Any time you’ve got a 7, 8 or 9-iron in your hands for your approach shot, you’ve got a real opportunity to knock it close. Don’t squander that chance with the notion that you have to swing under the ball to get it in the air. If you want to hit it the desired trajectory, distance and direction – and get it to spin when it lands so it holds the green – you need to hit down on it and compress the ball. Here are four steps to get the most out of your short irons.
1. Shift Left
So many amateurs try to hit the ball high by incorrectly favouring their back foot when they swing. You can help counter this tendency by putting more weight on your front foot at address. Have 60 percent of your weight supported by that leg.
2. Lean In
At impact, you want the grip end of the club leaning towards the target like you see here. Just like pre-setting your weight forward, you can lean the handle slightly forward at address to better prepare for the hit.
3. Cover Up
Another way to make sure you’re not hanging on your back foot at impact is to feel as if your shirt buttons are on top of the ball at impact. If you cover the ball with your sternum, you can compress it.
4. Groove It
To practise this downward strike, lay a tee on the ground a few inches behind the ball on your target line. Hit practice shots with the goal of avoiding the tee. Succeed and you’ll pinch the ball off the turf. Repeat this action when you play, and you’ll send the ball pin-seeking.