Because the face of a long iron—numbers one, two and three—has so very little loft, it leads players to fear they will not get the ball up into the air so they usually lift up with their bodies in the act of hitting instead of staying down with the ball. Far from helping you to get the ball nicely into the air, this produces a low-flying shot and very often a slice. The good players all make a conscious effort to stay down over the ball and to reserve the use of the hands until the club is really in the hitting area.
In my observation, the other chief error most golfers make with the long irons is one that apparently stems from that frequently repeated instruction to take a shorter swing with the long irons than with the woods. Many players consequently take less than a full pivot on the backswing, and then make matters worse by trying to throw in some extra body action at contact. The first thing a player should remember is that the swing with the long iron is no different from the swing with the wood except that, the shaft being shorter, he must stand closer to the ball. Come back with]a full backswing and a complete pivot, and when you move into the ball, you will have all the power you need—and you will know it.
from BYRON NELSON, Roanoke, Texas
September 23, 1956
full backswing and pivot
restricted backswing and pivot
NEXT WEEK: AL ESPOSITO ON PITCHING FROM SANDY ROUGH