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Fore!

HeirHeir Registered User regular
edited September 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
So I used to golf a bunch as a kid. Got to college, sold my clubs and didn't play for 12 years.

Well I bought some clubs off of craiglist. Have gone to the driving range a few times and I've been pleasantly surprised that I can still hit it halfway ok. At least with a driver I can.

When it comes to irons, I get no loft whatsoever. I feel like my swing isn't too bad, and the ball goes somewhat far (~100-150yards on my 3 iron). However, again, I get no loft whatsoever. I see the guys around me hitting, and it seems like with no effort they are able to hit it farther and higher. I feel like I have to swing super hard to match their distances.

So I guess the question is, how do I get some height to my hits? I try and hit with the ball in the middle of my stance. Should I get it farther in front? I usually hit the ground directly in front of the ball...should I be hitting the ball more while the club head is still going down instead of up?

Any tips you guys might have I'd appreciate. Thanks!

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Posts

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Are you hitting with an old-school set of irons? Don't go comparing yourself to the other folks around you. Club design has changed so drastically in the last few years that it's apples and oranges. If your clubs are 15+ years old, the face design is going to be very specific, and you're going to have to hit your shots perfectly to get the same shots as the other guys. Their heads are designed to compensate for them, no matter where on the face they end up smacking the ball.

    "Well, look at this. Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What's that make us?"
    "Big Damn Heroes, Sir."
    "Ain't we just."
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Ball position: address the ball more forward in stance for longer irons, towards the center for shorter irons.

    Stance: wider for longer irons, narrower for shorter irons.

    Swing: drivers and woods require more of a sweep, you should be swinging more "down" on the ball for irons, particularly the shorter irons.

    I try to strike "under" the ball, but no scooping.

    You can loft or deloft to club by addressing the ball more forward or back in your stance, but I'd focus on addressing the ball more nuetrally until you feel like your striking has improved.

    Spend at least half of your range balls on short irons and wedges.

    Keep it simple.



    *Edit: Less prescriptive, but...

    I've noticed when I start shanking the ball I'm either thinking too much about what I'm doing or my grip has gotten too tight. They say you're supposed to grip the stick the way you'd hold a bird. Aviary handling not being one of my pasttimes, I've no idea what that means. I've decided it's similar to holding a fishing pole waiting for a strike.

    When getting frustrated on the practice range, change it up. Switch to another club (5 iron giving you trouble? Pick up the 9 or the pitching wedge and hit a couple solid to get your confidence back up). Sometimes I: leave the ball; walk a half dozen steps back; walk back up to the ball; reset my grip; re-address and then rip it. When you stand at address adjusting shit for 2 minutes you build up a lot of tension.

    Djeet on
  • HeirHeir Registered User regular
    Darkewolfe wrote:
    Are you hitting with an old-school set of irons? Don't go comparing yourself to the other folks around you. Club design has changed so drastically in the last few years that it's apples and oranges. If your clubs are 15+ years old, the face design is going to be very specific, and you're going to have to hit your shots perfectly to get the same shots as the other guys. Their heads are designed to compensate for them, no matter where on the face they end up smacking the ball.

    These clubs are maybe 5 years old, so I doubt that's the issue.
    Djeet wrote:
    Ball position: address the ball more forward in stance for longer irons, towards the center for shorter irons.

    Stance: wider for longer irons, narrower for shorter irons.

    Swing: drivers and woods require more of a sweep, you should be swinging more "down" on the ball for irons, particularly the shorter irons.

    I try to strike "under" the ball, but no scooping.

    You can loft or deloft to club by addressing the ball more forward or back in your stance, but I'd focus on addressing the ball more nuetrally until you feel like your striking has improved.

    Spend at least half of your range balls on short irons and wedges.

    Keep it simple.

    Thanks for this. I'll play around with it some tonight when I get to the range.

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  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Also, that distance and amount of distance dispersion (50 yard gap should cover 3-4 clubs) on a 3-iron points towards a wildly inconsistent swing. You're doing the right thing by getting out and practicing (I really need to get out this weekend at some point...), though.

    Make sure to keep your head down (so you don't raise up and top the ball) and try to hit the ball more on your downstroke. Are there any irons that you feel you hit well? Long irons are notoriously hard to hit well (this is why you see a lot of players switching to "hybrid" clubs for their long irons - my current set actually has hybrids down to the 5 iron, which may be a bit much).

    For your drives, set the ball up just inside your front foot. Long irons should be forward some. Your middle irons (5,6,7) should be set up in the middle and your short irons/wedges should be set up closer to your back foot.

    a5ehren on
  • DemerdarDemerdar Registered User regular
    Before you even touch your 3 iron again, make sure you feel comfortable hitting your 7 and 8 iron, they are your most used irons and should be practiced with always.

    Here are a few tips on hitting irons:

    Hit "down" on the ball. I know this might seem counter-intuitive but you get loft by pinching the ball between the ground and your club face, in which the grooves will allow the ball to travel up the clubface and into the air. This creates backspin and lofts the ball. At the end of your swing, ideally there should be a nice little divot in front of where the ball was (not BEHIND the ball!).

    Don't swing too hard. You want to keep a nice relaxed grip.

    These are just some preliminary tips, its very hard to instruct someone over the internet. My advice, ultimately, would be to pay a pro at the driving range for a lesson so they can teach you the basics. Sure, it might be 80 bucks or something, but it is definitely worth it just to hear some constructive feedback from somebody who has had their tour card.

    parabol
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  • HeirHeir Registered User regular
    Thanks guys. I've definitely been thinking of taking lessons...it's just been so long.


    I tend to hit the best with a 6 or 7 iron. Make sense from what you've said.

    @Demerdar, I never thought about it as hitting "down" on the ball...but I get what you mean. Doing a little googling seems to indicate the same thing. I'll try that tonight. Thanks.

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  • HeirHeir Registered User regular
    Went through two big buckets of balls and almost entirely hit just on my 9 and 7 irons. I got a good process in place where I put three balls in a line and would hit them one after another. I could use the divets left compared to the rest of the balls to see exactly how far ahead or behind the ball I was hitting the ground.

    I also just did half swings, but amazingly with the 9 iron I would still hit around 100 yards at points. Had a lot more loft too.

    However, everytime I tried to move back to a full swing, I usually screwed up. I have a feeling part of the problem is I was getting too excited and trying to really power the swing. Should have tried my best to keep an easy swing.

    For my last 10 balls I switched to my 5 iron just to see how it would go. I set my stance a little wider, and positioned the ball closer to the middle of my stance. Unfortunately I hit like crap. Never could get any air. In fact, after hitting so many shots with a 9 and 7, the 5 felt huge and unwieldy. Not sure what I was doing wrong, but it was time to go.

    Ah well, I felt like I got some improvement with my higher irons at least.

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