My Golf Instructor
Sign up for the Ask Maria Featured Question of the Day
By clicking Sign Up, you agree to our Terms of Use and our Privacy Policy.

Question on Diagnosing Problems:

I pull my shot irons about 1/2 the time. Can you help diagnose why?
--Larry L. from Cleveland, TN

Hi Larry,

I'm assuming your question is what causes you to pull. It is more common by far to pull the short irons than the long. The typical reason is a swing path that comes down outside/in to your target line. You can detect this often by checking out your divot if you take one. If it points to the left of your target (for a right hander) then you will know that you are swinging across the target line.

The reason the long irons don't pull as often with this swing path is for most people, because of the length of the club, it is more difficult to square the face. So this results in an open face at impact which can cause a slice or fade or sometimes offsets the pull just enough to send your ball to your target.

To make sure you are striking the ball from a more inside out path rather than outside/in, try putting an object just outside the toe of your club and a few inches back. I recommend swing plane poles which are simply driveway poles that you can get at your local hardware store for just a couple dollars. You could however also place a water bottle or head cover out there as well. Whatever you choose, just make sure you are taking the club back on an arc away from it and returning on the same arc which will give you an inside/out strike.

Take notice of your new divots. They should start to point at your target line or to the right of it with your new approach.

Also Larry, make sure to have your clubs checked if you haven't already to make sure the lie angle fits your swing.

Take a look at our swing plane drills under our instruction section on the site to find more drills you can use for this problem.

I hope that helps and be sure to utilize our free game tracker and free practice planner so we can help you reach your goals more efficiently!

By:

Other Related Tips on Diagnosing Problems
Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
- More about Maria
- Golf Questions
Golf instruction made simple
Golf Overview
Overall Game
- Getting Started
- Equipment
- Golf Fitness
- Junior Golf
- Mental Game
- Practice
- Rules of Golf
Short Game
- Bunkers
- Chipping
- Pitching
- Putting
Full Swing
- Pre-Swing Fundamentals
- Shot Making
- Diagnosing Problems
- Driving
- Hybrids and Woods
- Irons
Playing Golf
Ball Striking
- Fitness (78)
Basics
- Course Management (82)
- Getting Started in Golf (75)
- Practice (66)
Course Management
- Club Selection (66)
- Equipment (107)
Driving
- Driving (68)
Putting
- Putting (127)
Rules
- Golf Rules (69)
Short Game
- Bump and Run (72)
- Chipping (82)
Problems
Ball Striking
- Chunking (79)
- Distance Control (86)
- Fat Shots (92)
- Flipping (48)
- Poor Accuracy (118)
- Slicing (48)
- Thin Shots (85)
- Topped Shots (52)
Distance
- Lack of Distance (108)
Putting
- Putting Accuracy (72)
Swing Plane
- Blocking (50)
- Inside Out (56)
- Outside In (59)
- Over the Top (49)
- Pulling (54)
- Pushing (66)
- Releasing Early (47)
The Swing
Grip
- Grip (65)
Setup
- Alignment (55)
- Balance (50)
- Ball Position (80)
- Posture (77)
- Setup (117)
Swing Plane
- Backswing (84)
- Controlling Trajectory (47)
- Divot (48)
- Downswing (67)
- Impact (103)
- On Plane (85)
- Path (84)
- Power (71)
- Shaft Plane (63)
- Swing Plane (112)
- Weight Shift (79)