setup + stroke
9-iron and 8-iron to see how far the ball carries and rolls using a stroke of the same length and speed.You can experiment with other clubs, too, but I’ve found sticking to these three brings about the most consistency.
Start by aiming the clubface at the small target where you want the ball to land. Remember, you have to read the green like a putt.That means if there is a slope, you might be playing the shot away from the cup. Now hold the club with medium grip pressure with its heel just off the ground (small photo, below).That’s really important to ensuring the club glides along the turf instead of digging into it.
You’ll notice the shaft is nearly vertical, with the handle leaning slightly towards the target and your weight favouring the left foot.Your arms should be relaxed, slightly bent and aligned parallel to the target. Ball position normally is just right of centre in your stance, although you can alter it slightly as you experiment with how that changes the amount of carry and roll.
The stroke is as simple as it gets. It’s like a putting motion – the shoulders and arms do most of the work, and there’s no wristy movements. Focus on swinging the club with the same rhythm and force.The handle of the club should be swung no further than the distance between your thighs. It’s a short swing equal in length on the backswing and follow-through.
The stroke should be aggressive or slightly accelerated, and always hold your finish to ensure a steady pace. If you’re struggling with that, say any two-word phrase with the first word coming on the backswing and the second word on the follow-through. A suggestion? Tick-Tock. Even better? Great-Chip or Hole-Out. I think you get the idea.