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Hot List: New irons? Hit some punches to get a feel for them - Australian Golf Digest Hot List: New irons? Hit some punches to get a feel for them - Australian Golf Digest

The relationship between a player and a new set of irons can be lukewarm at first. Same for pulling your clubs out of the garage for the first time in months. They might not feel quite right at the start. My advice is to get to know each other better by hitting punch shots for a while when you practise. Grab a 7 or 8-iron and set up over a ball with 70 percent of your weight on your lead leg and the ball centred in your stance. Your chin and the grip should be leaning slightly closer to the target than the ball [above left].

From this position, make a half-swing going back, feeling like your wrists stay firm (no hinge). Then pivot in the through-swing around your lead leg until your arms are extended and parallel to the ground [above right]. This swing is mostly about pivoting around that leg with quiet hands and arms- – like a bigger chip shot with more energy. Focus on compressing the ball and getting the low point of the swing after impact. Get used to that, and you’re off to a good start to better ball-striking with your shiny new clubs.

Erika Larkin is one of Golf Digest’s 50 Best Teachers in America. She is director of instruction at the Club at Creighton Farms in Aldie, Virginia.