How To Stop Pushing Iron Shots

PGA professional Nick Drane explains how to stop pushing iron shots

PGA pro Nick Drane hitting an iron shot at Woburn
(Image credit: Tom Miles)

Golf Monthly created this content as part of a paid partnership with Titleist. The contents of this article are entirely independent and solely reflect the editorial opinion of Golf Monthly.

How to stop pushing iron shots

Getting to the root cause of an issue in your golf swing is vital if you want to see long-term improvements. That's why we've enlisted the help of Nick Drane, a PGA pro and Master Fitting Specialist at the Titleist Performance Centre, who demonstrates how to stop pushing iron shots in the video and article below.

The fundamentals within your set-up are going to help you deliver the club in the correct fashion, and therefore hit the golf ball in the right direction. For many golfers, this is where the biggest problems can be traced back to. If you are pushing your iron shots, start by taking a close look at your ball position.

Ball Position

This is normally the main cause behind pushed iron shots. What you often see with 'pushers' is the ball too far back in the stance. The problem here is that the club strikes the ball too early on its arc. The club will naturally be pointing a little right in this scenario. This can often happen to golfers who regularly play in the wind - they move the ball back in their stance to help them play the low punch shot. However, it becomes too extreme and ends up causing a push.

PGA pro Nick Drane demonstrating how not to set up to hit a golf shot

A ball position that is too far back in your stance will encourage your shoulders to aim right

(Image credit: Tom Miles)

The photograph above shows a ball position that is too far back and what that does to your shoulder alignment. You should be able to see how the shaft of the club is pointing well right of the target - the positioning of your body here is a crucial element in how to aim in golf. This explains why the ball starts out to the right in this scenario. 

Instead, set the ball a fraction left of middle in your stance. From here, your shoulders should be much better aligned and you should find it much easier to deliver the club back square to the ball at impact.

PGA pro Nick Drane demonstrating how to set up to an iron shot so you don't push it

With a mid-iron, a ball position just forward of centre is ideal and will square off your shoulders

(Image credit: Tom Miles)

With the ball positioned just left of centre, you'll find that as you come into the ball, the club is swinging more towards the target with the clubface more square to your path. The result will be a shot that starts on line and has a much more neutral ball flight.

How to check your fundamentals

Be sure to regularly check the basics like your grip, posture and alignment. It's something the best players in the world do regularly and it's not unusual to see him on the range with a couple of alignment sticks, so the rest of us have no excuse. If you don't do it, it's likely bad habits will set in.

PGA pro Nick Drane setting up to hit a golf shot with alignment sticks on the ground

Set up two alignment sticks like this to keep on top of the basics

(Image credit: Tom Miles)

This exercise I'm doing in the picture above is so simple and will ensure you have the best chance of executing a good shot. Pop one alignment stick parallel to your feet, and the other one relative to your desired ball position. Your golf swing isn't going to change, but by doing this you are making sure that your fundamentals are correct, and that's half the battle.

Michael Weston
Contributing editor

Michael has been with Golf Monthly since 2008. As a multimedia journalist, he has also worked for The Football Association, where he created content to support the men's European Championships, The FA Cup, London 2012, and FA Women's Super League. As content editor at Foremost Golf, Michael worked closely with golf's biggest equipment manufacturers, and has developed an in-depth knowledge of this side of the industry. He's now a regular contributor, covering instruction, equipment and feature content. Michael has interviewed many of the game's biggest stars, including six world number ones, and has attended and reported on many Major Championships and Ryder Cups. He's a member of Formby Golf Club.