Approach Shots

3 Tips For Ripping Your Irons

Tear it off the turf

Photo by Walter Iooss Jr.

September 22, 2016

My putting gets a lot of the credit for why I've been in the top three the past two seasons in making birdies on the PGA Tour. But remember, you have to hit the green before you make the putt, right? That's why hitting solid iron shots is so important to scoring, and it's a part of the game that I work on a lot. If you want to tear it off the turf and stick it close, copy some of what I'm doing here. —With Ron Kaspriske

Take a look at my right foot in this photo. It's firmly planted. I haven't spun out of the shot. As you swing down into the ball, remember to keep your back foot grounded until after the ball is on its way.

Now check out my left foot. It's rolled toward the target, which means my body has shifted in the same direction. I know you might have been told to "stay behind the ball," but you have to shift your weight forward in the downswing. If you don't, you'll hit behind the ball or thin it on the upswing.

Finally, look at my right arm. It's fully extended, meaning I've maintained my swing arc through impact. I imagine that if I let go of the club at this point in the swing, it would fly toward the target. A lot of amateurs lose this extension before they hit the ball, and that results in poor contact and no accuracy. Feel like you're reaching toward the green with the club, and see how much farther and straighter your irons go.