or Connect
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Practice Range › Instruction and Playing Tips › How are driver/long iron swings different than short iron swings
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How are driver/long iron swings different than short iron swings

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
If I have a 7-iron or less in my hands, I feel extremely confident in my swing. I feel on plane, I think that my swing is reasonably solid, and I get good results. At about 6-iron, it starts to get a little shaky, and gets slightly worse each club I go down on down to the 3-4 iron. By that point, I'm only happy with about 50% of my shots as opposed to upwards of 80-90% with my 7-iron. The driver of late has been even worse.

I've read a couple different things - one idea is that you have the same swing for all clubs. This really doesn't seem to work for me as whatever I'm doing with my short iron swing doesn't seem to translate to my long irons and woods. I've also read that you "swing down" with the short irons and "sweep" with the long irons and woods. This would help me understand why I'm struggling with the longer clubs if it's a different swing, but how do I make this adjustment? What are the easiest ways to think about this and adjust to this other kind of swing? Or do people feel that there really is only one swing?

I'd like to keep this more theoretical - is there one swing or two? If two, what are the differences and how do you make adjustments? The general discussion may help more people than just me. If it doesn't help me, I'll post a video for my own personal swing, but I have a feeling that it will.

Thanks!
post #2 of 18

Re: How are driver/long iron swings different than short iron swings

You only need one swing! Don't listen to anyone who says otherwise! Ben Hogan himself says it. Same ball position, same swing for all standard shots. In 5 Lessons, Hogan says a long swing is simply an extension of a short swing, and it's true. You can hit everything: bunkers, short shots, driver, and medium clubs with the same ball position and swing.

My "arsenal" of shots:

-straight shot
-draw
-fade
-low shots
-high shots
-low fade
-high fade
-low draw
-high draw
-sand shots

And I do all of these with the same swing. When I practice, I do a fade, then a straight shot, then a draw.

To change the shape of the shot, I alter the ball position and the orientation of the club in my hand. Also, I alter my waggle. Most people think the waggle is nothing but to "get loose," but you can use it to shape shots! Other than that, I swing the same as I do when I'm "lined up" to the shot normally.

Life is too short to master one swing, let alone two or more! Hogan said this himself, and was known to practice up to 8 hours a day. So why does everyone else think they can play good golf swinging the club two different ways?
post #3 of 18

Re: How are driver/long iron swings different than short iron swings

First off, good username, I was actually listening to "A Tribe Called Quest" on my way home from work today.

Not an expert here, but I was always told there was one swing, but could never figure it out, as I had the same problem with my long irons and driver, but ironically, never with my fairway woods.

I do have one swing now for all of my clubs, I don't think I can pin point exactly what helped me understand it, but I would say the biggest keys that helped were gaining confidence in my swing (especially with those clubs), finding and keeping the same comfortable stance and posture, and finding the right ball placement for me. And now that I remember, another key was learning to bend from the hips, not at the waist, to help keep my spine posture the same. The way I learned the difference was by actually sucking in my stomach and holding my breath, then bending forward. (I hope I explained that the right way?)

Again, not a pro, but have been working on the same issue.
post #4 of 18

Re: How are driver/long iron swings different than short iron swings

Originally Posted by lolzzlolzz View Post
You can hit everything: bunkers, short shots, driver, and medium clubs with the same ball position and swing.

....

To change the shape of the shot, I alter the ball position and the orientation of the club in my hand.
Contradicted yourself there.

And though the general swing is the same, I think you're nuts if you think your driver swing at all resembles your cut lob, your buried bunker swing, and a bunch of other types of shots.

Tiger Woods doesn't make the same swing for every shot. Look at his follow-throughs when he's punching out, hitting a big hook, or doing other sorts of things.

