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Pro Tip of the Week: Iron Swing vs. Driver Swing

It would be nice if one swing would work fine for every shot. Certainly, every swing has elements that are similar or even exactly the same, but if you are going to drive the ball well and hit your irons well you are going to have to make adjustments. The key factor here is that with an iron the ball is on the ground (if you’re on a par 3 and can use a tee you should still tee it up low enough to simulate a very good lie in the fairway) while the driver is teed about halfway above the top of the face of the driver, a good inch and a half off the ground. To feel a solid iron shot you must be able to lean the shaft forward at impact and deliver a descending blow. The angle of descent decrease as the club loses loft (you hit down the least on a 3 wood), but it is important to note that you still should try to hit down on fairway woods and hybrids enough to brush the ground after the ball is struck. To lean the shaft forward at impact your weight must be heavy on your left leg (maybe 80-90% at contact) while your head remains in place no more forward than where it started. Make sure to play the ball just forward of the center of your stance, and you can inch it forward with the less lofted clubs. The driver is a different animal altogether. While the grip, posture, balance and swing sequence is the same as the iron, the driver must be played more forward in the stance (off the inside edge of the left heel is an easy way to remember) and the stance must be your widest. This combination puts the center of your body way further behind the ball than an iron set up, allowing you to return the club to the ball without any forward lean, thus utilizing the full loft of the club. The driver head works best when it is level with the ground as it approaches the ball, or on the rise. Your weight will not shift as heavily into the left leg as you hit the ball, and it should feel like your arms are being tossed away from your center in the follow through. At address it is OK to favor the right side a bit with your weight, but you don’t want to overdo that.

3 Responses to Pro Tip of the Week: Iron Swing vs. Driver Swing

  1. Christian March 9, 2017 at 5:20 pm #

    In my opinion I think it takes extra effort to keep the right hand grip on top/the same as the iron. Why? Because your hands are the farthest forward at address with the driver. It takes extra effort to keep my right hand from getting too strong. Just sayin”

  2. Chuck March 10, 2017 at 10:54 am #

    Hey Christian, I think you may be onto something with that. When I was hitting balls recently I noticed my club face with the driver was a little closed at the top but my left wrist was still in a neutral position. I examined my right hand grip and noticed that it was strong with the driver and not with the irons. Luckily I have those little grip reminders so I can make an extra effort to make sure my right hand grip with the driver is correct. I’m not exactly sure why this happens but it was interesting that you made that comment.

  3. Tom March 16, 2017 at 5:28 pm #

    Wayne,
    Do you believe tour players (with the driver) try to swing up at impact while trying to de-loft the face????/ tom hurst

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