Forward Shaft Lean

I love this photograph taken by Robert Beck yesterday at the Open Championship.  It reveals what it takes to hit compressed and penetrating iron shots - forward shaft lean.  If you tend to hit the ball too high with your irons or haven't taken a divot all year this is a fantastic image for you to keep in mind the next time you practice.

Remember these important points to help you get into this position at impact:

  • If you have a weak grip it is almost impossible to get here. Strengthen your grip a touch and that will encourage the hands to lead and hold through the strike.
  • Your weight must be forward at impact - favoring the lead foot 80%/20%.  Drive the hips forward in the downswing with out the head shifting in front of the ball for proper weight distribution at impact.
  • Deloft the clubface as much as possible at impact.  Top players actually launch a 4 or even a 5 iron at a height similar to that which they launch the driver.  Practice hitting low, punch type shots until you can hit the ball at head height.

A few additional articles to help:

Hands Forward at Impact

How to Stop Scooping