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How to hit the perfect iron shot in golf

There are a few key factors to consider to hit the perfect iron shot in golf. First of all, it is important to consistently hit your irons by practicing regularly and focusing on good technique. This will ensure you develop a repeatable swing to strike the ball accurately.

Additionally, it is crucial to compress the ball properly at impact to achieve the optimal distance and ball flight. One tip to achieve this is maintaining a slight downward strike, taking a shallow divot after impact. This will help ensure that you get the proper ball compression.

Another important factor is selecting the right club for the shot. Unlike the driver, designed for maximum distance, irons are used for precision and control. Therefore, it is essential to choose the appropriate iron based on the distance and the conditions of the shot.

Following these instructions and practicing consistently, you can improve your iron shots and hit them pure and consistently on the golf course. 

How do you hit the golf ball first with irons?

There are a few key tips to remember to hit the golf ball first with irons and achieve a pure iron shot consistently. Firstly, it is important to understand the concept of compression. When hitting the golf ball with irons, the goal is to compress the ball between the clubface and the ground, creating a solid impact. To do this, making contact with the ball before hitting the ground is crucial. One effective way to accomplish this is by positioning the ball slightly ahead of the center in your stance. This ensures that the clubface makes contact with the ball first, promoting a clean strike.

Additionally, it is essential to maintain a solid posture and steady balance throughout the swing. This allows for a consistent and controlled swing, increasing the likelihood of hitting the ball first. 

Another helpful tip is avoiding excessive head and body movement during the swing. This helps maintain focus and stability, allowing for a more precise impact with the ball. 

By following these techniques and practicing regularly, golfers can enhance their ability to hit the ball first with irons, improving distance and accuracy. 

How wide are your shoulders?

How wide are your shoulders? This question often pops up in golf conversations. Having wider shoulders can improve their swing and help them hit their irons consistently and for more distance.

The width of your shoulders impacts your swing in two main ways.

Firstly, wider shoulders provide a stable platform for your swing, allowing you to have a more powerful and controlled stroke. Secondly, having broader shoulders can assist you in maintaining proper posture and spine alignment during your swing, which is essential for achieving accurate and powerful ball strikes.

It is important to have proper shoulder width and alignment to get the most out of your swing. A tip from golf instructors is to imagine that you are compressing the ball between your shoulder blades when hitting your iron shot. This visualization can help you create a solid impact and achieve a pure strike on the ball.

So, before you head out onto the golf course, take a moment to assess your shoulder width and alignment to ensure that you are maximizing your swing potential. 

Strike down to get it up.

You need to swing down through the ball to hit a great iron shot in golf. Your goal is to strike slightly downward through the ball at an angle of -1 to -10 degrees and then take a nice little divot afterwards. And I’ve included a video below of someone good at doing it this way.

It might sound counterintuitive to most people, but that’s how you’re supposed to hit irons. All the coaching points I’ll share with you below will make sense once you embrace the idea of striking down into the golf ball while allowing the club’s loft to lift the ball upward.

The changes you need to make are quite subtle, but they’re essential. The aim is to adjust your strike from 1-3 degrees upwards to 1-5 degrees downwards.

Improving Your Iron Shots Setup

Let’s examine the two setups below. In the picture on the left, we see a golfer trying to launch the ball up into the air. On the right, we have someone with a well-prepared stance to strike down through their iron shots.

The left image represents the “before,” while the right image represents the “after” setup. Notice the subtle changes in the ball position and shaft lean. Both of these adjustments are geared towards encouraging a slight descending strike. (You may choose whether or not to wear a stern facial expression.)

Consider the following key points in your setup to enhance your iron shots. You can use a mirror or window reflection or record a video of your setup to review.

  1. Is the golf ball positioned approximately at the centre of your stance?
  2. Are your hands slightly ahead of the golf ball?

This setup is ideal for using wedges down to a 7-iron. As you move to clubs that are slightly longer, such as the 5 and 4 iron, it’s recommended to adjust your ball position slightly forward from the center.

Swing to strike your iron shots.

Regarding your iron shots in golf, achieving a clean and consistent strike is paramount. The ultimate aim is to hit your iron shots with a perfect blend of distance and accuracy. A valuable tip to accomplish this is prioritizing your swing technique over trying to hit the ball forcefully. A smooth and controlled swing is essential to maximize the potential of your iron shots. Unlike using a driver, where distance is the primary target, hitting iron shots effectively relies on compressing the ball at the moment of impact.

Compressing the ball leads to a higher launch angle and increased spin, granting you better control and stopping power on the greens. Executing a downward strike on the ball is crucial to achieving this compression rather than adopting a sweeping motion. You will make solid and precise contact by focusing on striking down, generating the desired backspin.

Practice hitting great iron shots.

You need to aim to repeat a great swing with a descending strike on the golf mat or grass. Each time you take a practice swing, focus on this feeling. Try to finish each swing perfectly balanced, with your weight on the front foot.

The goal is to hold that finishing pose until the ball stops rolling, whether it goes 4.5 feet or 175 yards. A slow and smooth swing is key to making those small improvements in your strike.

To start, take 10 balls and see how many times you can maintain that balanced finish. Give yourself a point each time you can hold it until the ball stops. Next time you try this game, try to beat your previous score. Begin with 10 shots using a pitching wedge. Once you consistently achieve 7-8 balanced finishes out of 10, move on to 10 shots with an 8 or 6 iron.

That’s all there is to it! This drill serves two purposes. Firstly, it helps you get into a great impact position without overthinking it. And secondly, striking a pose after every golf shot makes you look good. So, if you have an off day, you can still impress your golfing buddies!

To improve your golf striking, you can explore some helpful training aids. For example, an article reviews the best golf training aids, including the tour striker and impact bag.

Once you have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of a good strike, you can learn how to strike golf shots like a professional tour player. Moreover, you can check out our this article on the most forgiving irons, which can help improve your game.

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