Mexico Open at Vidanta

Vidanta Vallarta

Short Game

'Knuckles Down' For Great Irons

February 19, 2013

Do you ever wonder why PGA Tour players can hit a 7-iron 180 yards, and you hit yours 140? Technique and swing speed have a lot to do with it, but the biggest reason is, a tour pro can change the loft of his 7-iron into a 5-iron by getting into a powerful impact position.

Of course, the pros don't often manipulate the club like this, but they do deloft the face to some degree on every iron shot they hit. To understand this, look no further than the wrists. Maintaining wrist hinge is the key to delofting--and producing a penetrating flight.


To take loft off an iron, you must keep the left wrist (for right-handers) bowed through impact. As your big muscles rotate to the left through the shot, your left-hand knuckles should be facing the ground (above). This puts you in a great position to deliver a descending blow, with less loft than you had at address.

Many high-handicappers do just the opposite: They cup the left wrist and turn their knuckles toward the sky to lift the ball. That produces a weak shot. Try bowing your wrist, and see the difference.