How to strike long irons consistently well

Course Management – Five tips for short hitters

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For many golfers we have to accept that hitting the ball a long way is not going to happen for us and try as we may, keeping up with the long hitters in the group will just make us feel frustrated. However, this does not mean that we cannot score well we just need to play to our strengths. In this article we will give you our top five recommendations of how to score well and not let yGolf 005our distance off the tee be a disadvantage.

First of all we need to accept that distance is not our key priority, accuracy is. For many short hitters are relatively accurate. What we need to concentrate on is consistent ball striking. So our first tip for the short hitter is to practise hitting crisp iron shots. A good drill to practise when on the driving range is to place a ball under you right heel and hit a few half shots with a medium iron. This should give you the crisp feeling of a descending blow and help you achieve the desired strike. Also remember to practise your pre-shot routine, this will help with consistent ball striking. For more details on how to develop a reliable pre-shot routine look in the back catalogue on www.golftalk.club

Our second tips is to look at your golf club selection and assess whether you have the right clubs in your bag for your local course. If you are playing a course that has a number of longish par fours then maybe the addition of a seven wood or a rescue club would be a good addition to your bag.  Longer irons are usually much harder to strike consistently well so try them out and see what difference it makes to your game. If you do decide to stick with your irons then ensure that you give them plenty of time on the driving range to help with your confidence and consistency.

You will find that you will be faced with a number of longer shots into the green so a good short game is a must for you to score well. Practise chipping from off the green and holing the putts to help you get up and down on a consistent basis. Also spend a little time on pitch shots of around twenty to thirty yards as you may find yourself just short of the green and as with chipping getting up and down from here is essential.

Also with regard to putting practise, spend more time holing out from three feet to take some pressure off your chipping. Develop a good, reliable stroke. Remember that even though you may not reach the green in regulation a good putter is a match for anyone. Keep a note of your putting stats with an objective to lowering your averages.

Finally accept that you will not reach some greens in regulation and that you will be forced to play some par four holes as three shots onto the green. This means that good course management is essential. Ask yourself how is it best to play this hole instead of immediately reaching for your driver. For example a par four hole with a yardage of four hundred yards maybe a driver, a five wood and a chip onto the green for you. Or you could play three six irons and achieve the same result. What type of play will give you more consistency?

Try these tips and see how they improve you score and enjoyment out on the course.

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The long Iron, friend or foe? How to strike long irons consistently well

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We have seen many advancements in golf club technology over the last few years, especially trying to help the golfer hit smooth, consistent long irons. For many golfers they have decided that the answer to the questions in the title of this article, friend or foe? for them is definitely foe. And they have moved onto other options like rescue clubs ( see article – How a rescue club can save your score)

However, for many golfers the ability to hit long irons consistently well is vitally important for them to play golf well. For example if your course has some particularly long par 3’s that will take a longer iron to reach them. Or you have some short par 4’s and would like another safer alternative off the tee. Then a longer iron could be a good option. In this post we will discuss how to hit consistent, good long iron shots and give you some drills to take to the practice ground.

Firstly let’s start with ball position. Your longer irons should be positioned just inside your left heel. This means that the ball is slightly further forward than your middle irons. We use this froward ball position to create a sweeping motion during the swing. It is very difficult to compress a longer iron and should be left to the pro’s. Try laying down a club on the ground when you are on the practice tee, lay it along the line of your left heel with the butt of the club where you would position the ball. This will help you get a consistent ball position for your longer irons.

Next we want you to think of tempo. Many golfers think that the longer irons need to be helped along with a faster swing. In fact, the swing should be the same for all shots. A good exercise is to count your swing one and two. One being the backswing, and is the transition, and two is your down swing. This drill will help you maintain good tempo throughout your swing and avoid you swinging too fast.

Be committed. Your longer irons more than any other club need a positive strike to get them airborne. This means that a gentle three quarter swing will usually end in a poor shot. When you select your three or four iron out of your bag. Think ‘positive strike on the ball’, select your target, go through your pre-shot routine and then commit to your swing. Try this on the practice tee, getting your three iron out of your bag, playing your shot, putting the club back and then repeating. This is a great drill to keep you focused on your swing thoughts and shot in hand.

Be aware of the flight of your longer irons and play to their strengths. What we mean by this is if you are looking for a high flying, softer landing shot then a three iron is not the club to choose. However, if you are wanting a more penetrating  ball flight that will roll on landing and chase up to the green, then a three or four iron may be the club to choose. You need to visualise the shot you want to play and select the appropriate club to do the job.

A final thought. If you want to hit your longer irons with a lower flight, maybe into a strong headwind then choke down on the club a little. This will result in a lower ball flight and usually a straighter shot ..

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