Golf can be a confusing game. Chances are your head is filled with a lot of different confusing swing thoughts as your search for the keys to your golf swing. Overall, golf can be a wonderful game and many of us just want to play more consistently.
The more I play this game, the more I realize the importance of keeping the swing thoughts very simple and working through an athletic motion.
With a 6 iron, you might be facing that 160-185 yard shot and you start to lose confidence in your ball contact, which way the ball will curve and if you have enough swing speed to get the ball to the green.
As a result, you swing extra hard and sacrifice ball contact and leave that shot frustrated. As soon as many golfers get outside of 150 yards, the level of confidence decreases and the level of fear increases. We hope to provide the 5 keys below, followed by a tip for each of the keys to become better with your 6 iron and hopefully all of your irons.
The 5 tips below can help you with any club in your bag. I do not believe that you need to adjust your swing from club to club. While there may be some slight adjustments to setup and ball positions, overall you want to make a similar golf swing motion with every club in your bag outside of the putter.
How to hit a 6 iron?
There are 5 keys to hitting a 6 iron. They include:
- Have a small specific target.
- Strike the ground in the same place consistently.
- Control the curvature of the ball.
- Swing with decent speed.
- Be strategic in your game management.
Key #1 – Have A Small Specific Target
One of my favorite quotes that I have heard numerous times recently is to “swing aggressively at a small or specific target”. Small targets result in small misses. Many times we can be too focused on ball contact instead of making a natural, athletic motion by throwing our clubs and our hands towards the target.
The swing that ends up being a manipulated swing because you are trying to control every little part of your swing and every part of the ball flight will result in miserable results and a miserable 4 hours on the course. What if I told you that we are gravity geniuses and by picking out a target both in the distance and an intermediate target and making a more natural movement at the ball that you could golf better?
We all need to stop trying to control everything in our swing and instead let it go and allow the body and mind to take over, but this all starts with the target in mind. Let me introduce you to a Shawn Clement video that talks about gaining control by giving up control.
Tip #1: Have A Small Specific Target
Focus on the target and give up control to actually gain control. It all starts with having a specific target and focusing on that target during the swing. Stop thinking about the positions of your hands, your shoulders or your head. Instead make a more natural and athletic motion, allowing gravity to assist and get the joy back into your game.
One of the worst things that has happened to golfers over the years is all of the pictures in golf magazines about different positions that players are in. We need to stop trying to get into all of these positions and instead pick a specific target and make a natural, athletic motion down the line where we want the ball to start.
Key #2 – Strike the Ground in the Same Place Consistently
Did you know that the number one difference between a high handicap player and a lower handicap player is the ability to control where the club hits the ground.
The higher handicap player is going to have a wide variation of where the club strikes the ground. Sometimes this can be up to 5-6 inches behind the ball or maybe even over the ball and never strike the ground at all.
This is all a result of the same thing…the inability to consistently get enough weight forward onto the front foot. When the weight stays back too far, you either hit into the ground or swing above the ball. Both misses are the result of the lack of control over the weight shift or having enough weight on the forward side.
This becomes essential with an iron, but especially the 6 iron as the irons start to get longer.
Tip #2: Controlling the Bottom of the Swing Through Weight on Front Foot
I would highly recommend playing 70% of the weight on the front foot and taking half to three quarter swings until you can learn to strike the ground at the same spot 90% of the time.
I would recommend taking some basic yard pain and painting a line and see if you can strike the ground consistently just on the front side or target side of that line. If you struggle with this, you weight may be too far back and you need to make an adjustment.
Here is Stack and Tilt expert Mike Bennet showing and discussing the importance of this key and the drill that he utilities.
If this is your biggest issue with your irons I would recommend checking out Tom Saguto in our post here on what he can bring to you game.
Key #3 – Control the curvature of the ball
I know that you might be thinking, you want me to control the ball and I am a 20 handicap player? I think golfers of all handicap levels should have a basic understanding of ball flight laws and the basics to work the ball both ways.
Did you know that the hardest shot to hit in golf is the perfectly straight shot? Matching up your club face with your swing path on every swing is near impossible. Instead what if you were always within a range and could play a consistent draw or fade or maybe even both depending on what the course and shot calls for. It is never too early to understand
Here is a brief explanation of ball flight laws:
For years, the golfing world was confused on what the ball flight laws were. The old way of thinking is that the ball started in the direction of the path and then curved relative to the clubface.
However, the reality and what actually takes place is that the ball will start where the club face is pointing at impact and then will curve relative to the swing path. Here are the two basics that you need to remember:
- The ball will start where the club face is pointing at impact.
- The ball will then curve relative to the swing path direction.
As a result of these ball flight laws a slice can occur with an open or closed club face. A draw can also be hit with an open or closed club face. The club face will impact where the ball starts and then curve relative to the path. Here are a couple of examples to help you better understand.
Example 1: Traditional Pull Slice
With the traditional pull slice, a shot hit by many high handicap players, the ball will start left of the target line and then curve to the left. This means the clubface is closed relative to the target line. Let’s say the club face is 3 degrees closed. Then let’s say that the path is 6 degrees left of the target line. We have the following:
- Clubface: 3 degrees closed
- Swing Path: 6 degrees left
This means the ball will start left and then curve away from the swing path resulting in a fade or a slice.
