Setting Up Your Stance for a Better Iron Shot

Golf Pro Tips

Ever wonder why you are slicing the ball and pushing everything to the right? This tip is going to teach you that you might be setting yourself up for failure by setting up your stance incorrectly, even though it feels “right.”

Golf pro Holly Sonders invites one of the best to give us a quick lesson to help us hit better iron shots out on the course.

Michael Lemanna is the director of instruction at the beautiful Phoenician Resort in Arizona and the 2016 Southwest Region PGA Teacher of the Year. With those credentials, you know Michael is skilled at giving practical tips to help both tour pros and amateurs alike.

Better Iron Shots Start with A Better Script

Better iron shots depend on a better set up, or “script” as Michael calls it. He tells us to envision a clock’s face on the ground surrounding the ball. The target line is the line between the six and the twelve.

In this scenario, Michael has also mounted a golf ball on a shaft directly on the target line down range. He asks Holly to line up the shot and notice that the ball on the shaft appears significantly to the right of the flag.

This is because of an optical illusion known as “parallel left” that can fool even the best golfers into thinking the target line is further to the left, for right-handed golfers. Because our stance is parallel to the target line, we suffer from this illusion of parallel lines.

To correct this, you need to change the line of your down swing. Your brain naturally wants to compensate for this optical illusion by swinging to the left or on the five o’clock to eleven o’clock line.

This is the recipe for a slice. The remedy is to swing on a line from seven to one.

While you might not be able to spray paint a clock face around your next iron shot, you can pick out a spot ten feet or so in front of your ball to help you line up better. The optical illusion that is causing you to slice gets worse with distance. Picking out an intermediate target will help you work around this optical illusion.

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