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 tend to pull the ball left often times...why?
--Steve B. from Muskegon, MI

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the question. Without seeing your swing (we do have online analysis available) I can only give you an idea as to the cause and effect and some suggestions. I am assuming you are a right handed player.

If your ball is going left, first watch your ball flight carefully and try to determine if it is starting left and then curving further left, starting straight and going left or starting right and curving back to the left. This will help you read the path as well as the clubface. Ball flight is a combination of the two. The ball typically starts on the path you are swinging on and then turns and ends up in the direction of the clubface.

In other words if your ball starts straight but curves left you can rest assured your path is good, but your clubface is closed to your target line. Looking at your divot after impact can give you a good idea of how your clubhead is coming through the ball.

If you determine it's your clubface that's an issue make sure your grip is not getting too strong and that you aren't either hooding the face on the takeaway or getting too handsy through impact.

If you determine that it's your path and that you are swinging outside/in to your target line coming into the ball you will need to work on some path drills. You can start by trying to take divots that are pointing more to the right of your target. Also, try putting a coin on the ground a few inches in front of your ball and a bit to the right. Try to hit the coin after impact. This will help make sure you are coming more to the inside of the ball and swinging out rather than across. Swing plane poles are really useful in this situation. You can buy driveway poles at your local hardware store for less than $2.00. Simply place one of the poles outside your clubhead and a few inches back (away from the target). Practice swinging under the pole on the takeaway and back to the ball. This will help you groove and inside out swing.

I hope this helps and be sure to check out other drills under our full swing category on the site!


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)