5 Easy Iron Golf Drills for Beginners

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Nicolas Drozdoski-Richardson
Apr 26, 2022
8 minutes

Last month, we shared with you some key drills to help you strike your irons better. Based on the popularity of this article and some of your feedback, we’re back with more drills to help you perfect your iron play and hit more greens on the course.

We focused on impact drills in our last article, but this one is entirely focused on working on the consistency of your golf swing with five simple drills to help you improve your iron skills on the golf course.

  1. Towel under the arms drill
  2. Stick to the hip drill
  3. Pump fake drill
  4. Bucket between the arms drill
  5. Swing plane with two sticks drill

1. Towel under the arms drill

The goal of this drill is to help you develop a better sense of connection between your arms and your upper body through your swinging motion.

What you’ll need for this drill:

All you’ll need for this drill is a mid-length to short-length iron (7, 8, 9-iron) and a golf towel. You can introduce golf balls to the drill once you’ve gotten used to the swinging motion.

How to do the towel under the arms drill?

  1. Roll your towel so that you're able to place each end under each armpit with the towel running across the chest;
  2. Be sure to hold the towel under your armpits, rather than between your biceps and your chest;
  3. Get into your address position just as if you were about to hit a golf ball;
  4. Start swinging your arms at half-speed to get used to the towel under your arms. Slowly increase the speed of your swing until you’re able to go put almost all your weight into your swing;
  5. Once you feel like you’re comfortable enough at close to full speed with the towel under your armpits, introduce golf balls to the drill so that you’re able to transition this new feel into actual game swings.

Helpful tip: Make sure to increase your swing speed progressively when you’re first trying out this drill. This new motion might feel a little weird at first, which is why you need to let your upper body and your shoulders adapt before taking full swings.

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2. Stick to the hip drill

With this drill, you’re looking to work on the position of your hands through your impact and your follow-through. Your objective is to complete your regular golf swing without having the alignment hit your lead hip after making contact with the ground.

What you’ll need for this drill:

You only need two necessary items for this drill: a short iron (9-iron) or a wedge, and an alignment stick. If you don’t have any alignment stick, you can take the shaft off of one of your clubs to replace the alignment stick. Here again, you’ll want to introduce golf balls to this drill to help you transition to something closer to proper in-game action.

How to do the stick to the hip drill?

  1. Grab your club in one hand and your alignment stick in the other. Bring them together by putting your hands around your grip;
  2. Use your alignment stick as an extension to your club shaft. Let the alignment stick rest along your lead hip at address;
  3. Your swing stays the same all the way through your back and downswing (use the alignment stick to work on the position of your hands in your backswing as the stick should be pointing to the target and be parallel to the ground when you take your club back);
  4. All you really need to focus on with this drill is the position of the alignment stick through impact and your follow-through;
  5. If your hands are properly leading the motion throughout impact, you should be able to hit the ball without having the alignment stick touch your lead hip.

Helpful tip: No need to make a complete follow-through of your swing, otherwise you’ll naturally always end up hitting your lead hip or bottom. You can shorten your follow-through with a slower swing if you’re looking to work on more niche details of this drill.

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3. Pump fake drill

The objective of the pump drill is to help you work on your downswing and your weight in transition by taking inspiration from other sports where athletes need to swing a stick or a club.

What you’ll need for this drill:

All you’ll need for this drill is a short or mid-length iron (7, 8, 9-iron) and your golf balls. We also suggest you stretch properly beforehand as this drill can take its toll on your back.

How to do the pump fake drill?

  1. Set yourself up at address over the ball like you normally would;
  2. Take your club back to load your swing;
  3. Pause for half a second at the top and then start to bring your club back down normally;
  4. STOP your downswing right in the middle of it for a second;
  5. Then complete your strike with a follow-through.

Helpful tip: You’ll feel a small recoil in your swinging motion when you’re cutting short your downswing. Use the inertia from this small recoil to inject some power into your swing.

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4. Bucket between the arms drill

This is another drill dedicated to helping players better understand the connection between the different parts of their body through their swing. This one is specifically dedicated to your arms and wrists rolling through your swing.

What you’ll need for this drill:

To do this drill, you’ll only need a short to mid-length iron (7, 8, 9-iron), golf balls, and a bucket or cylindrically-shaped object to keep the position of your wrists and your forearms in place through his motion (As an example, we used a small collapsible bin since we didn’t have a bucket).

How to do the bucket between the arms drill?

  1. Take your club in your hands like you normally would, and place the bucket between your forearms, in the middle of the V shape created by your arms coming together;
  2. Start taking small swings, while focusing on keeping the bucket between your forearms;
  3. Once you feel comfortable enough, try doing full swings with a golf ball on the ground while keeping the bucket in position between your forearms.

Helpful tip: Some training devices dedicated to this drill can be found on the market, but just like our example above shows, you can find similar objects that will serve the same purpose.

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5. Swing plane with two sticks drill

This last drill is all about building a proper swing plane to help you send your ball in the desired direction. Your objective with this drill is to work on the position of your hands and your arms through your entire swinging motion.

What you’ll need for this drill:

For this drill, you’ll need an iron, whichever one you prefer or one that you might need to work on at the moment. You’ll also need a set of alignment sticks. If you don’t have alignment sticks, you can replace one of them with another one of your clubs. Finally, you’ll need some golf balls.

How to do the swing plane with two sticks drill?

  1. Place one of the alignment sticks along the ground in the direction of the target;
  2. Put your second alignment stick between your hands in your golf grip so that it runs along the shaft of your club, but that it still sticks out past the end of your grip;
  3. At every point of your backswing, the butt of your club, and the extension created by your alignment stick need to follow the plane created by the stick on the ground;
  4. Keep the stick in your hands for your practice swing and to help you out with visual alignments;
  5. When you’re ready to take this drill to the next step, lose the alignment stick that sits in your hands and complete full swing while still focusing on the butt of your grip following the swing plane.

Helpful tip: If you’re able to do so, we suggest you film yourself from the same angle as the one we used for our visual example. This way, you’ll have a better idea of the quality of your swing plane.

These five drills are some of the most important to add to your repertoire if you’re looking to improve on the course. As we’ve explained, you can always find alternatives to the required materials to perform the drills like a club to replace an alignment stick on the ground.

By integrating these five drills into your routine when you visit the driving range, you’ll be able to observe noticeable improvements in your iron play.

Until next time,

The Golf Avenue team

Further reading

A good day with the driver will make a huge difference on the scorecard. Our team came up with easy five drills to help you find more fairways than ever!

Our in-house PGA of Canada professional, Nicolas Drozdoski-Richardson, is here to help with some easy irons drills for you and beginners to practice your strikes.