Making Solid Contact With My Irons

As per previous years, I go through a lull in my iron striking ability until I am able to correct the my errors. I have a pretty good understanding on where my challenges lie, so that will help speed up my correction curve. I am pretty confident that you most of you are saying that if I this happens every year, why not head it off at the pass. Well, the challenge is that I never know exactly when my contact woes will show up, so trying to fixing something prematurely has never worked for my game. The best I can do is be aware that my iron play challenges is coming and be prepared.

My first ‘tell’ that my iron play will need attention is where I am contacting the ground with respect to ball. This is causing my clubs to land 5 to 10 yards from my target distance. At this time I am hitting behind the ball about a half to full inch. That is an easy fix and I will focus on ball position tomorrow.

Next, my ball flight is not as high as I want in order to take advantage of the angle of attack on my approach shots. I purposely purchased my Muzino MP 20 irons for this exact reason. Not hitting the ball high enough is usually caused by not staying in my swing. I am popping out too quick and hence delofting my irons. This challenge is fixed by keeping my head still to a count of one after contact. I rarely hook or slice my irons so there is no hurry to transition to my follow through because my ball generally goes in the direction that I am aiming.

Lastly, I will transition to focusing on where my ball is making contact on the club face. This particular issue is a bit challenging because I need to go to the range to working on this particular skill. With golf just starting, my time at the range has been a grand total of zero times. That will change in the future as my season progresses.

For those who are interested on how to make solid contact with their irons, then I suggest you watch this video. It provides a very good overview of what to expect:

I expect that my iron shots will be better tomorrow now that I am focused on making solid contact with my irons. I am going to make two intentional actions: first, take a practice swing with my club to see where my club touches the ground and then set up at that point; second, I keep my head still through the entire swing motion. If I can keep these corrections at the forefront of my iron play, I am thinking that I will make solid contact moving forward.

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

10 thoughts on “Making Solid Contact With My Irons

  1. Keeping you irons sharp is a constant challenge. I have had less variation in my iron play over the last couple years and I believe that playing golf frequently with my hickory shafted clubs is responsible. They force a smooth swing tempo and being less forgiving, it trains you to focus on your setup which translates well to using modern clubs.

    A case in point was on Wednesday. I played Heron Point with hickory clubs along with three of my best friends. Even at just over 5000 yards the slope rating is 131. The green complexes are very demanding on iron approaches and focus is critical. After a shaky start, I played my irons quite well.

    After returning home and a couple hours to rest, I played nine holes on men’s night with my modern equipment. I hit all three par 3’s in regulation and several great approaches. For me at least, the hickory shafted clubs are my best swing aids and lots of fun to boot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lorne,

      I can see how hickory shafts could help keep our iron tempo smooth. When I used the hickories last year I notice that if I over swung any of the clubs, poor things happen. I can see how your use of the old technology helps your present game.

      Cheers Jim

      Like

  2. Jim, I like that you are applying simple fixes as you work to correct. You may find your fat shots are not due to ball position, but rather releasing the club a bit early. What I find helpful is to warm up my irons with three ball positions, (front, middle, back). Usually one will produce better contact as my swing changes slightly from day to day. Then I go to the ball position with the best contact when I start my round.

    Play well today!

    Brian

    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian,

      This is a great tool for determining my swing of the day. Unfortunately, my home course does not have a driving range and the net is not set up yet. Hopefully, the warm up net will be set up soon. My fix will have to happen on the course. Thanks for the tip.

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Not sure I follow when you say you’re popping out too quick and thus hitting the ball too low. To me that’s backwards. But, words don’t always express meaning the same way we mean them so I’m guessing I’m just taking your thought wrong somehow. What I will say is hitting it fat is surely not going to give us pretty tall flights for sure.

    Another thing that confuses me is your mention of looking to ball position to fix fat shots. In my mind, we should be hitting ball first whether the ball is forward, center, or back in the stance. It’s not a matter of position, but of weight transfer. Get to the left side too late, and it’s a fat shot we’ll get. Every time. I check where my practice swings bottoms out and won’t move to the ball until I think I have that weight transfer right so I can just try and recreate it because that seems the most important thing I can do to hit a good shot.

    And the last thing that seems off to me is buying blades to get higher flights. It should be the opposite generally speaking based on what I’ve picked up on the subject. We buy blades to control our flights better and they’re made to hit lower trajectories with more penetrating flights than cavity backs. But I guess that depends on what you’re moving from as well as your swing. So just because that throws me off doesn’t me I’m questioning you. It just threw up a question mark in my mind based on my acknowledged inadequate knowledge base.

    That said, I expect your irons will be better tomorrow too. Like I expect mine will be. My weight shift/turn had a timing issue today. It was an every club in the bag kind of problem. It wasn’t picky. But it also wasn’t terrible. Small misses that kept me from capitalizing, a couple pulls that made me have to scramble, two chip shots that only grabbed the top of the club face. Things like that. Close, but not quite right. So a lot of scrambling today but I at least managed to beat yesterday by a stroke. Not good enough really but a step in the right direction and considering the timing issue, acceptable. Good luck tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin,

      Thanks for the comment. To answer you questions or thoughts, all of my challenges are interconnected. By popping up too early I do not get the proper weight shift and I also hit the ball low on the club face thus delofting my clubs. I have had this challenge with the type of swing I have.

      Ball position is critical for my swing because it prevents me from reaching or tilting backwards to ensure I hit the ball. My swing is pretty much grooved and during the spring, I need to work on realigning everything.

      My Mizuno MP20 irons are not actually blades. They look like a blade variant, however they are not in the class of blades. When I was fitted, I was impressed with the numbers that allowed me to hit the ball a bit higher in order to reduce the release on the green. I can see how this aspect of my article might counter my discussion.

      As you know, finding one issue when adjusting things in our swing to produce the results expected is never easy. I chose using a practice swing (which I do not normally do) and ball position as my starting points. They have proven successful in the past and I think will help this year. It is all about follow a proven process for me.

      I enjoy discussions like these. It is helpful to have respectful interaction because I think every benefits. Thanks again for the comment.

      Cheers Jim

      Like

      • You know, I’d forgotten Mizuno makes 3 versions of the MP20 that includes a hollow body design among them. Now that makes perfect sense.

        As for finding the days ball position, I used to do similarly. I think that was a mistake at least for me. At the time I just didn’t understand what caused the problem and figured it was minor differences in posture from day to day. I’d adjust ball position to match up with where the swing bottomed out but for me, while it ganerally did the job that day it eventually led to the ball moving farther back in the stance and bigger draws until I was even getting big draws from wedges which was problematic itself so be careful. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

        Liked by 1 person

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