Guide To Delofting Irons (From a Professional Golfer)

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How do you deloft irons and why would you want to deloft your clubface? Golfers looking for answers to controlling iron shots and ball flight, stay here and keep reading. Perhaps your ball striking has not been consistent or you are a beginner and not sure what this means or why you need to know.

Tell Me More Golf has the answers to these questions. Delofting your irons, with the proper swing methods, can help you control the distance and in some cases add distance. In addition, we can even use the techniques that I am going to teach you to hit more fairways and make this year a great golfing year! 

When I work with players that want to work on delofting their irons, it is generally because they want to control backspin and launch angle. This helps to control ball distance. Any PGA Tour player will agree that consistent distance control is their goal with iron play.

Handicappers of all skill levels could benefit from learning to control clubhead through proper forward shaft lean through their iron shots. So, what happens when you properly deloft your iron shots? Well, first you reduce the degrees of loft on the club you are hitting because the shaft is leaning slightly forward at impact. Second, when done properly, you take a divot that is not too deep, you more consistently hit the sweet spot and increase ball speed because you are compressing the ball. Compressing the ball is what creates that unique sound that you hear when your favorite tour players strike their irons.

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How to Properly Deloft Your Irons


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Let’s walk through how I coach players who want to learn to hit crisper irons and make a proper strike. First, clubhead speed does not determine whether or not you can compress the ball and deloft your irons. All golfers with different golf swings can learn to deloft as tour pros do. 

Golf Digest and other golf publications have plenty of articles from teachers that try and make this process more complex than it needs to be.

So, after 30 years of expertise, I am going to simplify it for you. First, picture the center of your golf stance. As we have said before if you are not sure where the center is, take your stance and drop a ball from the end of your nose. That is the center of your stance. 

I learned the following from a professional golfer so you know it works. Many amateur golfers tend to exaggerate how far back the ball needs to be. Imagine putting a dollar bill right in the middle so that half of the bill is behind the ball and half is in front of the ball. This is your area to help control the delofting of your irons. If you play the ball too far back in your stance, you open yourself up to potential problems including a rushed backswing, a potential hosel rocket(shank) and too much shaft lean at impact. 

If you are a right-handed golfer, you will want to move the ball towards your right foot but no further than the right side of the dollar bill. With the short irons (7-9 iron and wedges) the ball should be further back. As you move towards the long irons (2-6 iron), move the ball towards the center of the dollar bill. 

I suggest trying this first with an 8-iron. This club allows for control but will also give you feedback to know whether or not you are set up properly. Once you have the setup, choke down slightly on the club. A quarter to half of an inch will be sufficient. Any more and you will have to compensate with your swing. 

Now that you have the setup, we are not going to adjust your full swing. It is so much more effective to set up to deloft your irons than it is to change your full swing. Make sure that while you practice,  you are finishing your backswing and your downswing and finish. This will deloft your irons and help you control trajectory. 

As you get better at this, you can start to try hitting it higher and lower. To hit it lower, do not move the ball further back. Rather, you will want to limit your follow-through. Tiger Woods talks about where his hands finish to control the height of a shot. If his hands finish lower and closer to his left shoulder, he is delofting his irons. 

While each golfer’s swing is unique, to deloft your irons start with a focus on the dollar bill setup and choking down slightly on the club. If you go through these steps and focus on taking a normal golf swing, you will deloft the club and notice a lower launch angle without creating too much backspin which could make the ball balloon.

Hitting The Golf Ball Too High With Irons


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If you are hitting the ball too high with your irons, there could be a number of causes. The experts at Tell Me More Golf are going to go through some common reasons for this and provide some simple fixes. 

1) The ball is too far forward in your stance. Ideally, you are going to strike your irons with a slightly descending blow. With the ball forward in your stance, your good hits are likely going very high because you are adding loft to the iron. Your bad strikes are likely to be thin shots because you are hitting up on the ball and catching it on the leading edge. 

The Fix: Focus on the ball position and practice moving the ball back in your stance. 

2) You are releasing the club too early on your downswing. This might be the most common reason that I see in the mid to high handicappers. This means that you tend to swing too quickly from the top of the backswing and lose the angle between your hands and the shaft. 

The Fix: Practice holding the back of your left hand (for right-handed golfers) towards the target through impact. If you wear a glove, picture keeping that glove logo aiming at your target. 

3) The ball is too far back in your stance. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. When the ball is too far back and you take a full swing, you create an immense amount of backspin, which will cause the ball to balloon and you can lose control of both distance and direction. The Fix: Practice hitting with the ball in the center of your stance. It will feel awkward at first but are essentially resetting where the bottom of your swing is. Once you get this, try moving the ball back in your stance an inch at a time.

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Are You Delofting Irons Too Much?


How do you know if you are delofting your irons TOO much? The answer is in your results. If you are trying to deloft your irons and you are struggling with accuracy and distance control then you are delofting your irons too much. 

Remember that the purpose of delofting your irons is to control the ball’s trajectory, whether that is in the wind or you feel as though you are hitting the ball too high. 

Delofting irons the right amount will give you the results you are looking for. Delofting too much will lead to inconsistency in a few forms. 

For example, let’s say you typically hit a pitching wedge 110 yards. When you deloft the club properly, the ball travels 115 yards and you can easily compensate. If you deloft the club too much, you might end up hitting that same pitching wedge 125 yards. This will lead to difficulty with your scoring clubs.

Golf Rushing Downswing


Please do not rush your downswing! This habit will lead to poor contact with the ball. In addition, when golfers rush the downswing, they generally come over the top of the ball and the club travels to the left leading to a slice or low hook. Good thing you are here because I am going to provide you with a drill that you can do on the course to help you not rush the downswing. 

Drill To Help

Having a go-to drill on the range or even on the course can help you get the club in the right position and get you back on track if you are struggling. It is a simple “1-2…go” drill. This means that you are going to take your setup as if you were going to hit the ball.

1) Take the club to waist high position and pause for a moment.

2) Continue and take the club to the top of the swing and pause for a moment as well.

3) GO! Swing down through releasing your lower body, arms, and hands. This is a static drill that will give you the proper feel at different points in your backswing that will allow you to swing through without rushing or coming over the top.

Frequently Asked Questions: Hitting it Straight


How To Get Irons In The Air

Let the club do the work. Trying to help the ball into the air usually has the opposite effect. Focus on your setup and posture. Finish your backswing and rotate through the shot. These fundamentals are key to getting the golf ball airborne. 

What Does Delofting The Club Mean?

This means that you are leaning the shaft towards the target at impact. So, if a gap wedge has 52 degrees of loft and you have 4 degrees of shaft lean at impact, you are delofting to 48 degrees at impact. 

How Do I Deloft My Irons?

At a basic level, play the ball slightly back in your stance and focus on keeping your hands ahead of the ball through the shot. As I said above, keeping your glove logo pointing at the target is a good gauge of success. 

How Much Should I Deloft Irons?

No more than 2-4 degrees. If your divots are deep and your trajectory is varied then you are delofting too much. 

How Do You Stop Delofting Irons?

Focus on the dollar bill drill above. As you move toward the center of the dollar bill, you will start to be more neutral instead of delofting. 

Conclusion: Research by TellMeMoreGolf.com

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Properly delofting your irons can be a great way to develop more control without losing distance. Our expert team at Tell Me More Golf has decades of knowledge to guide your game for better results in the upcoming season. Focus on good fundamentals, do not overcomplicate the process, and use the drills we provide to start playing your best golf.

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