Dial In Your Short Irons Now

When you’re within 20 yards of the goal in American football—the Red Zone—you must score. If you don’t, your team’s offense failed.

When you’re within 40 yards of the green—8-iron, 9-iron, and wedge distance—the Scoring Zone—you also must “score.”

Put another way, you must drop the shot as close to the hole as possible, leaving you an easy putt. If you don’t, you’ve cost yourself a birdie. Obviously, the more birdies you make, the better your score and your golf handicap.

But before hitting from this distance, you must answer six critical questions. Answering them improves your chances of dropping it close significantly. In this article we’ll discuss these six critical questions and provide golf tips on how to hit them better, improving your chances of collecting more birdies.

1. How Far Do You Hit Each Club?

Dialing in your short irons is mostly about distance control. In other words, you must know exactly how far you carry each club on the course, if you want to hit it close.

Distance control is what teachers focus on in golf instruction sessions. If you don’t know how far you hit each short iron, go to the range. Practice making normal and hard swings. Get a feel for just how far you hit each club using each swing.

2. How Do You Hit Each Club?

Direction control is also vital when hitting short irons. So in addition to getting a feel for distance when practicing at the range, track your tendencies with each club. Do you draw or fade the shot? When you swing harder, do you pull or push the ball?

Find the answers to these questions on the range first, so you’re not educating yourself on the course. Keep them in mind when playing a shot within the scoring zone.

3. What Kind Of Swing Do I Make?

Some weekend golfers shorten their swings when hitting short irons. Or, they ease up. This leads to bad shots. Take your normal swing and hit through the ball in the scoring zone.

Hit them just like they teach in golf lessons. If you need more distance, don’t swing harder. Take an extra club. And don’t try to hit the ball really high. You may lose control of the shot. If you don’t hit these clubs well, take some golf lessons and practice at the range. Also consult golf tips on hitting them.

4. Where Do I Want To Hit This Shot?

Directional accuracy demands that you aim correctly. When you’re practicing with these clubs on the range, work on alignment, too. Begin every shot by standing behind the ball.

Then follow your routine. In addition, picture an imaginary line from your long distance target to an immediate one a few feet in front of the ball to the ball. Align your club to the target line and the ball. Then, align your body parallel to the imaginary line.

5. What Are Your Conditions?

The best short iron players monitor their conditions—their sate of mind and their physical condition—on every hole. Your conditions really matter.

If you’re angry or pumped up, you’ll hit the ball longer than you normal. If you’re tense or tight, you may hit it shorter.  compensate for your condition. Also, track how you hit the ball under the various conditions.

6. What Are the Playing Conditions?

Like your personal conditions, playing conditions matter as well. What type of lie do you have on the course? How firm is the green? What is the wind doing? Is the green above or below you?

The answers to these questions have a major bearing on the shot. Run through them before you hit any shot. The last thing you must do before hitting a shot in the scoring zone is remind yourself to never short-side yourself.

Never miss a shot to a spot that gives you no green to work with coming back. You want to be aggressive in the scoring zone, but be smart about it. Follow this cardinal rule and you’ll be glad you did.

Answer the questions listed above before hitting a short iron and you’ll make more birdies. Make more birdies and you’ll not only trim your scores, you’ll also cut your golf handicap by several strokes.

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