A pushed iron shot can be incredibly frustrating for golfers. This type of shot starts out on the intended line, but then the ball fails to fade back and continues flying straight or even moves slightly to the right for a right-handed player. Pushing iron shots can lead to missed greens and difficulty in executing certain types of approach shots. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to stop pushing iron shots and get properly flighted shots that land softly and hold greens. In this article, you will learn common causes for pushing shots and specific ways to straighten out your swing from setup to follow through so that you can more consistently produce beautiful fade iron shots.
Proper Stance and Setup Key to Stopping Pushes
One of the key causes of a pushed iron shot is a flawed stance and improper setup at address. To stop pushing shots, the first thing to check is your stance itself. During the setup, make sure your feet, knees, shoulders, and hips are all aligned parallel from target line. You do not want to already be “aimed” open at address. This will make it much harder to release the club in time and prevent the ball from moving to the right. Your body’s alignment should be square to the intended target line.
It is also important that your weight is balanced evenly on the balls of your feet during the setup. Pushing iron shots often result from a reverse pivot or overactive lower body, and this is prevented by making sure your weight is centered at address. Resting too much weight on your heels or shifting it forward prematurely can lead to pushing and inconsistent ballstriking. Practice keeping more weight on the balls of your feet and less on your heels during the setup routine to put yourself in position for a straight iron shot.
Check Grip to Fix Push Shots
In addition to stance, another potential iron shot problem area that causes pushing is grip. An overly strong, closed grip on the club can make it difficult to release the blade properly through impact, which is necessary to produce the desired fade. If you continually push iron shots, have a teaching professional check the positioning of your hands on the grip to make sure you are not too much under the club or gripping too tight with the bottom hand at address.
A comfortable, neutral grip allows the club to release fully. You want to feel some hinging of the wrist on the backswing and natural unhinging that happens through impact. Pushing iron shots often occur when the hands and club don’t get the opportunity to fully release due to a tight grip and poor hinge. Relax your hands on the grip, allowing the clubhead to rotate open slightly, and you should have much straighter iron shot trajectories.
Correct Swing Path Will Fix Pushing
In addition to alignment and grip tweaks to stop pushing shots, the actual swing path matters a great deal in hitting straight approach shots or drawing iron shots that land softly. An “over-the-top” swing path where the downswing gets too steep or comes too much from outside-to-inside at impact can lead directly to pushing shots in iron play. You want to feel like you are swinging more from the inside on the downswing plane, releasing the club squarely at impact, and extending fully through the hitting zone to rotate the face open after hitting the ball.
One of the best swing adjusts for stopping pushed iron shots is to focus on keeping your back to the target for as long as possible in the downswing before clearing your hips through impact. This keeps the swing plane more neutral and the club more shallow, resulting in crisp, high fade shots. Feel your right elbow pinned tightly to your side as you start down, keeping your back facing the target longer. Combine this move with full extension, and you will be thrilled by the straight, high shots you start producing.
Push-Stopping Drill to Try at Range
Here is a specific drill you can do at the driving range to help straighten out your iron shots instantly:
Take your normal stance and grip, then lift your back foot up on ball of foot at address. This enables you to swing more weight into left side.
Place an alignment stick or spare club into the ground pointing at target line a few feet in front of ball.
On backswing, make sure your hands and club stay more behind you and out away from body. Feel wider arc on way back.
On downswing, focus on lowering into left side while pulling right elbow down and into side.
Swing forward making an effort to keep your back facing target as club drops into the inside of stick/club stuck in the ground.
Follow through with full release straight at the target, clearing hips and body out of way at finish.
Land high fade that flies straight and draws slightly at end. Repeat swing focusing on inside-to-inside path.
Learning to stop pushing iron shots is all about working from the ground up in your swing. Set up with proper alignment and decent body balance. Make sure your grip is neutral and allows the blade to release. Then focus on swinging from the inside, keeping your right elbow pinned on the downswing. Fully releasing, and extending through impact. Put in time at the practice range going through the motions outlined here while incorporating the swing drill. And you will have a lightbulb moment where you suddenly see straight fade iron shots flying at your targets. Be patient, eliminate your pushed shots in stages, and enjoy watching your iron play rapidly improve. You will strip away strokes from your scorecard playing chasing one-putt birdie opportunities on a regular basis.