The same swing (in general) is good for "most" shots, but "all" is going WAY too far.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

Re: How are driver/long iron swings different than short iron swings

In general, if I think of the "pane of glass" that Hogan discusses, I feel like I should be able to swing the same for all clubs. Yes, this will result in a different swing plane due to being closer or farther from the ball, but I should think about it the same.... Yes?
post #6 of 18

Re: How are driver/long iron swings different than short iron swings

Originally Posted by tribecalledjeff1 View Post
In general, if I think of the "pane of glass" that Hogan discusses, I feel like I should be able to swing the same for all clubs. Yes, this will result in a different swing plane due to being closer or farther from the ball, but I should think about it the same.... Yes?
Yes this is true. Your swing plane changes without you noticing it when you think about the glass.

iacas, I wasn't so clear there. For a standard straight shot, I play the ball half an inch to an inch to the right of my left heel. I can do half swings, full swings, drivers, irons, bunkers from this position. When I want to shape the ball, I change the ball position and/or the way the grip is turned in my hands (the same way Ben Hogan does it). Other than that, I do the same swing. I mentioned "same ball position" because most people feel they need to move their ball next to their toe on the driver, and next to their right foot on the wedges, when in the end this just makes things more complicated than they need to be.

It's a good point that Tiger seems to have mastered different swings for different shots, but I highly doubt the average Joe can do it.
post #7 of 18

Re: How are driver/long iron swings different than short iron swings

Originally Posted by lolzzlolzz View Post
I can do half swings, full swings, drivers, irons, bunkers from this position.
Eh, don't take offense to this, but I'm not gonna believe you. Again, I mentioned several kinds of shots (and bunkers are one of the most obvious ones) where you have a different sort of swing almost by necessity.

For a full swing, and shaping shots, I wouldn't even say that I put the same swing on various shots. High shots, low shots, punches, extra spin... for each of them I do something different.

Perhaps you're simply not sensitive enough to notice the changes you make or your version of "the same swing" is more lax than mine.

For "most" shots, the swing is generally the same. I'll conclude by saying that.
post #8 of 18

Re: How are driver/long iron swings different than short iron swings

I've found lately that I need to flatten out my swing on longer clubs (Driver-6I). I was coming back to steep and getting all manner of unsavory shots. Now that I flattened it out a bit, I get much better contact. I usually have huge problems hitting my 3W, 3I-5I. Today, I hit probably the most pure shots with those clubs that I've ever hit.
post #9 of 18

Re: How are driver/long iron swings different than short iron swings

I have noticed that when I generate a lot of lag that there is no difference in the downswing of an 8 iron and a 3 iron. They both have the same feel in the downswing because I am only handling the butt end of the club. The rest of the club releases naturally like a whip. So the length of the club is immaterial.

But when I am unable to generate a lot of lag (casting), I can definitely feel the difference between short and long irons and the ball contact/flight suffers as well.

Sergio generates a lot of lag. Which may explain why he is so good with his long irons.
post #10 of 18

Re: How are driver/long iron swings different than short iron swings

Originally Posted by tribecalledjeff1 View Post
If I have a 7-iron or less in my hands, I feel extremely confident in my swing. I feel on plane, I think that my swing is reasonably solid, and I get good results. At about 6-iron, it starts to get a little shaky, and gets slightly worse each club I go down on down to the 3-4 iron. By that point, I'm only happy with about 50% of my shots as opposed to upwards of 80-90% with my 7-iron. The driver of late has been even worse.
Basically there is only one swing with most full shots. When it comes to pitch shots, punch shots, bunker shots etc by necessity there will be variances in technique.

The reason why most people hit their short irons better than their long irons and much better than their woods is pretty simple, short irons are easier to hit for a variety of reasons.
  • Shorter shaft
  • More loft
  • Confidence
  • Shot doesn't travel as far hence a shot hit 3 degrees offline finishes on the edge of the green with a 9 iron whereas it misses anything worth hitting with a driver
So basically all of your swing faults exist to a similar degree with a 9 iron as compared to a driver, the difference being you get away with it when using your 9 iron but with your driver you don't.
post #11 of 18

Re: How are driver/long iron swings different than short iron swings

I agree with Chingali and iacas about punches, lobs, etc. But, for a full swing "normal" shot, there should only be one swing.

