Hit Crisper Iron Shots

Learn to control your distance and trajectory with greater consistency -- and you'll hit more greens in fewer shots.

August 2008

1. Set the Club

As you take the club back, hinge your wrists straight up so that your left arm and clubshaft form a 90-degree angle halfway into your backswing. Make sure your left wrist remains flat, rather than cupped (bent backward); this will keep you on plane, ensuring a square clubface at impact. The hinge acts as a brace, keeping your backswing compact and under control.

2. Rotate Your Body

Turn your arms, chest and hips together through the shot while keeping your hands quiet. This will allow you to square the clubface with your body, which is much more reliable than using your hands. I keep my head turning with my spine as I swing (left), which allows my upper body to keep pace with my arms and hips so everything moves simultaneously.

3. Shift Left

Initiate the downswing with your lower body, shifting your weight onto your left leg; the clubhead will strike the ball first and then the ground. As a drill, tee a ball low and take your normal swing with a 7-iron, stepping toward the target with your right foot as you swing through impact. Your weight will naturally shift forward onto your left leg, where it should be at impact.

4. Move Toward the Target

Direct all of your swing's energy toward the target, as if you were shaking hands with it (below). This will encourage you to shift your weight onto your left leg and release the club properly, squaring the clubface for straighter shots and adding an additional burst of speed through impact for longer approach shots.

Annika Sorenstam writes instruction articles only for Golf Digest Publications and runs the Annika Academy at Ginn Reunion Resort near Orlando. Click here for more tips from Annika.

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