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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sean Foley on "Smashing" Your Irons

Today I'm going to refer you to a Golf Digest article by Sean Foley on how to hit your irons more solidly. (Foley's article, complete with a demonstration video, is at this link.) The "smashing" image comes from his description of starting the downswing by "squashing a tomato."

Foley's positions for better ironplay

I'm recommending this article because I like Sean's emphasis on not trying so hard to "stay behind the ball" since he believes it often creates the wrong image in a weekend golfer's mind. (I struggle with that problem of avoiding poor images a lot myself.) However, I think some of you could also get the wrong idea when he tells you to shift your hips forward to start your downswing. Your hips do move forward a little but stomping the tomato is a downward image, which is a feeling I often recommend in my blog posts.

If you look at Sean's demonstration, you'll see that his hip shift is actually a knee movement -- he's moving his lead knee forward, so it's over his lead foot at impact. (That bent lead knee was actually closer to the ball, between his feet, when he started his downswing.) That hip shift is actually a rotation of your hips as you make your downswing. I've done a couple of posts with drills to help you create the move Sean wants without feeling like you're moving your hips too much:
One may work better for you than the other, so try them both. Pause Sean's video at the .28 second mark, and you'll see that his knees are in the same position these drills create. (You can also see it in the right side of the photo above.) The move Sean wants is exactly what you want; you just don't want to overdo the hip move and get too far ahead of the ball.