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Question on Irons:

Hello, I'm just struggling on getting my lines parallel and squared up witch causes me to turn the ball over and sometimes even chunk it.
--Jesse R. from San Benito, TX

Hi Jesse,

Thanks for writing

It seems like you have two problems. 1) Getting yourself lined up parallel to your target line and 2) Chunking the ball which may or may not be related to your alignment.

On the note of aligning parallel to your target...think of your eyes like any other muscle in your body. We need to get them trained and in shape. That means you need to train your eyes to what being square to your target looks AND feels like. For this, the only sure way to do it is practice. Rarely will you see a tour player or top amateur practicing without clubs on the ground. Every time you practice you should have at least one club on the ground pointed at your target that you can square up to. I like to place a club halfway between my feet and the ball. Once it's down I make sure that my feet, knees, hips and shoulders are all running parallel to my target line. After enough practice setting up square, your eyes will adjust. They will start to see what square looks and feels like. Then if you set up off line on the course, it won't look or feel right and you will adjust.

Setting up even inches off line can create loops, compensations and adjustments in your swing. I often joke with my students that if they would simply put a club down when they practiced they would develop less errors and need fewer lessons!

If you are chunking the ball however, that could easily be a weight, swing plane or release issue. Make sure your weight is getting to your front side before impact.

Check to make sure you aren't swinging on too much of an inside angle of attack. You mentioned turning the ball, but didn't say which way. If it is hooking or chunking that can both come from a path that is severly inside/out. If you take divots check and see if they are pointing to the right of your target (for a right handed player). If so this can mean that you are approaching too much from the inside.

Lastly, make sure you feel that your hands and the butt end of the grip are leading into the shot and that you aren't releasing your wrists and thus the clubhead too early in the downsing. Get the feeling that you are uncocking your wrists after impact to feel a late release. If you are releasing or casting early you can easily get the face shut causing a hook or hit a big chunk.

I hope that helps and be sure to check out drills under our Alignment section in Pre-Swing fundamentals to help you better align to your target. It sounds like some of our weight shift and swing plane drills might be of benefit to you as well.

Thanks for the question ans if you haven't already be sure to start logging your scores in the game tracker and your practice sessions in the practice planner so we can better help you achieve your goals.


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