Have you ever wondered why some players are able to strike the ball sweetly every time while others struggle to avoid fat and thin strikes? The reason is angle of attack. To strike your iron shots sweetly you need master a downward angle of attack – striking the ball before you make contact with the ground. Training yourself to do this lies at the heart of better ball striking.
I have designed this simple drill to really help you with this element of the game. Place a shaft behind the ball as shown and hit a series of short iron shots aiming to hit the ball without touching the shaft. This provides a clear visual reference that forces you to transfer your weight onto your left side as you drive through the downswing, delivering a steeper angle of attack into the ball. These are both essential elements to good ball striking.
As you do this make sure that your ball position remains in the centre of your stance. Keep your sternum over the ball as you make your way through the downswing – this is known as covering the ball and lies at the heart of consistent contacts with your irons.
Of course, as you move up into your woods you are looking to shallow out that angle of attack. You do that by moving the ball forward in your stance. Essentially the swing remains the same, whether you have a wedge or driver in your hand, but the ball position will dictate your angle of attack. Getting this right becomes even more important as you look to dial in your distance control with your wedges.
Be careful to ensure you set the ball in the right position in your stance at address. Get it wrong and without making a bad swing you could be producing poor strikes. This is definitely one thing to check every time you practice your golf game and if you find yourself struggling with fat and thin contacts.