Thin Iron Shots: Causes And Cures

John Jacobs has some tips to help you stop thinning those thin iron shots.

thin iron shots

In this video, Alex Elliott offers some interesting advice for any golfer suffering at the hands of thin iron shots - his tips should get you back on track!

Thin iron shots video

If you are hitting thin iron shots, your first checkpoint is with your posture. While the golf swings of the best players in the world differ greatly, one thing they all have in common is a good posture at address. This lies at the heart of consistent ball striking.

Thin iron shots Henrik Stenson image

It is always useful to have an image in mind of how to stand correctly to the ball. Henrik Stenson has a perfect posture in the address position!
(Image credit: Getty Images)

One posture-related fault is when your pelvis moves towards the ball during the downswing – often it starts at the end of a long range session when you start to get tired and all too often it quickly gets grooved into your game.

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This move leads to your shoulders rising which lifts the arc of the swing and the clubface catches the ball on the equator, leading to thin iron shots.

So, to rid yourself of this, set a strong, athletic posture at address and then aim to keep the angle of your pelvis through impact.

At address push your pelvis back, as if you are pushing your backside up against a wall. This will create the room you need to swing your arms – then aim to keep this angle as stable as possible during the swing.

Chicken Wing

There are plenty of other causes for golfers hitting thin iron shots. One of the main ones is “the chicken wing".

If you watch a high level player, you’ll observe that their lead arm reaches a fully extended position as they release the club through the impact area.

Dustin Johnson release

Look at how Dustin Johnson releases the club through impact. His left elbow is fully extended in this position.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Lots of amateurs shorten or bend their arm to prevent them from hitting the ground. This is a 'saving' move that is often required because the golfer’s plane or angle of attack is too steep. If this is you, work on shallowing out your swing plane - you can do this by hitting shots from a side hill lie where the ball is above your feet.

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At the opposite end of the scale, another cause of thin iron shots is a very flat swing, where your arms are swinging too much around the body.

As a result of the arms swinging so much around, it's not physically possible to hit the bottom of the ball.

With the path being too much from the inside, the club bottoms out too soon resulting in the thin strike.

In this instance it makes sense to learn how to compress the golf ball through impact.

Hit some mid iron shots and place a tee peg in the ground just in front of the ball. Aim to strike the tee through impact and this will force you to create a slightly steeper angle of attack.