Chopping down steeply with irons
Club players have been bombarded by the instruction to hit down on their iron shots, to the extent that many overdo it. It creates a weak chopping action, when in fact a subtle descending blow is all that’s needed. Here’s how to get a better understanding of the desired attack angle.
Better by degrees
The average 7-iron attack angle on Tour is 4.3º down. To realise how subtle that is, buy an impact board and prop up its back edge with a tee an inch or so into the turf; it shows the 4 or 5˚ angle.
To flatten a steep attack, place the propped-up board six inches behind the ball. Hit 7-irons, picturing the sole of the club tracing the board’s angle into the back of the ball.
The canes illustrate the difference between the overly steep attack and the shallower one. The correct, shallower attack focuses the swing’s low point just after impact.
When we try too hard to hit down, we send the club’s energy down into the turf instead of forward into the ball. If you’re lucky enough to catch the ball cleanly you’ll generate an erratic and ineffective flight– either popping the ball up or driving it too low.