Alex Elliott’s video tip for how to stop pushing your iron shots is a great one to try and it will really help you focus on your clubface at impact. However, to make this article as comprehensive as possible and cover a number of likely reasons you could be pushing iron shots, we have also included the tips below. These come from Golf Monthly Top 25 Coach Andrew Reynolds and his simple 4 point checklist is a great way to make sure you stop pushing iron shots.
1) Set-up is key
A pushed iron shot starts right of target, stays on that line and ends up missing to the right. Most of the causes lie in the set-up before you even start your swing. The ball-to-target line – represented by the white stick closest to the clubhead – is the line straight to the target along which you’re trying to hit the ball, but people often set up with their body and feet pointing right of that target line, which generates the in-to-out swing path that starts the ball on a straight line right of target, where it then stays. To find out if this is a problem for you, take a video of your swing while you practice and check your address position. If your body is pointing too far right, the good news is that a simple re-alignment will resolve the issue.
2) Parallel or perpendicular
What we’re looking for at set-up is for everything to run either parallel to our ball-to-target line or at right angles to it. Toe, knees, hips and shoulders should all be parallel to the ball-to-target line, and the clubface perpendicular to it. If you get it right at set-up, your club should be broadly parallel to your ball-to-target line halfway back.
Then, as you continue to the point where the club is pointing at the sky, the butt of the club should be pointing down behind the ball. You are then in plane and in an ideal position to deliver the club squarely to the ball.
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3) Ball and hand position
If we move to the square-on view we’ll find another couple of causes of the pushed shot, firstly ball position. Take care that the ball doesn’t get too far back in your stance as, again, that can promote the in-to-out swing that pushes your ball off to the right, unless you can ‘save it’ with the hands, which requires good timing and is very hard to repeat.
With a 7-iron, for example, ball position should be just ahead of centre. Hand position is another thing to watch out for. Take care that your hands don’t stray too far in front of the clubface as the pronounced shaft lean this generates makes it difficult to square the club through impact, again leading to a push. This is something players do to help them find a better angle of attack with their irons but if this shaft lean becomes too pronounced you’ll have a tendency to hit pushes.
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4) Beware the lower-half slide
Finally, one of the big things to think about as you make your swing is to not let your lower half slide too much to the left through impact as that will leave the clubhead trailing behind and see the ball heading right of target. Instead, keep your body fairly central through impact just as it was at address. Rotate around your body around your lead hip and don’t let your left knee (for right handers) flex too much through the ball. Get all these things right, and you should stop pushing iron shots