DAVID LEAD­BET­TER

Boost tra­jec­tory with your irons.

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents -

Although they might serve you well on a golf trip to Ire­land or Scotland, where a lot of times you can chase the ball onto the green, those low, and of­ten thin, iron shots are prob­a­bly cost­ing you strokes else­where.There are just too many holes where you’re asked to carry the ball all the way onto the green and then get it to stop on a firm putting sur­face.To get the ball to fly higher and land softer, you need to hit your iron shots more in the cen­tre of the face, not a groove or two – or five! – lower.

One rea­son am­a­teurs tend to hit irons too low is that they nar­row their swing ra­dius, taking the club back by let­ting the lead arm (left arm for right-han­ders) bend too much. It doesn’t have to be locked, but it should main­tain a fairly straight ap­pear­ance all the way to the top.When it bends sig­nif­i­cantly, you’ll have to make a su­per-fast ad­just­ment in the down­swing to get the swing ra­dius back to the length it was at ad­dress. Main­tain­ing the width from ad­dress to im­pact is the eas­i­est and most con­sis­tent way to hit the ball in the mid­dle of the club­face and get it to launch higher.

A great way to keep the left arm from col­laps­ing is by ac­tu­ally fo­cus­ing on the right arm as you take the club back. Push the life­line of your right hand into the thumb of the left hand, and keep push­ing away from your body as you swing all the way to the top. Es­sen­tially, you’re straight­en­ing your right arm to pre­vent the left arm from bend­ing. Do­ing this will keep the club mov­ing on a wide arc and put it in po­si­tion to ap­proach the ball on a shal­lower path, which in­creases your chance of hit­ting the ball in the sweet spot and let­ting the club’s ac­tual loft give you a hig­h­and-soft shot. —with ron kaspriske david lead­bet­ter, a Golf Di­gest Teach­ing Pro­fes­sional, runs 32 academies world­wide.

“Wider swings pro­duce higher shots.”

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