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Question on Irons:

In our area recently we have had quite a bit of rain and the fairways are pretty "spongy". In these conditions it seems my iron shots suffer because trying to "compress" the ball just leads to big messy divots and short shots. Is there anything I should do to shallow out my strike or something else different I should be doing when hitting irons in these conditions without changing my overall swing?
--Mark B. from Appleton, WI

Thanks for the question Mark and that is a very good one!

What happens when it gets wet or spongy as you say with a lot of golfers is they become tentative because they don't want to make a big muddy splash and get sprayed. If you think about it, this problem is mostly psychological because you should always contact the ball first. Meaning, you should get good clean contact and spin the ball whether or not your hitting it off of a cart path or soaked ground. So your contact really shouldn't change. You will however make a mess and take a bigger divot if the ground is soft and wet. The ball is already gone so while it doesn't affect your shot, it can be a bit of a pain.

My suggestion if your normal ball striking is solid would be to not change a thing, but force yourself to confidently strike down on the ball in those conditions and take a divot.

If the problem is hitting behind the ball and it only shows up when the ground is wet either you are getting away with poor technique on dry ground or you are letting the wet surface create a mental block.

To make sure you are not going to hit behind the ball there are a number of things we could look at.

1) Make sure you are shifting your weight and try to feel like most of it is on your front foot before impact.
2) Check your ball position and make sure it hasn't creeped too far forward.
3) Make sure you aren't releasing your club head too early. Try leading into the shot with the butt end of the grip and maintain your wrist cock as long as possible. You should feel like you are fully releasing your wrists after the ball is struck.
4) You mentioned a more shallow angle of attack. This actually can cause you to hit behind the ball if you get too shallow. However, a swing that is too steep and choppy can cause the same thing. So I suggest you check out the drills on swing plane on our site and make sure that you are keeping your club on plane throughout.

I hope this helps. Give it a try and if you have any other questions please send them my way.

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