Achieving Consistent Iron Play

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Published: 04th July 2009
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Someone once said that consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. While that might be true in life; it's not true in golf. In golf, consistency is the name of the game-the holy grail of anyone who's serious about improving his or her game. Consistency also is the reason why some golfers have low golf handicaps and others don't.

But achieving consistency is hard. In fact, it's probably one of the hardest things to do in golf. Taking golf lessons helps. So does practicing faithfully. But those aren't always enough. Sometimes you need something extra to take yourself to the next level of iron play and hit crisp irons every time.

Below are five golf tips to achieving iron consistency. Keep them in mind next time you play and you'll be that much closer to achieving the consistency professionals' exhibit with their irons.

1. Maintain Level Shoulders

Maintaining good posture is the subject of many a golf instruction session. Whether your hitting an iron or a wood, good posture is a must. When hitting the driver, your front shoulder is usually higher than your back shoulder. With irons, however, your shoulders need to be fairly level at address. An easy way to achieve this is to stand your club up in front of you and push downward with both palms on the butt end. Now stay that way as you assume your address position.

2. Shorten Your Backswing

Your backswing is usually at its longest when hitting your driver. That's mostly because of the club's length. But with an iron you want to compact your swing. The more compact your swing, the easier it is to hit solid irons. To eliminate wasted motion, practice pre-setting your wrist hinge and then turning toward the top. Work on this until the feeling is ingrained. Then try to achieve this feeling when on the course.

3. Maintain Your Spine Angle

Maintaining a consistent spine angle throughout the swing is critical to hitting crisp irons. The correct spine angle enables you to hit down on the ball and make good impact, creating a divot in front of the ball. That's where it should be. Unfortunately, some recreational golfers rise up just before making impact in an effort to help the ball in the air. Lifting leads to poor contact, which in turn leads to fat or thin shots.

To see if you're maintaining your spine angle, swing the club to the finish and then hold it in that position for a second or two. Now bring the club down, as if you were rewinding a tape of the swing. You should be able to get back to your address position and have the same posture as when you started. If you can, you've maintained a good spine angle throughout the swing.

4. Achieve A Good Wrist Hinge

The reason professional golfers can hit a 7-iron 180 yards and you can only hit yours 140 yards is because they assume a powerful position just before impact. It's also because the pros deloft the clubface to a certain degree, enabling them to achieve a more penetrating ballflight than you do.

Maintaining a good wrist hinge during your downswing is the key to delofting the clubface and achieving the kind of penetrating ballflight the pros get. To deloft the club, keep the left wrist (right wrist for left-handers) bowed through impact. As the big muscles of your back rotate through the shot, the knuckles on your top hand should be facing the ground, not skyward as some recreational golfers have them.

5. Achieving Good Pinching Action

To hit solid iron shots, you need to pinch the ball between the clubface and the ground, just as you're taught in golf instruction sessions. To achieve the correct pinching action, rehearse an exaggerated impact position at address. Lean the shaft forward with your hands well ahead of the clubhead. Then make your normal swing and try to re-create the feeling of the exaggerated swing when you strike the ball.

Achieving consistent iron play is all about controlling distance, spin, and trajectory. By working on the keys to consistent iron play, you'll learn to handle these three factors and boost your iron play to the next level. More importantly, you'll take a major step toward reducing your golf handicap to single digits.

Jack Moorehouse is the author of the best-selling book How To Break 80 And Shoot Like The Pros. He is NOT a golf pro, rather a working man that has helped thousands of golfers from all seven continents lower their handicap immediately. Free weekly newsletter available with the latest golf tips, lessons and instructions.

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