Matthew Fitzpatrick: How to hit lower, more penetrating iron shots
“I have a naturally lower ball flight than many top Tour players’, says Fitzpatrick, ‘but I see that as an advantage.”
“There’s a lot of focus on hitting the ball into orbit and many amateurs I speak to aspire to hit it higher, rather than making the most of their naturally more penetrating trajectory. It’s much easier to control when you’re playing in the wind, which is the majority of the time in the UK.”
Use these three keys below to get a lower, more penetrating flight with your irons.
1: Use ball position to alter flight
Ball position a ects the ight as well. I have it in the middle for the short and mid-irons and move it a little further forward (only an inch or so) as you go up through the longer irons. If I want to hit the ball higher, I move it forward a little more than normal and if I want to hit the ball lower I move it back. It’s also easier to hit a cut if the ball is further forward in your stance and easier to hit a draw when it’s further back.
2: Lean the shaft forwards
One of the reasons I hit the ball a bit lower is that I have a little more forward shaft lean than most pros at address. I grew up playing on quite a windy course so that probably has something to do with it. The more the shaft leans forward, the more you de-loft the club so it stands to reason that the ball will launch lower if this in uences your shaft lean at impact. You only need to lean it forward a touch and make sure your face is still square to your target.
3: Connect left arm and body
Quality of strike also affects the height the ball launches and the strength of its flight – in other words, how straight and long it flies in windy conditions. The key to a good iron strike is compression at impact. Most amateurs don’t do this well enough because they attack the ball from out-to-in. I attack the ball from the inside by keeping my swing compact and my upper left arm connected to my body in the downswing.