Use this trick for more crisp and powerful shots with your irons

brian manzella demonstrates how to properly raise and lower your arms during the swing

Allowing your lead arm to raise and lower during the swing can help your hit more crisp and powerful iron shots.

Stephen Denton

An often ignored piece for delivering solid iron strikes is the way your lead arm rises and lowers during your swing. Learning to independently raise your lead arm enough on the backswing and then lower it on the downswing can make all the difference in the world. 

Here’s an easy drill that’ll teach you the proper rise and drop not only to get you in a great power-loaded position at the top but also to help you deliver the club using every bit of that stored energy. 

Stand erect with your arms out in front of you, an iron in your left hand and both palms down. Rotate your left arm and the club, with your left wrist cocked, and place the shaft on top of your right arm (1). 

With these alignments in place, bend into your normal address posture and move toward the top of your backswing (2). Let your trail arm end up at the top of a football passing position, with your upper trail arm about 90 degrees to your torso and your lower trail arm about 90 degrees to the upper. Feel how this action “lifts” your trail arm into a super-solid top of the backswing position. 

As you move into your downswing, lower your right arm toward your right thigh, bringing the club and your lead arm along with it (3). This will take you about halfway into your downswing, with the club in a position that — maybe for the first time ever — sets you up to deliver the clubhead to the ball on a speed- and power-rich inside path with a Tour-like shallow angle of attack. 

Keep repeating the drill, then transfer the feel to actual swings. This raising and lowering sequence will help pretty much any golfer dramatically improve their ball striking. 

Brian Manzella is a GOLF Top 100 Teacher who teaches out of his Studio in the Sky and English Turn G&CC, both in New Orleans, La.

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Brian Manzella