Instruction – Iron Sharpens Iron

Instruction – Iron Sharpens Iron

Inconsistency can be one of the most frustrating things in golf! Do you ever find yourself chunking your iron shots? The result of a chunked shot is the low point of your swing arc being too far behind the golf ball at impact. 

First, I will start with a couple reasons why you may chunk the ball. Ball position being too far forward can be a root cause of a chunked golf shot, as the low point of your swing arc is going to be well behind the golf ball if it is too far forward in your stance. A good rule of thumb for ball position is for all irons to be in the middle of your stance, while hybrids and woods should be slightly inside your lead heel. If your ball position is good at setup, there could be another reason you hit it fat. It could be that when you pivot, your weight is staying on your trail side at impact. When most people pivot on their downswing, their weight naturally moves toward the target (everyone is different as to how much their weight moves toward the target due to flexibility and limitations). 

As you are swinging through impact, be sure to let your trail heel come off the ground naturally; don’t force the trail heel to stay on the ground, as this can cause your weight to stay on the trail side and cause the dreaded chunk. One good checkpoint for this is when you finish, make sure if someone is behind you, they can see the sole of your shoe when you are in your finish position. Another cause for the chunk can be having too steep of an angle of attack on the downswing. If this is your issue, read my AVIDGOLFER articles from March and April; I explained drills to promote a shallow angle of attack.

For this drill, place an alignment stick or towel a couple inches behind the golf ball and make some practice swings brushing the grass in front of the alignment stick or towel. Once you have brushed the grass in front of the stick several times, add a ball and hit some half-swing shots, making sure your divot is in front of the stick. If your weight stays on your trail side at impact, you will hit the alignment stick or towel. 

You will notice that my weight is hanging back on my trail side, causing me to hit the alignment stick. As you can see on the right snapshot, my weight is clearly on my lead side, causing me to stripe the shot and have a divot in front of the alignment stick. 

For this drill stagger your stance, having your trail foot back of your lead foot and balance on your lead leg. Hit small shots, balancing on your lead leg and make sure you don’t fall back on your trail foot. This drill ensures your weight is on your lead leg at impact. 

Any of these drills will promote getting your weight to your left side and help prevent the dreaded chunk. 

Place a towel a couple inches on the inside of the golf ball on the target side and hit small shots, missing the towel. When your swing gets too steep on the downswing, that can cause you to hit behind the golf ball and thus hit the towel like shown in the picture above. If you have trouble having a shallower path, check out AVIDGOLFER Magazine articles for March and April, as I have provided drills in those articles to help you have a more shallow path on your downswing.