If you surveyed most golfers, they will tell you that they want to play more consistent golf.
But what exactly does consistently mean?
I would define it as the golfer can control the contact, the start line and curve and the distance leading to more makeable putts and stress free golf.
As a result, the golfer would spend less time looking for golf balls, being embarrassed by the really ugly shot and eliminate short game mess ups.
The final outcome is lower scores, more fun playing golf and a journey that is worth trying to get better at. The golfer feels consistent and that he or she is getting better.
Below, I have my top 5 keys and drills to help you hit your irons consistently! We all know that the irons are clubs where we can really make up some ground if we can stick greens and make some putts.
How To Hit Your Irons Consistently
There are 5 keys to hitting your irons consistently. These include:
- Controlling the low point of the swing
- Controlling the start line of the shot
- Controlling the curve of the ball
- Having enough distance to play the course
- Knowing your average distance that you hit each iron
Key #1: Controlling the low point of the swing
It all starts with solid contact. There is nothing worse than the fat shot that goes nowhere or the thing shot that flies low and doesn’t carry far enough or goes flying over the green because you needed a lofted shot.
The goal should be to hit every shot during a round with solid contact. This starts by controlling the low point of your swing. The good news, there is a drill you can use to get better at this. The low point control is often impacted by a faulty weight shift. Either the weight gets stuck too far back or too far forward, but more times than not it is a result of getting stuck on the back leg.
The key is to ensure your pressure shifts back to the front foot and you can hit the ground with consistent impact.
Low Point Control Drill
Here the the steps to take to complete this drill:
- Paint a 2-3 yard long line with some yard paint.
- Place the wiffle ball on the line.
- The goal is to have your divot start just on the target side of your line.
- Go ahead and hit shot after shot, working on controlling your low point and your entry into the ground.
- Assess your success rate out of 20 times and write it down.
- Complete this drill daily for several weeks and see if your game improves at the course.
If you start to hit the ball poorly at any point on your golf journey, return to this drill and keep it simple.
One quick tip: if you are struggling to control your low point, go ahead and set up with 60% of your weight on your front leg. Keep your head centered without a big shift off the ball and turn more around your front leg. This will help keep your centers in place and allow you to control the low point.
Many golfers struggle with the low point because they don’t get their weight back to their front side early enough and end up casting the club.
Key #2: Controlling the start line of your shot
Once again, a real struggle in the game occurs when you have no idea where the ball is going to start. If one time you push it way right and the net time way left, you stand over the next shot confused, which leads to great confusion, a lack of commitment and more than likely a poorly executed shot.
Did you know that the golf ball will generally start in the direction that the club face is pointing at impact? This means to hit a push draw, your face should be slightly open or to the right of the target line. This will help you start the ball right and hit a slight draw back towards the target.
The goal is to have your start line be just to the left or right of the final destination. This will help you eventually curve the ball towards the target and give the greatest margin for error and the greatest probability for a high quality shot.
Stock Shot Drill
- Set up an alignment stick 6-8 yards down your target line in front of the ball.
- If you have one, set up a second alignment stick 2-4 feet right of that target line
- Go ahead and see how many swings out of 10 you can get the ball to start to the right of the first of the alignment stick. The goal here is to progress to 7 out of 10.
- Practice this drill everytime you hit golf balls.
The key to golf is being able to control your contact and your start line.
Could you imagine a round of golf where you strike the ball solid and 7 times out of 10 the ball starts down your intended target line? This is the ultimate in golf and helps you start to focus on your course management.
You will gain confidence and the consistency that we all seek!
Resource: Hitting long irons vs short irons
Key #3: Controlling the curve of your ball
Once you get the ball started down the right line, the next goal is to control the curve or the spin of the ball. A ball that starts right of the target and fades will curve away from the target. The opposite is the shot that starts left and curves left, which is also away from the target.
The goal in the stock shot drill is to create a shot that starts one side of the target and curves towards the target, ideally without over-curving past the target.
The curve of the ball is based on the ball flight laws that have been discussed at great length over the past decade.
The general knowledge you need is that the ball will start in the direction the clubface is facing at impact. The ball will then curve away from the path. For example if your club face is 2 degrees open and the swing path is 4 degrees to the right, the ball wil curve away from the path and towards the target.
Or if your club face is two degrees closed with a path 4 degrees left, you will hit a slight pull fade that curves back towards the target.
The problem becomes when you have a face that is 4 degrees open and a swing path is only 2 degrees to the right. This will result in a push fade and the ball will curve away from the target, unless you set up aiming a decent amount to the left
The bottom line is to understand the basics of where the ball will start and how it will curve away from the swing path.
