David Lead­bet­ter

Com­press the ball to hit it pin-high

Golf Digest (Malaysia) - - Contents -

Groove your short irons

Any time you’ve got a 7-, 8- or 9-iron in your hands for your ap­proach shot, you’ve got a real op­por­tu­nity to knock it close. Don’t squan­der that chance with the no­tion that you have to swing un­der the ball to get it in the air. If you want to hit it the de­sired tra­jec­tory, yardage and di­rec­tion—and get it to spin when it lands so it holds the green—you need to hit down on it and com­press the ball. Here are four steps to get the most out of your short irons.

David Lead­bet­ter

op­er­ates 34 golf acad­e­mies world­wide.

1. SHIFT LEFT

▶ So many am­a­teurs try to hit the ball high by in­cor­rectly fa­vor­ing their back foot when they swing. You can help counter this ten­dency by putting more weight on your front foot at ad­dress. Have roughly 60 per­cent of your weight sup­ported by that leg.

2. LEAN IN

▶ At im­pact, you want the grip end of the club lean­ing to­ward the tar­get like you see here. Just like pre-set­ting your weight for­ward, you can lean the han­dle slightly for­ward at ad­dress to bet­ter pre­pare for the hit.

3. COVER UP

▶ An­other way to make sure you’re not hang­ing on your back foot at im­pact is to feel as if your shirt but­tons are on top of the ball at im­pact. If you cover the ball with your ster­num, you can com­press it.

4. GROOVE IT

▶ To prac­tice this down­ward strike, lay a tee on the ground a few inches be­hind the ball on your tar­get line. Hit prac­tice shots with the goal of avoid­ing the tee. Suc­ceed and you’ll pinch the ball off the turf. Re­peat this ac­tion when you play, and you’ll send the ball pin-seek­ing.

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