It’s one of the most common mistakes in golf — and it hurts your iron game

It doesn’t take anything revolutionary to break 80 consistently. What it requires is safety, consistency, and some level of predictability — that’s your path to better golf.

One of things holding golfers back from this promised land is the quality of their iron shots. They bash a good drive down the middle, and then lay the sod over their next one. It’s just one shot, but it turns a potential par opportunity into a double bogey, or worse.

One of the most common causes of fat, or chunked, iron shots is sliding your hips on the backswing. Highly-skilled golfers tend to move off the ball the ball less by the time they reach the top of their backswing, and shift their weight so it’s more in front of the ball on their way down. That’s what allows them to make a descending blow and hit the golf ball before the ground.

Our friends over at GOLFTEC, with an assist from professional golfer Hannah Gregg, highlight a couple of checkpoints in your swing you can use to avoid falling into this trap. You can watch the video above, or keep scrolling.

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1. Top of the backswing

While loading up your trail side is an important way of creating power, by the top of the backswing, most pros have started shifting their weight back to their lead side by the time they’re at the top of the backswing. That’s what Hannah is doing on the left. On the right, she’s so far back on her trail side, she’s going to struggle to get all the way back.

2. Mid-Downswing

That’s what we can see happening here. On the left, Hannah is using the head start to get more onto her lead leg, with her hips more than two inches towards the target. Demonstrating poor technique on the right, her hips are still more than an inch behind the ball — with a chunked shot incoming.

Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role he oversees the brand’s game improvement content spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University. His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.