The recent popularity of hybrid golf clubs can be attributed to the fact that so many players struggle to master their iron play!
Golfers at all levels of the game struggle with the accuracy and consistency of their irons from time to time, and it is almost always down to the same thing: stance.
The way you address your irons is different from your driver and wedges, and you need to be aware of these subtle differences to play consistent iron shots.
But how do you hit your irons correctly, where should the golf ball be in stance for your irons? And how should you address the ball in your stance?
In the sections that follow, we answer these questions and provide you with some top tips to help you finally master your setup and ensure you’re able to hit consistently great irons from all over the course!
- 1 – How Do You Hit Irons Correctly?
- 2 – How Can I Check My Iron and Stance Setup?
- 3 – Should the Hands Be in Front of the Ball with Irons?
- 4 – How Do You Hit Solid Irons in the Golf Downswing?
- 5 – Does a Wider Stance Help in Hitting Iron Shots?
- 6 – Where Should a 7 Iron Be in Your Stance?
- 7 – The Correct Stance for Irons Explained
1 – How Do You Hit Irons Correctly?
To hit your irons correctly, the most important skill to master is to hit down on the ball. This means your clubhead should be traveling at a downward angle toward the ball, which is to say the moment of impact should happen before the lowest point of your swing.
The ball should be in the center of your stance, and your hands should be slightly in front of the ball. Succinctly, this is the basic setup required to hit irons correctly.
2 – How Can I Check My Iron and Stance Setup?
The best way to check your iron and stance setup when addressing the golf ball is to put together a simple routine to remind yourself of how you should be lining up. Just approaching the ball and unleashing a shot out of the blue won’t yield any type of consistency.
When you’re about to address the ball, consider these top tips to check if your stance is conducive to an accurate shot:
- Start with width: Position your legs shoulder-width apart and flex your knees.
- Check your aim: Next, look at where your toes are pointing. Your feet should be angled outward slightly towards your target in your stance.
- Address your balance: When preparing to hit your irons, your weight should be balanced on the balls of your feet, not on your toes or heels.
- Set your posture: Look directly down onto the ball, straighten your striking arm, and get your hands slightly in front of the ball.
- Swing slowly: Slow and steady certainly wins the race when hitting your irons! Trying to skin your ball will make things a lot more difficult for you.
Of course, every player develops a slightly different routine when addressing a golf ball, but the above tips are a great place to begin and will help you ensure your stance is appropriate before letting rip with your irons.
3 – Should the Hands Be in Front of the Ball with Irons?
Yes, when you’re setting up, your hands need to be in front of the ball when you’re striking your irons. A forward hand position is key to hitting down on your irons, which is much harder if your hands are too central in your stance.
However, you shouldn’t hold your hands too far out in front, either.
As a general rule, your hands should be in line with your inner groin or there or thereabouts when you’re setting up for an iron shot.
So many recreational golfers forget to position their hands before hitting irons, which makes it difficult to control the trajectory of the shot.
For those of you at a slightly more advanced level of the game, a forward hand position is crucial for spinning the ball backward, which is handy when making a mid-long approach into a tricky green.
4 – How Do You Hit Solid Irons in the Golf Downswing?
To hit solid iron shots on your downswing you must regulate your swing to be as consistent as possible. It’s vitally important that you hit down with irons, as this creates the required trajectory of the ball at the point of release.
This is sometimes difficult for recreational players to get their heads around, as you would automatically assume that you should hit up on the ball if you want it to go high and far!
Here are some tips to perfect your iron play in the downswing:
- Move back in your stance: If you’re too forward in your stance when hitting irons, you will hit up on the ball in your downswing. Correct this by addressing the ball at the center of your stance.
- Lean the club shaft forward: If you lean the shaft forward slightly with the ball at the center of your stance, your normal downswing will automatically strike downwards on the ball.
- Take a divot: Removing a small clump of grass once you’ve hit an iron shot is an indication that you’ve struck downwards on the ball.
The key to iron success is not adjusting your swing; it’s adjusting your stance.
Your downswing should be natural and fluid, as it should be with any other shot.
The fundamental thing to remember is to hit down on the ball, which necessitates playing from the middle of your stance and moving your hands forward slightly.
5 – Does a Wider Stance Help in Hitting Iron Shots?
Generally, It’s better to have a stance that is too wide as opposed to too narrow. If you’re struggling with your irons, increasing your stance so it’s slightly wider than normal is likely to help for four main reasons.
- You will have a stable platform that enables you to turn your upper body correctly and play through the shot.
- It prevents you from dropping your hips when swinging down, which is a key cause of mishits. Keeping your hips level will enable you to swing level and strike the ball cleanly.
- You will be able to maintain a lower center of gravity, which gives you the feeling of much more control over your swing. This also helps when the wind is up.
- It’s much easier to stay balanced, particularly if you have a challenging lie. A narrow stance when you’re off balance can cause you to miss the ball completely or, worse, fall over after impact!
Lots of amateur and medium-rated handicapped players widen their stance at times, particularly when hitting longer irons.
Don’t be scared to try something different like this if you’re stuck in a rut, as it can have a positive impact on your ball striking, even if it looks a little unconventional!
6 – Where Should a 7 Iron Be in Your Stance?
Your 7 iron should always be played from the center of your stance. It feels natural to address your irons from the front of your stance, but this will make it difficult to hit down on the ball on every shot.
When you’re just starting out, it’s handy to address all of your irons from the center of your stance until you improve your confidence in hitting consistently good shots.
As you see improvements, consider adjusting your stance slightly depending on the iron that you’re playing.
The shorter the iron, the further back in your stance you should play it.
For instance, consider shifting your stance one-ball-length back when hitting an 8 or 9 iron, so it’s towards the back of your stance.
Naturally, the opposite is true when you’re lining up for those challenging long irons!
When you’re addressing a 4 or 5 iron, consider shifting the ball ever so slightly towards the left of your stance to get the trajectory right.
Every golfer including ladies, men, senior golfers, and juniors struggle with their iron play from time to time.
Going back to the basics and redressing your stance and ball positioning will help you out of a rut and hopefully get you back to playing some beautiful golf shots!
7 – The Correct Stance for Irons Explained
We use irons all over the golf course, from the tee to the edge of the green, but so many of us struggle to hit them with any consistency.
This is certainly nothing to be ashamed of, but you can nearly always rectify your iron play by addressing and improving your setup.
If you take anything away from this article, remember that you must always hit down on your irons.
While this might be difficult to get your head around, adjusting your stance so your downswing plays naturally through the ball will have a momentous impact on the way you’re striking your irons.
Additionally, play irons from the center of your stance, shift your hands forward, and develop a pre-shot routine, and you should see drastic improvements in the way you execute your iron game.