How to hit irons from the fairway: 5 keys for solid ball striking

If you want to make birdies, you’re going to have to find a way to hit the ball close from the fairway. While the pros make it look easy, for the average recreational player, it’s anything but.

The first step is finding the fairway. If you’ve watched any of the previous editions of How to Hit Every Shot, you’ve already been assembling the tools you need to get there. Once you’ve found the short grass, it’s time to go pin seeking.

In today’s episode of How to Hit Every Shot, instructor Erika Larkin gives us five keys for solid ball striking. Watch the video above or read below for more.

1. Club selection

With your ball in the fairway, the next step is to determine your distance to the front, middle and back of the green. From here, choose a club that will get you within +/- 10 yards of the hole location. You should also check where the trouble is surrounding the green and alter your club selection from there if needed.

2. Starter swing

With your club selected, it’s time to think about making a good, solid swing. Check out the Starter Swing video if you need a refresher on tips for this.

3. Practice swings

Make a few practice swings to rehearse what you want to do with the shot. Brush the top of the grass as you go through the motions of what a solid shot will feel like and remember this feeling as you prepare to hit the shot.

4. Center ball position

Position the ball in the center of your stance so your swing bottoms out directly in between your feet. You want to hit the ball first and then the turf, so try to get the ball in a position where your swing bottoms out at the correct point in the middle of your stance.

5. Balanced finish

All that’s left now is making a swing with a balanced finish. Focus on your tempo and on making solid contact. Let the club do the work and watch as your ball makes a beeline for the pin.

Zephyr Melton Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at