“The first concept that we have to talk about,” begins Todd Kolb, PGA Teaching Professional, “is by far the most important thing to becoming a great iron player. And that is controlling the low point.”
Kolb is speaking on a course with a spackled fairway and a water hazard in the background as if to highlight the significance of iron play. Firstly, you never know what lie you’re going to get. Secondly, a poor shot can splash whenever water is present. Kolb put together a brief video with US Golf TV to educate golfers on the best way to flush irons consistently.
He argues that understanding the “low point” will is crucial to understanding iron play as a whole. What is the low point? In Kolb’s words, every golf swing is a circle, with each varying depending on the player. To illustrate this point, Kolb uses a hula hoop. He outlines different swing planes with his toy-turned-device. Where that hula hoop hits the ground, regardless of position, is the low point. For a club, this would be where the head of the club, ideally, makes contact with the ball.
How do you ensure that result? In the parlance of golf instruction, players must control their angle of attack. This angle, according to Kolb, should be two-four degrees, which means players hit the ball almost flush while contacting the back of the ball. This prevents both skulls and chunks.
Now, the low point might seem like a simple concept, but it’s one that can be difficult to grasp. “My low point is where I hit the ball.” Sort of. The challenge comes in making a consistent swing where the low point comes at contact and not before it, or, in the case of skulls, contact comes after the low point.
Kolb says there are three key reasons why a player might be struggling with controlling his low point.
First is the pressure in the feet. If players lean on their back foot and don’t shift their weight, the low point tends to come prior to contact. This results in chunks or slices/hooks depending on the position of the club face.
The second reason players struggle with low point is face control due to wrist position. Think of someone with either a weak grip or loose wrists. The angle of the club changes significantly during the swing, which makes the low point somewhat erratic.
The final variable in finding the low point is swing direction. Simply put, where your feet aim is not always where your swing aims.
This is just the starting, and it’s a lot to grasp. But, as always, understanding your swing can start off the course. This will help your range sessions.
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