How To Hit Your Irons Straight

Once you understand the causes of your blocked shots, these two drills will help to remedy things

How To Hit Your Irons Straight

Once you understand the causes of your blocked shots, these two drills will help to remedy things

How To Hit Your Irons Straight

Golf Monthly Top 25 coach Barney Puttick has some help for golfers who often miss their iron shots to the right...

1 Underlying causes

As with any bad shot, it is important to understand the reasons behind it before we can set about making improvements.

It may surprise you that the push actually comes from the hook family, with the path of the club approaching the ball too far from the inside and the clubface square to that path.

On a good plane, you would shallow out coming back down and then extend down the line; too far on the inside going back and good players will still shallow out but the path will be moving too much to the right.

Grip is not usually an issue with the push, but from a similar path, those with stronger grips may be more prone to a hook if they roll the wrists through impact – hence the family connection. The coloured sticks in these photos help illustrate both.

2 Loading correctly

Lack of stability at the top of the backswing is quite often the culprit – the player is unable to control the club during the transition, and it then drops down behind them and swings out to the right.

That lack of stability is often caused by the back leg locking out at the top.

They then get in their own way on the way down, leading to that block.

The locked knee is often a result of that inside path on the backswing as the knee will then have a greater tendency to lock, rather than loading correctly at the top and staying nicely flexed.

The two sequences here demonstrate good and bad in terms of position at the top and downswing path.

3 The towel drill

This is a great drill for getting you to load correctly at the top.

The position your right knee is in at address – nicely flexed – is the one you want to maintain going back.

Placing a towel, headcover or similar under the outside of your right foot will help to give you the feeling that you’re swinging back against something, which in turn should make it easier to retain knee flex in your backswing.

4 Over the stick

This is another useful drill. Put an alignment stick in the ground on the correct target line about five yards in front of you and then work on hitting the ball straight over the stick.

To do this, your arms will need to go down the line rather than out to the right, as they would in a push.

Having a visual target in front of you really helps you to focus on that. In severe cases, I’ve even asked pupils to try and start the ball left of the stick to help get their swing path back on line!


  • Lack of stability and a swing path too much from the inside are common causes
  • A towel under your right foot’s outer half will help retain knee flex
  • Try to hit over an alignment stick on the correct target line

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Shot on location at Ashdown West Golf Course, East Sussex

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Elliott Heath
Elliott Heath

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered three Open Championships on-site including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats between 3-5. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x