Tip Tuesday: Getting Used to the Forward Shaft Lean

In this video, Steve Dresser of the Steve Dresser Golf Academy at True Blue Golf Club in Pawleys Island, S.C. shows us how you can get better accustomed to having a forward shaft lean while hitting your irons. This will allow you to have the proper angle of attack as you strike the ball.



Steve Dresser:
You can see the angle of the shaft right now. This is a 9-iron, obviously a pretty high lofted club. The shaft is leaning forward, the handle is left of the golf ball. That’s how you’re supposed to strike the ball with your irons, with the hands leading. You do that when you swing a baseball bat, even a tennis racket, but golfers have a tendency to flip and scoop, and allow the club head to arrive at the ball before the handle, that creates an early bottom to the swing. You hit fat, thin, and weak shots. Here’s the kicker, though.

If somebody tells you, “Hey, you’re casting, you’re throwing. You need to come in like this,” you don’t want to work on that until you have the face stabilized. By stabilized, I mean, not wide open, because what happens often, people make this kind of move because they’re desperately trying to square an open face. So we have to figure out, okay, the face is open, the player’s throwing the club, hit the ball. Why is it open? Is it because the grip is weak and it’s making the face open? Are they fanning it open as they go back? Are they cupping that left wrist a lot as they go back to open the face?

So we’ve got to get that figured out first. So as they take it back, the club face is square, because you’re never, ever, ever going to have the urge to try to contact the ball like this, until you get that face stabilized. As a matter of fact, I would prefer to see people hook the ball a little bit when we’re working on this particular part of the game, so they will indeed, build up the gumption to try to contact it like this.

So take a high lofted club, and just do little half, three quarter swings, set the handle ahead of the face a little bit, and it might even just feel like you’re trying to keep the face a little closed as you take it back, meaning the face looking down at the ground. Again, this is for you open face players out there, who curve it wildly off to the right. And then just do some little half, three quarter swings, and just try to come in with the handle first. You’ll notice the golf ball was way back there where my foot is. Yes, that’s a bit of a pork chop, but that’s the whole point of this drill, to learn how to take a divot after you strike the ball. So forward shaft lean de-lofts the club, take loft off the club, you’re going to hit it farther and more solidly.