Hitting The Perfect Iron Shot

There are many instructional videos out there that explain the basic movements of hitting the perfect iron shot every time. Of course, practice is the main key, but what to practice has been the topic of debate for years. Well, I came across this video by Rick Shiels that he made in 2018 that outlines four fundamental aspects of hitting the perfect iron shot that every golfer should know. Lets take a look.

Before we take a look I want to stress that none of Shiels’ tips are mutually exclusive. To hit the perfect iron shot, all golfers have execute them to one degree or another. Here we go:

My greatest challenge when hitting irons is my tendency to creep my ball forward with my short iron. This error causes a shot to be left of my aim point and a thicker divot than expected (hitting them fatish). I know this is a swing fault and focus early at the range about ensuring that my ball position matches the iron in hand. It is easily fixed if I am paying attention.

Lastly, hitting the perfect wedge is critical to scoring low. Billy Horschel’s lob wedge drill is perfect and something I have used in the past. His ability to zero in on his yardage given a specific swing technique every time is brilliant. I actually know my distances for all four of my wedges. Do you?

With my new irons, both Shiels and Horschel’s drills will help improve my ball striking so I can hit the perfect iron shot every time. I understand that it will take a bit of practice (actually lots of practice), but it will be well worth the time spent of preparation.

What do you think about Shiels and Horschel’s views on how to hit the perfect iron shot?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!


6 thoughts on “Hitting The Perfect Iron Shot

  1. Good thoughts today Jim. We all want to strike out irons pure, it’s such a great feeling. I’d say Mr. Shiels is generally right. But a lot of ball position is a function of the type of swing. The golf swing has changed over time. The game is power now not finesse. It used to be ok to sway off the ball. Not you don’t want to sway. You used to roll your arms over to get a draw. Now hardly anyone hits a draw. They all want a slight cut / fade. They hit the ball so far with technology & fitness that control is more important than chasing distance.
    I guess hitting the little ball before the big ball is always the goal. And as Brian Penn says go see a pro and let him or her help you figure out what swing works for your body and skill level.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim, there are so many videos on golf instruction, trying to find the right one can be confusing to most players. Here’s one from Jack Nicklaus on ball position that directly contradicts Shields. https://youtu.be/bWSsIbsp3jQ Who’s right? Who knows. My advice for those who want a better iron game is to go see your pro!

    I’ve got a lesson today 🙂



    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian,

      I agree. I hope that most readers have a developed sense of their game (at least in a small part) to understand that my info is just that info. I present it so others can find out what works for them. Thanks for the video. Have fun at your lesson.

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Rick’s first tip is one I use though not exactly the ball positions he advocates. I like the ones Tiger told Anthony Kim that he used ( I read about this in an article just this morning ). Tiger said he used One ball back, center, & one ball forward. Kim, in the article said he changed ball position by how his body was reacting that day. I still check my swing before a round for where it bottoms out too. I don’t find that I really need it now, but I used to sway a lot and where I bottomed out was different every day and often changed once or twice during a round.

    I do use the technique Rick offered but there are caveats. If I’m chocking down on a club, like say my 3 iron, the ball comes back to the middle. I might bring an 8 iron to the back if I want a lower draw. And I move the ball out and in in the stance as well as forward and back. I touch inside and back promotes an inside out swing and helps draw around a corner the same as a touch forward and out promotes a draw with a 3 wood or driver. And a little forward and in forces you to come over the top to get to the ball so if you need a slice, that will help get you one. Moving the ball in and out a little helps me see the correct line I need to get club swinging on the path I want. I’m less likely to overdo a draw or a fade because I’ve kind of mapped the path out visually just by setting the ball position accordingly.


    • Kevin

      Great to hear that you such a command of your ball position. It really is important and something I struggle with from time to time. We do not have a warm up area and that makes it tough when starting my round cold. So, I have to figure out what my swing is doing in the first few holes. Sometimes it is a crap shoot, but that is my reality.

      Cheers Jim


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