Example 2: Traditional Push Draw
THe shot that many golfers desire to hit is the push draw. I know growing up, I would watch all of the good golfers at my golf course and see them hitting a draw that would start to the right and curve back towards the target. Here are the numbers on a push draw and n example.
- Clubface: 2 degree open
- Swing Path: 3 degrees to the right
This means the ball will start to the right and then curve away from the path, resulting in a slight push draw. In this example if the clubface was 1 more degree open at 3 degrees open and and match the swing path the shot would be slight push to the right.
Example 3: The Pull Shot
So now that you are getting the idea of the ball flight laws, let’s show what would cause the pull shot.
- Clubface: 5 degrees closed
- Swing Path: 5 degrees closed or to the left
With these numbers the ball would start left and stay left. Since the face and the path are matched up. If the path were one degree left or right the ball would draw or fade.
How that we have an understanding of the new ball flight laws let’s get into the causes of the over the top issues that often produce examples 1 and 3 above.
Tip #3 – Control the Curve of the ball in your setup
The old teaching of making sure everything is aligned perfectly straight along the railroad lines type of imagery I think can be misleading and hurtful to golfers. The person I agree with the most on the ability to see the target and then work the ball both ways is Shawn Clement.
He keeps the advice really simple and it is very doable whether your handicap is 25 or 5. Stop trying to hit the perfectly straight flying ball. Instead work the ball towards the pin At 2:10 in the video below Shawn talks about stop trying to hit straight shots. Shawn Clement can help your game, check out this video below:
Key #4 – Swing with decent speed
The reality of the golf swing is that we must generate enough swing speed to hit the ball the desired distance. Distance has taken over the game and it is now vital to the success of the touring pros. If you are an average aged man, you need to be hitting your 6 iron over 150 yards and hopefully, closer to 160-180 yards.
The speed is in you, we just must find a way to train for additional speed and maximize your speed in the right places. Have you ever actually tried to train to swing faster. Have you ever checked out the protocols by SuperSpeed Golf?
Their approach is one based on over speed training to train the mind and the body to swing faster. Did you know that your mind will only allow your body to swing as fast as it feels safe and that you can stop at? This means if your body feels unsafe stopping or braking in your swing, you will be limited by your brain.
Sound confusing? Don’t worry, just make sure you check out the SuperSpeed System here. If you would like a 10% discount make sure you use discount code Golfjourey365.
I purchased this system and have experienced swing speed increase.
Tip #4 – Swing Faster
Not only will this help with your 6 irons, but it will help throughout your entire bag. The training protocols only take 8-10 minutes and you only do the protocols 3 days a week. You get three different swing training clubs with your purchase.
They are color coded based on weight with the Green club being 20% lighter than your driver, the Blue club being 10% lighter and the Red club being 5% heavier. On average people experience a 5-8% increase in their first training session. Below is a sample of the protocol #1
Key #5 – Be strategic in your game management.
THe key with the majority of the clubs is playing to the bigger portions of the greens. If you can aim for the bigger portions and then try to work the ball towards the flag you will have an advantage over your playing partners.
This goes back to key #3 of being able to control the curvature of your golf ball. This helps widen fairways and makes your greens in regulation hit increase. This will give you greater confidence over the 6 iron when you stand there in fear. Instead replace that fear with the confidence that you will strike the ball solid, with enough swing speed and that you have control over the curvature of your ball.
If this sounds difficult, it can be achieved. It will take some practice time, but following Shawn Clement in his approach can help you get there quicker.
Tip #5 – Think about your course strategy
The guides I have created on getting your game to the next level spend a significant amount of time on course management. Make sure to check out what level you are trying to get to.
Golf Sidekick is amazing on his youtube channel of providing advice on course strategy. He is worth checking out. Here is my favorite video that he has produced on Super Stress Free Golf
Take Action – What You Can Do Today to Get Better
What does this mean for you? I believe in the following recipe to get better:
1 – Improve your motion in the golf swing by identifying a golf instructor. Here are some options:
Here is a list of golf instructors that we have reviewed:
2 – Train to swing faster and improve your swing speed. Here are some options:
Looking to gain more Speed and Distance in your swing. Two Options:
3 – Understand course strategy and work to break through your next barrier. Here is a series on breaking through:
We have provided guides on how to break 100, 90, 80 and 70. Check out more below, if interested.
Did you know that I build a golf simulator in my garage and have played over 500 rounds of golf on my SkyTrak system? It has been a game changer and one worth checking out. Here are some of my other posts on golf simulators frequently asked questions:
- Is a Golf Simulator Worth It?
- How to Build a Golf Simulator?
- What is the Best Golf Simulator?
- Golf Simulator Accessories?
- How to Build a Golf Simulator for under $7000
- Top 11 Reasons to Buy a SkyTrak
- How to Build a Golf Simulator for Under $1000
- Why Build A Golf Simulator?
- What Space is Needed?
- Can A Golf Simulator Improve My Game?
- How Much Does A Golf Simulator Cost?
- Don’t Forget to Check out our 15 best golf swings of all time.