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Argh I can't hit my irons

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
For about the last two weeks, I've been completely unable to hit my irons, either on the range or on the course. My driver and 5W have been relatively good; the 5W on the range this morning was fantastically consistent off the turf. My driver was great as well. But for the life of me I can't get anything decent out of any of my irons on a full (or even 1/2 or 3/4) swing. It's killing me!

Part of my problem is ballstriking. I have a really hard time hitting ball first unless I top the heck out of it. If I don't do that, I tend to hit at least an inch fat, sometimes 4 or 5. Even the relatively good strikes don't go far; I'm not a fast swinger, but these seem to be top-spun in trajectory-- flare up and then nose-dive. I suspect I am bottoming out and hitting them on the upslope, but I don't know. When I try to hit down, I end up chunking.

Anyway, this is mostly a rant, and maybe it'll help some people out there feel better about their iron games. If anyone has some general hints for how to get out of this rut, I'd appreciate them. I know there's tons of tips and drills on here and elsewhere on the Net, but I'm kind of at a loss as to where to start.
post #2 of 17

Re: Argh I can't hit my irons

one of the biggest things you can do is your shorten your swing. On my iron swings my hands are about parallel with my hips. With that short of a swing you'll have more control about your wrists and I found it easier to hit them

Just a thought
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Re: Argh I can't hit my irons

You know, that's a great thought, Mr Shrake. I was practicing and lamenting that my full swings only went short bit farther than the half-swings. Your suggestion takes the glass-is-half-full view, which is out of character for me. I like it, though. No sense opening the door further for swing flaws if it doesn't help! Thanks!
post #4 of 17

Re: Argh I can't hit my irons

I've been suffering the same problem now for about a month. I had lost all confidence in my swing and just yesterday I took Mr. Shrakes advice before ever reading this thread and shortend my swing. It actually works and am on the road to golf happiness once more.
post #5 of 17

Re: Argh I can't hit my irons

Your long clubs are swung flatter and your body could be more upright with that. As a result, your steep swing is sort of hidden by the flatness of the swing path and your divots shallow out. But, as you get to your shorter clubs and the club head starts a steeper path than you are digging into the ground as your head is getting pulled down. A few things you may want to keep an eye on:

Do not shorten your swing. This will result in lower momentum and you will be more tempted to hit or scoop because your swing lacks power. Instead, swing like an athlete with a full swing. However, pay particular attention to not raising your head in the back swing and be sure not to lose your balance in the transition - this may require you to slow your swing. And, now that you have ensured you have not raised your head or lost your balance, ensure that your head does not dip in the downswing. If you can keep your upper body level than you will flatten out your swing and you won't dig so deep. While you're distracted by all this, be sure to keep your hip action in your transition and downswing. Before long, you will get the feel of maintaining a stable head and your ball contact will get better.

In the beginning of all this you will feel restricted as you are trying to maintain a stable upper body and you'll probably hate the feeling. After some practice you'll start to realize that the ground is no longer obstructing your path to the ball. Once this happens your new technique will feel powerful and you'll realize that you can start to swing freely and smack the ball. Then you will be very happy with this post.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

Re: Argh I can't hit my irons

Now this is interesting-- a couple suggestions to shorten the swing, and one adamantly opposing that. While I see the point you make, MeltDownZ, I'm concerned that what I've been trying so far -- namely going for clean contact with a full swing -- hasn't worked so far. If I keep in mind that I'm not going to get much distance either way, it seems like simplifying the problem a bit by swinging a bit less might offer a chance to improve contact. After all, if I can't hit cleanly with a 3/4 swing, why should I expect to be able to swing from the top?

We'll see. Obviously I want to end up with a reliable full swing, but after thinking about the responses I feel like I need to learn to make contact any way that works. Then, knowing I can make contact with a half swing or 3/4 swing, I can add more of the swing to it and know that I already have the contact down. Otherwise i feel like I'm trying to solve an awful lot of problems at once.

Thanks for the replies!
post #7 of 17

Re: Argh I can't hit my irons

My newbness precludes any intelligent advice, but makes me curious because I have the exact opposite problem.

Outside of beginner inconsistency, I can drill my irons. Straight 180 with the 5i with predictable drops in yardage as I club down. Usually take some pretty deep divots, and I'd say my ball flight trends a little low. I err on the side of hooks.

When I break out the graphite shafts... 3h,4h,3w,Driver -- Can barely hit the thing, and when I do half of the distance is slice.
post #8 of 17

Re: Argh I can't hit my irons

I hit all my irons really consistant and straight with the short swing. I only swing about 95 MPH though, so I don't know how the short swing works for you stiffers.

and I leave huge divots on most swings, but they go where I want them.
post #9 of 17

Re: Argh I can't hit my irons

visualize a circle and the bottom of the arc is where the club with make contact with the ground and the ball needs to be a few inches in front of the bottom of the arc.

