The difference between an iron and driver shot

By Alastair Brown, Head Professional at Emirates Golf Club

I’m often asked if I use the same swing for both my irons shots and shots with a driver ñ the answer is no as the intention of both shots is different. When hitting the ball with an iron we are aiming to strike slightly downward to compress the ball and with the driver we strike slightly upward to launch the ball.

Shot with iron

I try to take care of these swing differences at my set up or address positions. Notice the differences in stance width, ball position, spine angle and shoulder positions.

For irons I set up with a neutral spine angle, stance is hip width apart, ball position is centred and my shoulders are more on top of the ball.  This will enable me to cover the ball at impact and get that desired downward strike on the ball.

Shot with driver

For the shot with my driver you can see I’m tilting my spine slightly away from my target to the right, my stance is slightly wider than what it was for my iron shot and this will help me not only keep balanced but help flatten out the base of my swing arc. The ball position is up opposite my lead foot. My shoulders are also tilted more behind the ball. The widened and flattened arc base before the ball and the ball position pushed forward will allow for my intended upward strike on the ball.

During your practice sessions make sure to blend in your differences at set up but also, it’s a great idea to rehearse what impact would feel like from these different set up positions. Again, you can clearly see the difference in my body angles for a driver and an iron shot, which will produce the very different hitting outcomes I intended.

Get into your intended set up for each shot, don’t even make a swing but go straight into your impact position and hold this position for at least 10 seconds to get a real good sensation of the angles and pressure on your body. This also allows you to get an excellent visual of where you need to be to hit your intended shot successfully.

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