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 Irons:

I am left handed and most of the time hit it with a little cut. A draw is not in my swing. I would love to know how to release the club so I can add more distance. Should I strengthen my grip or roll my hands faster? Thanks for all your help.
--Dennis S. from Bloomington, IN

Hi Dennis,

Thanks for the question. Obviously it's hard to say for sure what is causing someone's ball flight to move a certain way without seeing them swing.

To answer the second part of your question, yes, a stronger grip and more arm release (think arms, not hands) through impact will help cut down on cut spin. These will help if a player a) has a weak grip to begin with and/or b) is too tight in their arms and preventing themself from releasing through impact.

The true cause of a cut however is an outside/in swing path through impact. What that means is that your club is coming down outside the target line and then cutting across the target line to the inside through impact. If your clubface is open to the target line on top of that, the spin would be pretty severe.

To check and see if you are swinging outside/in, first read your divots. If you take divots with your irons step back after your shot and see if they are pointed at your target. If they are aimed to the right of your target (for left handed players) that means you are cutting across the line.

Next watch your clubhead on the first 3-4 inches of your takeaway and make sure that it is moving on a slight arc. If you see it going to the outside of the target line (further from your body) that means you are starting off to the outside and may just follow that path coming down.

Last, the best drill for you is to put something just outside the toe of your club and a few inches back (away from the target). You can use a driveway pole, water bottle, range basket, etc. Just make sure it is something that won't hurt you or your club if you strike it. Next make some half swings first working the club back inside of that object going up and coming down. If you aren't hitting it on the downswing and are staying underneath it then you can be assured you are hitting from the inside. Combining this path with a stronger grip or more arm release should help you start to draw the ball.

Best of luck and be sure to check out our section on swing plane for more drills pertaining to your problem. I'd also encourage you to keep entering your scores in the game tracker and utilize the practice planner year round.


Other Related Tips on Irons
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)
- Course Management (82)
- Getting Started in Golf (75)
- Practice (66)
Course Management
- Club Selection (66)
- Equipment (107)
- Driving (68)
- Putting (127)
- Golf Rules (69)
Short Game
- Bump and Run (72)
- Chipping (82)
Ball Striking
- Chunking (79)
- Distance Control (86)
- Fat Shots (92)
- Flipping (48)
- Poor Accuracy (118)
- Slicing (48)
- Thin Shots (85)
- Topped Shots (52)
- Lack of Distance (108)
- 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 (65)
- 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)