Let me ask you this - have you been fitted for your clubs? I used to have to change my swing a little bit for my driver and 3-wood, until I cut an inch off of each. That was a revelation for me, and now I feel comfortable using the same swing for all of my clubs. Your longer clubs might be a little too long.
post #12 of 18

Re: How are driver/long iron swings different than short iron swings

I am in the belief that fundimentally and structurally you have "one" swing as a base. But even your stock swing of your PW and your drivers looks different and probably feel different because the measurements of the club are different and thus it chances the geometry of how your body is in relation to the ball.

When working the ball, the swing base is the same, you just change say the clubface at address, shorter backswing, ball position or even follow through. Your swing isn't really all that different, just how your body interacts with the ball is different.

But specialty shots require you to break aways from your base and manipulate your swing the get the ball to do what you want it to do. I don't think anyone is going to say a greenside bunker shot is the same as a stock 8i approach shot or a running pitch shot from the fringe.
post #13 of 18

Re: How are driver/long iron swings different than short iron swings

Originally Posted by tribecalledjeff1 View Post
I'd like to keep this more theoretical - is there one swing or two? If two, what are the differences and how do you make adjustments? The general discussion may help more people than just me. If it doesn't help me, I'll post a video for my own personal swing, but I have a feeling that it will.

Thanks!
My though is that it is better to think of trying to make the same swing for both irons and woods. In relation to the body, ball, and ground the club still swings into the same positions. You'll often hear tour pros say they want to keep the swing simple. If you're trying to swing differently with each club you'll making things complicated, not simple.

Look at the image I have linked below (inside the spoiler tag):
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

With both the iron and wood in the picture above we see:
The shaft points at the belt buckle at address.
The hands and club head are both on the same level and near the orginal shaft angle plane at hip high back.
The shaft points just inside the ball at the left arm parallel backswing position.
The shoulders are perpendicular to the spine at the top of the swing, and the left arm (at the top) is parallel to the original shaft angle plane from address.
The shaft at hip high on the downswing is parallel to the original shaft angle plane and points just above the ball with both clubs.
At shoulder high in the through swing the shaft again points in the same place it did on the left arm parallel back location.
As the pictures show there is not a significant difference between irons and woods with reguard to the setup and swing.
post #14 of 18

Re: How are driver/long iron swings different than short iron swings

for hitting draws and stuff around trees i usually try to make an in to out swing and draw it back. for a fade i will play an out to in cut etc. i find for longer clubs my swing gets flatter and for wedges it is very upright. just my 2c
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by tribecalledjeff1 View Post

If I have a 7-iron or less in my hands, I feel extremely confident in my swing. I feel on plane, I think that my swing is reasonably solid, and I get good results. At about 6-iron, it starts to get a little shaky, and gets slightly worse each club I go down on down to the 3-4 iron. By that point, I'm only happy with about 50% of my shots as opposed to upwards of 80-90% with my 7-iron. The driver of late has been even worse.

I've read a couple different things - one idea is that you have the same swing for all clubs. This really doesn't seem to work for me as whatever I'm doing with my short iron swing doesn't seem to translate to my long irons and woods. I've also read that you "swing down" with the short irons and "sweep" with the long irons and woods. This would help me understand why I'm struggling with the longer clubs if it's a different swing, but how do I make this adjustment? What are the easiest ways to think about this and adjust to this other kind of swing? Or do people feel that there really is only one swing?

I'd like to keep this more theoretical - is there one swing or two? If two, what are the differences and how do you make adjustments? The general discussion may help more people than just me. If it doesn't help me, I'll post a video for my own personal swing, but I have a feeling that it will.

