Englishman Paul Waring picks out four drills to help you hit down more on your irons and improve your ball-striking
4 Tour Pro Iron Play Drills Guaranteed To Improve Your Striking
2018 Nordea Masters winner Paul Waring offers up four simple yet superb drills to help you strike your irons better and hit more greens in regulation.
These tips were originally printed in the August issue of Golf Monthly, of which Paul Waring was the cover star.
1 Shaft plane
This simple drill using an alignment stick will instantly highlight if your shaft is on plane halfway back.
Set the stick in the ground just behind you, as I have done here, mirroring the angle of the shaft at address.
Now take the club back until your arms are parallel to the ground and check that the angle of the shaft is the same as the alignment stick, rather than being too steep or shallow.
If the angle is the same, then you know that you are in a good position.
If it’s too steep, you’ll end up getting too tucked up and you’re likely to end up taking a bit of a gouge at the ball at impact.
Too shallow and the likelihood is you’ll end up flicking at it with the hands through impact to make contact.
Related: 10 tour pro ball striking tips
2 Hide the stick
Irons are designed to be hit down on to make the ball go up, but many amateurs try to help the ball up into the air.
This drill using an alignment stick clamped to the club with your hands will show you if you’re guilty of flicking at the ball through impact – if you are, the upper part of the stick will hit the side of your body as you release the club.
You can also see clearly whether you are guilty of driving at the ball too much, rather than releasing properly – if you are, the upper part of the stick will get too far away from your body through impact.
In an ideal world, as the club comes through the ball, you should see that the club, arm and shoulder all match through impact with the stick hidden behind them
3 Miss the ball
Another way to work on trying to deliver the club to the ball on a more downward angle of attack with your irons is to set another ball down about the length of the metal part of the shaft behind the one you’re looking to hit.
Your goal then is simply to miss that second ball.
Don’t worry – you’re never going to hit it!
This is more of a visual reminder that will help to engrain the feeling of delivering the club on a downward path, rather than flicking at it or scooping it.
If you set this drill up like this, the tolerances are tight enough to work visually, but not so tight that you should ever make unwanted contact with the second ball.
Try it – it works!
4 Two tees
Here’s another drill that reinforces the need for a downward attack angle, and maybe one to progress on to after the ‘miss the ball’ drill, as we’re really into the nitty-gritty of iron striking here.
Place two tee pegs in the ground, one in front of the other.
Now put your ball on the front one.
Your goal is to leave the rear tee peg unscathed and get your divots starting beyond the front tee peg for the desired ball-then-turf contact you need.
You may just clip the front tee or drive it into the ground a little if you get it right, but your divot will start beyond that.
You can only achieve this by delivering the club on a downward angle of attack – any hint of hitting up and you’re likely to catch the rear tee peg with your club.