How To Hit Your Irons Straight

How to hit your irons straight with these two simple practice drills

How To Hit Your Irons Straight

How To Hit Your Irons Straight

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. So if you want to stop pushing the ball, it's worth knowing how to fix a hook.

Likewise, if you pull iron shots, this comes from the same family as the slice. In this case it might well be that you are cutting across the ball or your swing is coming over the top. Either way, identifying the problematic ball flight is the start of the process.

Grip Check

If you are looking to hit straighter iron shots, you will need a sound golf grip. In particular, take a look at the 'v' between the thumb and forefinger of your right hand. It should be pointing towards your right shoulder. If it is pointing at your chip, your grip is weak and you'll open the face at impact, hitting pushes. If it is strong, it will point right of your right shoulder and you'll hit pulls. 

Grip check

(Image credit: Kenny Smith)

Over the stick drill

Lay an alignment stick on 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) or in to the left (as they would for a pull).

Barney Puttick
Top 50 Coach

Location: Mid Herts Golf Club

Barney turned professional in 1979 and gained the Assistant Professional position at Dyrham Park Golf Club. He played full time before becoming Head Professional at Ramsey Golf Club in 1987. He can now be found teaching at Mid Herts Golf Club. Barney's favourite golfing memory is tying Greg Norman for third place in a 36-hole tournament in Cannes.

Teaching philosophy:

My goal with every student is to work with the player and what they possess rather than impose a prescriptive style for everyone. The key, for me, is improving players' fundamentals and their impact factors, and setting of that all important chain of events of one good move leading to another. 

Typical lesson:

Technology makes it possible for everyone to see their swing and get their numbers. My job is to unravel them and give the player a positive set of ideas to take away after the session. Using swing drills and drawing sporting comparisons to the swing - for example, throwing a ball - the player can improve quite quickly once they put these into practice. 

Significant influences:

I was fortunate to spend my formative years working for Ian Connelly, Nick Faldo's early mentor. He instilled in me the love of the art form that is coaching, and I still use some of his ideas to this day. Latterly, I enjoyed Bobby Clampett's ideas on the swing, as he was a phenomenal player with a quirky action. His ideas on impact have aligned to my teaching. I have also been blessed to spend time with Mike Bender, Zach Johnson's long time coach.