quick coaching

Struggling To Hit Solid Iron Shots? Hold It Like Brooke Henderson

By Keith Stewart, PGA
Published on
Brooke Henderson is the 36-hole leader at the Evian Championship.

Brooke Henderson is the 36-hole leader at the Evian Championship.

Do you struggle to hit solid iron shots? 
Compressing the ball with an iron can be difficult to do, let alone repeat. The ball sits on the ground, the lie can vary and so can the slope. It seems so easy to just lift the ball with your 8 iron, yet it just doesn’t work that way. Amateurs fight endlessly to try and figure this out, but they always find themselves lost on the practice range or worse l, on the golf course in the middle of a round.
Now, let’s look at our 36-hole leader at the Amundi Évian Championship, Brooke Henderson. She is one of the best ball strikers in the world. She ranks second Tee to Green, via KPMG Performance Insights 4th Off the Tee, 7th in Approach and 7th in Total Strokes Gained on the LPGA Tour. In 2022, she has the 3rd best scoring average, a win and six Top 10’s. What makes Henderson’s move through the ball is how she holds the golf club. 
If you didn’t notice it, here’s another look … pay attention to where Henderson has her hands on the club. She grips down on every single shot. 
She is a tremendous example of how every amateur can hit the ball more solidly. 
• The next time you get to the practice range, get warmed up and then pull out a mid-iron (6, 7, or 8). Select the one that is your favorite. 
• Then pick out a target for that iron. Make it specific like a flagstick, the smaller the better. 
• Once you are ready to start hitting some shots, grip the club down about an inch below the end of the club. Both hands should feel as if they are in the middle of the grip. 
• You don’t need to move any closer to the ball, stay in the same place as you were at address. 
• Now start hitting some shots. 
The first couple might be a little low on the clubface or feel like you’re hitting it thin. Be sure you are trying to get down through the ball at impact. There are two feelings we are trying to demonstrate. 
1. A more solid strike at impact. This will happen because you have more control over the club. 
2. A shorter club will force you to go down toward the ball to hit it. This feeling seldom happens often enough for amateurs. Almost everyone stands up and tries the lift the ball. 
By having more control over the club and getting closer to the ball in the hitting area you will be able to consistently create better contact. Brooke goes as far as to swing the driver this way. When you attempt, start with your chipping, pitching and move to your irons and hybrids. Get used to the new feeling before you try it with your driver.
For those of you who lack solid contact, this is the quickest key to success. Hold it like Henderson, and before you know it, you’ll be bombing it like Brooke.