3 Main Reasons You Strike Your Irons Poorly

It looks effortless when watching the top professionals strike their irons and sounds so pure as a huge divot fly’s down the fairway. But how do they do it?

Well there are lots of factors when it comes to purring your irons but I have decided to show you 3 main reasons we see golfers struggle to get this illusive strike.

1. Concept

Concept is key! If you have the wrong concept or image in your mind of how to play the shot then you are going to produce that image when it comes to the motion. We still see lots of golfers trying to help the ball in the air with their irons and when we ask them where the divot should start they often say before the golf ball and we also hear comments like “I didn’t get under that one”. This really shows that many golfers have a poor concept of what they actually need to do to play the shot successfully.  

Understand that the loft is there to produce the height on the shot, our job is to get it moving forward, hopefully towards the target.  The majority of the divot will be after the golf ball and to do this, the club head is travelling down when we strike the ball. This coupled with a centered hit is what produces that sweet sound and pure strike.

This mental image now allows you to produce a better motion and move closer to those tour pro’s!

2. “Open Club-Face”

The club-face is largely responsible for the starting direction of the golf ball, therefor has a huge influence on the rest of the golf swing. This links “faults’ 2 and 3 closely together.

 If the club-face gets “open” during the golf swing then we have to make compensations to try and square it up at Impact. This often results in a poor downswing sequence, a quiet lower body and even poor shaft lean at impact. These all contribute to the club “bottoming” out too early resulting in a poor strike.


Struggling with over the top, reverse spine, fat/thin shots or more? Come check out all the videos we have just on Swing Faults and how to correct them. 


Poor wrist angles at the top of the swing are a common one that we see among golfers. When the lead wrist gets too “cupped”, the club-face can open and the toe will hang too much down.  It becomes very difficult to create a good down swing sequence from here so it is a great “position” for you to check in the mirror or on video.

Look at creating a more “neutral” lead wrist at the top of the backswing so that the club-face at least matches the lead arm (if not slightly stronger). This alone will now give your body a reason to move without the need for compensation and makes it far easier to deliver to club to the ball with a slight downward hit.

This moves now perfectly to our final fault.

3. Hanging Back 

This is one of our most common “swing faults’ we see as coaches and it’s basically leaving too much weight on the trail leg at impact, and as we mentioned in fault 2, your club face plays a huge part in helping that weight shift.

When it comes to starting downswing, we want the body to move laterally towards the target and rotate so that at Impact the majority of weight is on the lead leg. As you can see from the image, the whole of my lead side is nicely in line. This again helps the golf club bottom out after the golf ball. If you can see daylight between the line and your body then you are considered to be “hanging back”  making it hard to get that ball-turf strike from there.

If you have any questions please post them in the comments below.




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  1. Tre

    In starting the downswing, I have a hard time with the bump and turn sequence. The transfer of my weight from back leg to front, and I find myself topping the ball or occasionally digging trenches on …

    1. Andy

      Your body has to have a reason to move and that reason is usually the club face being good. If you are having a problem shifting weight then it is either you re having to make compensations to square …

  2. Gord

    Good Morning

    Great article, explains a lot. In most of your videos you explain 2 or 3 drills to correct whatever the swing fault might be. Is it best to stick with one drill in a practice session …

    1. Andy

      Hi Gord. Thanks for the comment. From our experience it is best to focus on one drill at a time. It is however ok to work on some thing with your irons and then something totally different with your d…

  3. Mitch

    Hi Andy,

    Great tips, definitely helpful for those (like me) struggling with consistency in their irons. I’m curious, as I struggle with the last point, if there is a good drill to help stop hanging…

  4. corfio

    Hi Andy,

    And thanks for a great article!
    So the basics i usually play a draw, with a swing path of around 0,3 to 4,6 [inside to out] difference and a face around 1 closed to 3 open (give or take…

  5. purplefish


    I’m really having problems taking divots at all. I’m more kind of “picking” the ball. So I practiced a lot your bump and turn moves which gets me a more solid strike, but still without the divot…

  6. Jim

    I see that at full backswing, the hands are nearly over head high. I struggle with this as well as shifting weight to power iron shots. I have had lots of trouble with the concept of high hands, Is th…

    1. Andy

      Hi Jim. Great question. If it’s ok we will answer this in our Q&A video for you? We will be filming this next week.



  7. Kenny

    How to avoid left wrist cup?

  8. Dean

    Any good drills to stop hands turning over? Can’t get into the right position in P8

    1. Andy

      Hi Dean. Take a look in the “closed Club face” swing fault. If you are looking to stop the club from closing there will be some drills in there.



  9. Erik

    Any tips or drills to help with hanging back? I can get good contact with the ball but notice I hang back quite a bit and kind of spring up at the end of my swing, and it’s holding me back from full…

    1. Andy

      Hi Erik. Have you checked out the “hanging Back” swing fault in the video vaults. There are lots in there to help. Let me know that you find them ok and if you have any questions.



  10. Fisher

    Thanks for the help with this. Watch you guys a lot and you have helped my game a lot thanks.

    1. Andy

      Pleasure! Glad to hear we are helping.



    2. Andy

      Great. Happy to hear we are helping! Keep up the great work.