Hitting Irons Accurately

May 17th, 2018
VIDEO: Transcript

If you are hitting your sterling irons reasonably well from a consistency standpoint for distance but you are struggling a little bit with the accuracy, hitting a little bit left, hitting a little bit right, I’ve got some three things here that can hopefully help you with that.

So, the first thing is it’s important to check the angle on your irons. Maybe it’s just one iron or two irons that you are hitting two of them left, and then the others are okay. So, one of the first things you just do is check that lie angle, and the lie angle is this angle from the shaft or the hosel, to the bottom of the club here, and that’s super important from a club fitting standpoint. I think it’s one of the more important things because if you put this little lie angle tool on here, magnetic tool or the clubface tool, if you come into the ball, normally, if the clubface is grounding or coming through roughly squarely, the clubface is going to be pointing where you’d expect it go on impact, but if you come through a little bit upright, the clubface may appear to be still square at impact here. However, if it’s upright, the shot will actually be going to the left for a right-hander, and then on the other side, if it’s coming through a little bit too flat, clubface might look square, but it’s actually pointing out to the right. So, lie angle is something that’s really important and you should definitely check with your sterling irons if you’re struggling a little bit with accuracy. That’s one of the reasons why we fit for those and why we ask it on the fitting form on the website is because it’s such an important element. It’s one of the reasons I think why – one of the main reasons why I think that the sterling irons outperform irons that are just bought off the rack where you are just chancing whether or not the lie angle is actually going to fit you. So, how you can check that is get a ball, and then with a dry eraser marker, not a permanent marker, draw a line on the ball. This one has a little line on it already, but let me draw a line over that, and then line up that line, set it on the ground where it is vertical, and then hit a ball with it, and when you come in and you hit a ball with it, the ball flies away, you will see there will be an imprint left on the clubface here. So, ideally, if this club is coming through straight, this ball, this line is going to be basically straight up and down, but if the club is a little bit upright and the line will point out more towards the till. If the club is a little bit flat, then the line will point a little bit in more towards the shaft, and that’s something that super easy to fix. You just take it to a club fitter and literally have them bend it. We designed that sterling irons with a soft nook metal that you can have a club fitter use their little crowbar tool and bend it, and it’s really amazing what just a simple lie angle adjustment to the shot shape and you don’t have to fight the club anymore, so definitely check the lie angle. Again, the lie angle should be really, really close or really, really good for you because that’s one of the things we do with our fitting, but something to rule out if you’re struggling with accuracy.

If the lie angle is good, the next thing to check, second thing to check would be to check where you are contacting on the face. So, what you can do is you can get can of Dr. Scholl’s OdorX foot powder spray or something similar, any kind of foot powder spray, chalk spray that kids use, spray a little bit on the clubface, wipes off easily with a towel, and then when you hit balls, it leaves ball marks all around the club face, and ideally, we design the sweet spot on the sterling irons to be right in the center of the clubface, so not a little bit more towards the heel or towards the toe, right in the center there. So, you want to check your strike pattern. If you are hitting all over the face, then that could definitely be a reason that’s causing you to have some accuracy issues. Generally speaking, I won’t get into it in this particular video, but due to gear effect, mostly, you think of horizontal gear effect with it drivers and woods, and [0:05:27], but it does come into play a little bit on the irons as well, not quite as much because the center of gravity is a little bit more towards the actual clubface versus with the driver, you are moving the center of gravity back. So, generally speaking, if you hit in the center, the ball should go starting the direction you want here and if it’s more towards the toe, it’s going to cause leftward for right-handers, it can cost leftward shots, and you hit more towards the heel, it’s going to cause a more rightward shots, so that’s something that you can definitely work on at the driving range. I’ve done that, I’ve taken out an eight-iron, for example, and I pick out a target, and then I spray the clubface here, hit a few balls or hit a ball, and then all the sudden, the ball goes left, and then I felt like my swing was okay but then I noticed that the contact was a little bit out on the toe and I’m like, oh, okay, I don’t really need to change anything with my swing. The lie angle, I know is good, let me make another swing and move my contact point more towards the middle, and then lo and behold, the next one, I get a center strike, the ball goes where you expect it and not to one side or the other, and voilà. So, working with a can of this foot powder spray, it only costs a couple of bucks, but it’s a super valuable tool that you can use to kind of really dial in your contact. So, that’s going to really help your accuracy as well, is improving your consistency of your contact, and you see that with – there’s a correlation of that as you go from a high handicapper, generally speaking, their beginners are hitting all over the face to mid handicappers, they are a little bit better, to scratch players, they’re a little bit better to tool players, there even tighter, so strike, consistency of strike is something that you can definitely check and work on, and improve if you are looking to improve accuracy with your sterling irons, and then the last thing, so the first thing was an equipment thing, the second thing was a contact point, so not the technical, and then this last thing will be more of a technical swing change if you want to call it.

So, generally speaking, our golf instruction world has us start out with a clubface square, and then we take it back, and then we open the face with the toe up in the back swing, bring it back, square it up at impact, roll it back over, and then roll over to the toe over, toe up in the through swing, and when you look with this little tool, what happens when you are doing that, the clubface just goes all over the place. So, that, from a technical standpoint is something that could definitely be an issue with your accuracy. I remember when I was 27 and I was a 14 handicapper, before I turned pro, one of the things that helped get my handicap down from 14 to 10, to 5, to scratch, to a plus handicap, to professional playing level was minimizing the amount of clubface rotation through impact here. So, I remember thinking about that too when I was first on the driving range, starting on this little golf journey, I was thinking like, gosh, why do they want me to open and then close it? It’s just so hard, and then I’d just try and hit it with a little bit more of a square face-to-path is what they call it, and then lo and behold, when I started working with my first instructor, Dan [0:10:02] Austin, they also taught to me to do that too, they’re like, keep the clubface more squared out there, and once you know it, of course, you don’t hit it perfect still, but my dispersion went from like this to like this, so that means, of course, that you’re going to be hitting more greens, the greens that you do hit, the ball is going to be closer, you’re going to have more birdie opportunities, more pars, less bogies, you get the idea. So, from a technical standpoint, and don’t overthink how you have to do it, just look at the clubface and see what your body does to have to keep it square to the swing path, relatively square, and that doesn’t mean you have to have it be square 100% of the way around the swing. Most importantly, I think, is just down through here. A lot of times, when you are looking at even tour players, that the ones that are most consistently week-to-week, year-to-year more accurate are, I think in my observation, are ones that are not rooting the clubface like this all over the places, just it adds an additional complexity to the game that I think is kind of silly, personally, so if you are looking for more accuracy, that’s definitely something you want to look at or consider.

So, those are the three things to help you with more accurate direction with your sterling irons. To recap, check your lie angles, make sure those are good, they should be with your sterling irons but if there is one or two clubs that are little outliers, you might check this because sometimes, they can get banged – the clubs can get banged around in the trunk or whatever, so check, make sure it’s not the lie angle, rule that out, check your contact with some foot powder spray or some kind of spray, and really dial in your contact, practice on that on the driving range, and then watch the amount of clubface rotation, try to swing down through here with a clubface that’s a little bit more square-to-path and a more zeroed face-to-path angle, and hopefully, those three things, if you put all those together, that’s really good I hope you with accuracy. Again, it’s not going to be perfect necessarily, but maybe bring it from like this to something like this, or even this, and improve it nonetheless. So, give those things a try and hopefully, you will be hitting some more accurate shots.