 

To answer your questions in reverse, for full swing shots, the swings are similar but have differences by degree.  More axis tilt with the driver, some axis tilt with the mid irons, even less with the short irons.  Same goes for backswing length, hip slide, and pretty much anything else you can think of.  Foot position can change too because you need to alter your path very slightly from driver to short iron so that you are hitting from the outside just a fraction with the short irons and from the inside just a fraction with the driver.  I would even put basic chips and pitches in the same category as full swings, but with the least amount of backswing length, and weight transfer.  Maybe the fact that some of the parameters have gone to zero make it a specialty shot.  I think there's some room for debate there, but it helps me to think about them as having the same basic principles as the full swing.  Makes the transition between clubs easier.  Specialty shots like bunker shots, and lobs, you are really trying to do something different with the club, hit it with less (still some though please) forward shaft lean.  The posture is quite different with the legs because you are on the extreme end of what you are trying to get the club to do in terms of release and AOA with these shots compared with standard full swing drives, irons, pitches, and chips.

 

Now, I think that's only part of your problem.  The problem you are describing to me sounds like a handsy motion problem.  7-iron is a typical tipping point where the swing weight and length of the club makes it too hard to manipulate and you have to start flipping it somehow to try to get the face square.  It may simply be that you are hinging the club too open and you are able to roll and square it before impact with the 7-iron, but have difficulty with the longer clubs.  Been there done that...  I would say work on your chipping, develop a good hinge and hold method.  Convince yourself that it works, and why it works.  Then try to develop those same kinds of feels in your full swing.  I like to set my wrists early and square, then it feels like I can just smash it and not worry about the clubface because I know it's pointing in the right direction.  My hands are more relaxed because of that and I hit long and straight shots.  If I feel myself trying to flip it to square it, or block it to keep it open, I just check my grip, rehease my takeaway a little to get back on track, and I'm back in business.

post #16 of 18
In addition to actively, consciously rotating the hips with the short irons (Wedges thru 7 iron) I tend to feel like I'm actively rotating my shoulders as well. Less separation between lower and upper body. I also use a stronger grip. It's a draw. If I need a short iron cut or fade I weaken my left hand grip and maybe take the club more outside on the takeaway. For whatever reason, keeping the arms passive with the short irons doesn't work and I hit a lot of fat shots. I think I just jerk the hips too hard or something. With the longer irons and woods I can get by with just rotating the hips and letting the shoulders and arms move passively. More separation seems to be needed. I think the shoulders are supposed to stay closed for as long as possible to create all that lag. I also use a weaker left hand grip. Using a strong left hand grip causes me to hit big uncontrollable hooks. I guess the right hand has too much power without the left hand to neutralize it. At least for my swing. I have a big chest (a stocky build, I don't have arms hanging down to my knees) and short arms and maybe my body type requires two seperate swing feels for short irons verses long irons. Not ideal to have two different swings (along with two different grip modifications) but It's working right now. I'm finding fairways and greens.
post #17 of 18

Its impossible to hit different shots from the same set up with the same swing, period. 

 

If you put the ball inbetween your front foot and middle of your stance, to hit a punch shot you must change the swing shape to wear really hold that wrist hinge to deloft the club. The easiest way, move the ball back in your stance.

 

Each iron and driver will be a different swing, just because of the club length, and lie of the club. Driver's will naturally be a flatter swing while an iron will be more upright. 

 

As for me, 90% of the time i don't feel a change in the swing. I just hit my stock shot. 

 

Bunker shot, depends on what i want to do, do i want to hit a chunk and run, really pick the ball clean, hit a high spin shot, chip it out of the bunker, splash it, depends. 

 

There are to many variables in golf to say you use one swing for everything, if you do, you are not optimizing your ability to play the game. 

post #18 of 18

I think the argument is lost in the symantics. To a degree my long iron swing is the same as my wedge swing, but there are differences, and lately I have been working through the same issue.

The raising up of my right side during the long iron take away creates all types of problems for me.  I believe that this poor move comes from a mental image of trying to maintain a similar take away arc and plane as I have with my short irons. 

I worked with the pro at my range on a couple of drills for shoulder turns that seem to help, with the key swing thought of trying to hit a ball three feet behind my ball during my take away.

The transition between my short irons and long continues to be the biggest struggle for me at the range, especially when I hit full shots with my wedges immediately before going through long iron drills.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Instruction and Playing Tips
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Practice Range › Instruction and Playing Tips › How are driver/long iron swings different than short iron swings