There’s something satisfying about hitting a golf ball right on its sweet spot especially if you’re using an iron. You know – the satisfying sound that makes other golfers look and the satisfying feel that just tells you that the ball is going strong, low and straight before you see it happen. This is why you’ve been asking, how to compress the ball with my irons? It’s to get this satisfaction.
What is Compression?
Think of two trajectories. The first one is the loft of the iron’s face right upon impact and the second one is the trajectory traveled by the clubhead upon impact. Imagine a line in between these two trajectories and that is the compression of the golf ball.
The goal here is to keep this line in between these two trajectories as short as possible. This can lead to longer shots. If your shots are noticeably shorter even if the speed of your swing is similar or even faster than your buddies’, then it’s probably because of lack of compression.
For example, let’s say that you and your buddy John both pull out a 7 iron on a 140 yard approach. You hit the ball with the club’s face pointing 20 degrees up and the clubhead moving 5 degrees down. John hits the ball with the same speed, but with club’s face pointing 16 degrees up and the clubhead moving 3 degrees down.
Well, guess what? John’s approach leads to a gimme on the green while your caddy pulls out a pitching wedge. This is because John’s shot had more compression to it.
Should You Hit Down?
While technically you’ll be compressing the distance between the two trajectories, the angle of the club’s face and the direction of the clubhead will both be downwards. This will lead to a short and clunky shot.
How to compress the ball with my irons? That’s an answer right there. Hit down less.
How to Compress the Ball with Your Irons
Here are some tips that you can take with you the next time you visit the range:
Your hands should be in front of the ball upon impact. Lead with the hands. This takes out the loft in the iron. If your hands are directly perpendicular with the ball, then you’re hitting the ball lofted. So in the example above using the 7 iron, you’re hitting the ball at a loft of about 36 to 40 degrees.
Another tip is to strike the ball with the palm of your right hand facing the ground. This ensures that the club face is square upon impact.
- Sweep the ground.
You should get this feeling that you’re sweeping the ground, with the clubhead running across the ground when you hit the ball. You’re not going to hit the ground. You’re going to skim it.
This is something that you should practice regularly. Practice swinging with the clubhead 3 inches off the ground and maintaining this distance from the ground as you swing through. Your hands will be forced to move in front as you swing past the impact.
- Shift your lower body.
This is a subtle movement that would be missed by an untrained eye. Basically as soon as you reach the top of your swing, you shift your lower body by pushing off your right foot so that your left hip moves towards past the ball. With this movement, the buckle of your belt should move in front of the golf ball.
It’s important that you continue the movement in such a way that your left hip moves upwards and backwards. This ensures balance and as a bonus, you add a little “oomph” to your swing. Don’t forget to turn and stay wide to keep your power!
Now, it’s just a matter of putting these tips together. If you haven’t mastered it yet, prime yourself for the move by shifting your lower body as per the tips above before you even perform the backswing. This conditions your body to perform the movement.
Here’s a video that perfectly explains these tips:
Of course, don’t forget to stretch before swinging!
Custom Fit Your Club
If all else fails, you can have your club custom fitted. This is the easiest way to de-loft your irons so you’ll have an easier time compressing the ball.