Six Keys To Knocking Down The Flag

Hitting great approach shots is a good way to lower your golf handicap. Short of dramatically improving your putting, hitting great approach shots is probably the fastest way of cutting strokes from your handicap. In fact, some expert’s think hitting more greens hit in regulation is the fastest way to improve your game. Whether that’s true or not, we’ll leave for others to decide.

But one thing is for sure: you can’t hurt yourself by hitting great approach shots close enough for a one-putt, or at worst, a two-putt. To do this, you must hit crisp, clean irons. Some golfers improve their approach shots by hitting shot after shot at the range, studying golf tips in newsletters, and/or taking golf lessons from their local pros. Others do it by building critical keys into their swings at six key points.

Below are six critical swing keys you need in a good iron swing

1. Feel loose at address.

You never want to feel jammed up at address when hitting irons. You also don’t want to feel as if you’re reaching for the ball. You want your arms to hang loose and perpendicular to the ground. Also, bend from the hips and straighten your back. Feel loose at address and you’ll hit crisper irons.

2. Flex your knees for balance.

Flex your knees so your shoulders are in line with your hips and your knees are in line with the balls of your feet. Doing so improves balance. I encourage students attending my golf instruction sessions to practice this setup in the mirror. Also, narrow your stance to stay on top of the ball. You don’t want to use the same stance you use for your woods. If you do, you’ll tilt too much forward.

3. Keep your left wrist flat and slightly bent

During your backswing keep your left wrist (right, for left-handers) flat or just slightly bent. Think of your left arm swinging up and through your right shoulder. That keeps you on plane during your backswing. In practice, spend some time making sure your clubface remains square at the top. When you’re square at the top, you won’t need to get handsy at impact.

4. Create lag in your downswing

You want to create as much lag as possible in your downswing, as I explained in one of my recent golf tips newsletters. You can create lag in the takeaway by stretching both arms as far as you can during your takeaway while making little wrist hinge. This creates the widest possible arc. Then, when you drop your hands to start your downswing, your arc will go from wide to narrow.

5. Keep your feet on the ground to stay in control

One thing that helps you stay in control during impact is keeping your feet on the ground. Your knees should be flexed and your legs moving but never out of control. Strive for a smooth transfer of weight from the heel of your back foot to that of your front foot and through the hitting zone. Some golfers try to push off with their back foot, but you may want to think of it as rolling your weight back to front.

6. Maintain clubhead speed into your follow-through

At impact, your clubhead is moving at great speed. Good players maintain that speed right through their impact by creating a feeling that they’re letting the club go. Don’t hold on to the club or keep your hands ahead of it. Also, in practice, make sure your right wrist is flat and your left wrist slightly bent. That says you’re releasing the clubhead down the line and chasing the ball as it moves toward the target.

Build these six keys into your swing and you’ll find yourself hitting cleaner, crisper irons. You’ll also find yourself hitting accurate approach shots, leaving you with more makeable putts. You don’t need golf lessons to tell you that more makeable putts lead to better scores. The better your scores, the more strokes you’ll shave off your golf handicap.

More here:
How To Break 80

Speak Your Mind

Affiliate Policy: Due to recent laws is considered an advertisement. has an affiliate relationship with all the products and services discussed/displayed on this site and accepts/receives compensation and/or commissions on all sales, leads and traffic made when visitors click an affiliate link. If you have any questions regarding our earning disclaimer please contact us: