwards on the takeaway, you have the answer to why you’re struggling to hit flush iron shots. When those knuckles head skyward, it means you’re also twisting your forearm and rotating the clubface way open.

What you want to do instead is get those three knuckles rotating downwards a little bit, underneath the club handle. When you do that, you maintain your perfect setup and keep the clubface square.

Now it’s much more likely that you’re going to deliver a square face at impact. And because you’ve got the ball in the right spot, you’ll have no trouble compressing the golf ball and flushing your irons.

Flush Iron Shots: The Short Version

Need a reminder for the next time you’re at the driving range or on the golf course? Here’s the short version without all the commentary.

To hit flush iron shots:

    1. Position the ball between the logo and buttons of your golf shirt.

    1. Let your last three knuckles (middle, ring, and pinky) rotate underneath on the takeaway.

This might sound simple, but trust me: you will be shocked when you see what a huge difference these small adjustments make. 

 

Share Your Thoughts!

What do you think? Was this advice helpful? Does it seem a little too simple? Do you have any questions or your own tips to share?

Drop into the comments and let us know what’s on your mind. I try to read the comments every day so I can learn more about you and what your game needs most. Plus, let’s be honest: it’s just fun to talk golf!

If you’d like to see more instruction designed specifically for casual and “experienced” golfers, be sure to stop by vlsgolf.com. This site has a wealth of information and products that center around your skill set and your game. Check it out!

2 Comments

  1. Todd: Great tip and this is what I try to do on every shot, including chips, pitches, and sand shots. The main problem I have with this idea is occasionally hitting a solid shot, but very low. Any ideas? Are the low shots because I have a slow swing speed in the high 70mph? Thanks! 72yo from Mobile, Alabama.

  2. Greg,

    Thanks for the question. With a slower swing speed you will see a lower ball flight. Do you play with any hybrids? Those are great for helping us gain more height to our shots. Here is a great video on hybrids we did https://youtu.be/j84nmY23J30?si=SuJG1mDXpwMNuzk-

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