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Question on Diagnosing Problems:

How do you hit irons off the hard pan?
--Lou G. from The Villages, FL

Hi Lou. Thanks for writing MyGolfInstructor.com.

Hitting irons solid off of hard pan requires the ability to be able to contact the ball first. In other words, we need to make sure that we are descending through the shot and not bottoming out before the ball. There are two big issues at play here that we would need to evaluate with your swing:

1) Are you shifting your weight properly through the shot and getting to your front foot before impact?

If your weight is hanging back or falling back, you will hit the bottom of your arc too soon. This results in either fat or thin shots as you bottom out behind the ball and then start swinging upwards before reaching the ball.

2) Are you releasing your angles at the right time?

On the backswing you form 2 angles. One in your rear wrist and one in your rear elbow. It is important that we keep these angles in tact and move them with our pivot and release them only at the moment of impact. If you straighten out your rear arm and wrist to soon, you will bottom out behind the ball.

To make sure you are going to catch these shots clean I would suggest that you place more weight on your front foot at address and focus on keeping it there throughout the swing. Make every effort to not back up. Next, I would work hard to let your pivot control the swing, relax your arms and hands and feel them kick at impact and after rather than before. To you this might feel like a very late hit, but it will prevent fat shots or skulls off of these tight lies.

I hope this helps and if you have any other questions just let me know.
Thanks.

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