When you set up to hit the ball remember any movement away from your original center or spine will cause you to hit behind the bottom of the original arc, so keep a stable base with your feet and be aware how you take your club back so that you do not sway or move but turn in a circle.

practice hitting solid wedges shot with a short backswing and slowly work up your clubs and lengthen your backswing.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 

Re: Argh I can't hit my irons

Originally Posted by ks8829 View Post
When you set up to hit the ball remember any movement away from your original center or spine will cause you to hit behind the bottom of the original arc, so keep a stable base with your feet and be aware how you take your club back so that you do not sway or move but turn in a circle.
One problem I know I have is shifting weight without swaying. Any tips?
post #11 of 17

Re: Argh I can't hit my irons

Originally Posted by zeg View Post
One problem I know I have is shifting weight without swaying. Any tips?
1) turn in a circle instead of twisting away
2) when you make the turn place two golf balls on the outside of your back foot and feel what its like to turn without swaying
3) swing your driver with your feet together and try hitting balls at the range this way, if you sway you will lose your balance
4) hold a club behind your back and turn in a circle without sway
5) when you take the club back make sure that your are taking your club on its natural circle without causing you to sway
post #12 of 17

Re: Argh I can't hit my irons

As ks8829 said. I was told today to stand with my feet together touching and take nice smooth controlled swings. Keep doing this until it is natural than slowly move your feet into position. I assumed this works with irons and woods.
post #13 of 17

Re: Argh I can't hit my irons

Zeg,

I wouldn't get hung up on short vs. long swing... that's not the key point. The point is that your swing has the classic too steep characteristic that almost all people learning the game go through. Your movement is too up and down and not forward enough. And, this almost always is a result of raising your spine angle or upper body at the top of your swing which means at some point is will snap back in a lowering action. This will also cause you to lose your balance a bit pulling you forward.

The key things to remember are to complete your back swing with arm movement - not raising your spine or tilting it toward the target. Set up tall and level with your chin up and stay that way throughout the swing. And, at setup, get the feel that you're going to actually swing into the finish - that the fastest part if the swing is AFTER impact - from the ball flying up over your left shoulder.

The classic issue with the fat swing is that you raise up at the top which means you'll get low at the bottom. Then, that is combined with a swing concept that ends at the ball instead of over the left shoulder. So the swing goes from over your head and ends in the dirt at your feet. A slower, controlled full swing gives you much more time to control your transition and get the feeling of maintaining your momentum into the finish. It's much harder to swing into the finish when your speed is developed with a quick jab of the arms vs. a slow build up starting at the top. In fact, your downswing action needs to be like pulling the string to spin a top. Long, gradual, and slow building momentum.
post #14 of 17

Re: Argh I can't hit my irons

Originally Posted by zeg View Post
For about the last two weeks, I've been completely unable to hit my irons, either on the range or on the course. My driver and 5W have been relatively good; the 5W on the range this morning was fantastically consistent off the turf. My driver was great as well. But for the life of me I can't get anything decent out of any of my irons on a full (or even 1/2 or 3/4) swing. It's killing me!

Part of my problem is ballstriking. I have a really hard time hitting ball first unless I top the heck out of it. If I don't do that, I tend to hit at least an inch fat, sometimes 4 or 5. Even the relatively good strikes don't go far; I'm not a fast swinger, but these seem to be top-spun in trajectory-- flare up and then nose-dive. I suspect I am bottoming out and hitting them on the upslope, but I don't know. When I try to hit down, I end up chunking.

Anyway, this is mostly a rant, and maybe it'll help some people out there feel better about their iron games. If anyone has some general hints for how to get out of this rut, I'd appreciate them. I know there's tons of tips and drills on here and elsewhere on the Net, but I'm kind of at a loss as to where to start.
KEEP IT SIMPLE. If your topping the ball, keep you head down, most high handicappers move there head too much. You cant hit what you cant see. Your head should stay almost completely still during your backswing

Go to youtube and type Ben Hogan Swing. You'll see what I'm talking about.

Try it, at set up, realize where your head is in relation to the ball and try to keep it there throughout your swing.

I hope this helps
post #15 of 17
I am just starting to have a similar problem

4 months ago I started hitting drives 280 yards+ with a draw
Completely out of the blue as I was a 30 handicapper
I was hitting some 3&5 woods well
Others I was duck hooking
Couldn't hit my irons at all
It only lasted 2 weeks but I managed a 97 with an 11 on one hole

3 rounds ago I started playing well but because the course was shortened
due to work being carried out the course
the scores didn't count For handicaps I had 2 rounds of 89
Last weekend I started hitting my drives long again
At least the 5 wood and hybrid we're going ok
As I couldn't hit my irons at all
I ended up with a 92

I went out on Tuesday to sort my irons out
And they got worse and worse
I have tried a lot of different swings
Sometimes I hit 2 great shots and I think I have worked it out
Then I starting hitting them sideways to the right again
Very frustrating

I will keep you posted if I get it worked out

As for moving your head
I doubt that is a problem
post #16 of 17

I tend to swing my irons now and make solid contact.

for the woods I tend to "hit" them and the ball is going further than ever.

post #17 of 17
Finally worked it out but not perfected it yet

Had a 92 again yesterday
Included a 2 shot penalty for hitting the wrong ball
Handicap now 25.5

What I found is it is all to do with the hips

With the longer clubs it seems there is plenty of time to rotate the hips
Thus squaring the club face
What I am now doing is making sure I complete my backswing with my irons
It feels like it is exaggerated but that's probably because I don't usually complete my backswing
Before starting the downswing I try and get my hips turning so they are fully
Rotated by the time I hit the ball

What I found also was that my hips were sliding forward and not rotating around
I still do this sometimes causing a slice
Nowhere near as bad as before
But I hit some nice straight iron shots yesterday
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