A lot of amateurs struggle hitting consistent, solid iron shots - especially under pressure. Kyle Morris, one of our Golf Digest Best Young Teachers, says that a lot of the reason why golfers have problems with their irons is because their swing plane is wrong. Commonly, Morris says the hands go back too steep in the takeaway. Morris says there are two ways your downswing can go from here, and neither of them are good. In one scenario, the hands will try to get back to the ball in the quickest way possible, which is straight down. This creates an over-the-top downswing, which will send the ball left. In the other scenario, the first move of your downswing is you rerouting your hands at the top to get them into a better, more flat position. Adding that little loop to get into the right position will throw off your timing and hurt your distance.
So, now that you’re appropriately terrified of all the terrible things that can happen when you take the club back too straight and steep, it’s time for the fix. Morris has the perfect drill to get your takeaway and downswing on the right plane so you'll be in the right position to hit solid irons.
What you need for this drill is an alignment stick and either a noodle (which Morris uses here) or a headcover. Put the alignment stick in the ground so it’s at a 45-degree angle and then put your noodle or headcover over it. Set up so that the end of the noodle is touching the top of your wrist, like where you'd wear a watch, and then take a step directly towards the target. Now, take a swing.
When you swing back, your hands should pass just below the noodle. When you swing through, they should do the same. The noodle will give you instant feedback. If you’re someone who doesn’t have enough depth in the takeaway, you’ll hit the noodle going back. If you come over the top on your downswing, you’ll whack the noodle on your way through, like this:
The noodle will train you to swing back and through on the same plane, and will make your swing more efficient.
If you like this drill and want more tips, check out our full video series with Kyle Morris: Your Guide to Breaking 80.