Here, I have a full post on the Ball Flight Laws to help you grow your understanding!
Resource: How to hit your irons pure!
Key #4: Having enough distance to play the course
While we all don’t need to hit long drives like Bryson or Phil, we should have enough speed to make the game fun. Golf can be a struggle if you are hitting a 7 iron from 100 yards. The great news is that you can improve your club head speed to lead to great consistency with your irons.
OverSpeed Training Drill
I believe many used to believe, well this is just how fast I can swing.
Recent training tools have started to change many minds. We have seen many of the professional golfers get longer and longer with their tee shots as a result of additional swing speed. You will find many touring pros using the SuperSpeed System, which I highly recommend.
Resource: How to hit your irons further!
SuperSpeed Golf is one option to increase your swing speed through a science based overspeed training approach. In simple terms, you train by swinging a lighter club (20%) faster than you swing your driver. Over time, by training at a higher speed, your mind and body feel safe to swing that fast with your normal driver, resulting in an increase in driver swing speed.
The SuperSpeed System provides 3 different weighted sticks and takes the golfer through a training protocol every other day for about 15 minutes. The golfer can expect to see a 5-8% increase in swing speed, resulting in 20-30 yards for most golfers. The great news is that the 5-8% can be expected as early as the first training session. The additional speed will become more permanent after about 30-60 days of training.
My own experience has been an increase of 7-10 miles per hour on average from between 98-101 all the way up to 106-109. My goal is to hit the PGA Tour average of 113 mph in the coming months. I will continue to train every other day and watch in amazement as I am hitting drivers longer now than ever before!
Phil Mickelson has been known to increase his swing speed in the past year or so and is close to 120 miles per hour in his swing speed. There are potential results for golfers of all ability levels and age!
|Original Swing Speed||After 4-6 Weeks||New Carry Distance||Total Distance|
Key #5: Knowing your average distance that you hit each iron
If you hit a driver 260 yards when you only expected to hit is 240 yards, you are often pleasantly surprised. If you are standing ove a 7 iron, expecting it to fly 150 yards and you hit 165 yards, you will often be in trouble on your next shot.
Having an understanding of how far you hit each club is essential to consistency with the irons.
The goal should be to hit the irons the same distance with a similar swing on every shot. Of course, there will be times when you have to adjust to a 70, 80 or 90% swing to control your distance or the height of the shot.
I would highly recommend creating a yardage chart like this one below.
|Club||Carry Distance (100%)||90%||80%|
|2 Utility Iron||210|
I was able to create my swing distance chart by using my SkyTrak Launch Monitor. I would recommend this amazing device to any golfer that wants to improve their game.
These portable devices can be used at the driving range, golf course or set up in your home net or golf simulator. These devices are game changers not only on being able to map your bag and know your distances, but they also provide quality feedback after on every shot and provide the following information:
- Carry Distance
- Spin Rate
- Launch Angle
- Spin Axis
- Total Distance
- Ball Speed
This information will help you map your bag, decide on which clubs are best for your game, develop a stock shot and much more. I love using my SkyTrak 365 days a year in my golf simulator setup.
The process for mapping your bag can looking something like this:
- Hit 5 shots with each club in your bag.
- Log the carry distance and total distance for each shot.
- Eliminate any outlier numbers (poor hits or low spin rates).
- Take the average and create a map of your bag.
If you visit any PGA Tour event you will see plenty of golfers utilizing their launch monitors. While most can’t afford a Trackman, there are some very affordable options in the 500-2000 dollar range. I own the SkyTrak and I think the world of it.
Here are the top 3 options to check out:
Resource: Should I use a Rangefinder?
Final Thoughts: Hitting Your Irons Consistently
The bottom line is that if you hit you irons solid, on the target line with the proper curve you are off to a great start and can shoot some amazing scores. If you have enough distance to over power the course or just adequate distance and know how far you fly your irons, you can get to some pretty high levels in this wonderful game.
Here is a quick reference chart of what it takes to be a scratch golfer:
|Greens in Regulation||67%|
|Putts Per Hole||1.67|
|Average Driving Distance||251|
As you can see, the best amateur golfers who are scratch players hit 67% of the greens in regulation. Often this is a result of keeping the ball in play with the driver and then having a sharp iron game.
However, don’t overlook the importance in the short game for true consistency from round to round. The short game is like playing good defense in basketball. You can do it every round with enough practice, while your swing is like offense and it might be a bit off from round to round or game to game.
Practice that short game!
Resource: 22 Practice Games!
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.
4 – Practice Frequently
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.