By Paul Myers

You should get excited when you pull your seven iron out of the bag. Why? Because, when you select as seven iron for the shot at hand, you must be within a reasonable distance from the green. Hitting a seven iron close to the hole is far easier than accomplishing the same feat with a long iron, so you stand a real chance to set up a par or birdie with a seven iron in your hands.

Of course, you can’t take this club for granted and just assume you are going to hit good shots. The technique that you use is still going to determine whether or not the ball finishes close to the hole, so attention to detail is extremely important when making your swings. Learn how to repeat your seven iron swinging motion over and over and you will quickly become a better golfer.

The three keys below are meant to help you get the ball as close to the hole as possible with your seven iron.

Key #1 – Compact Backswing

You aren’t looking for raw power or maximum distance when you hit a seven iron – you are looking for control. With that in mind, focus on making a tighter backswing that allows you to feel the position of the club at all times. If you let the club wind way around your back it will be difficult to make solid contact coming through. Make a short arm swing and use the rotation of your body to guide the club through impact.

Key #2 – Choke Down for Added Control

As an added measure of control over the club, consider choking down on the grip an inch or two prior to starting your swing. This adjustment may cost you a few yards of distance overall, but those yards will be worth sacrificing if you can better control the direction of your shots. Before trying this tactic on the course, be sure to work out the kinks on the driving range. You may need to make some minor adjustments to your setup (such as your ball position) before this method will truly start to pay off.

Key #3 – Take Dead Aim

When you get the opportunity to hit a seven iron in to the green, take dead aim at the flag and make your best swing. You don’t get a ton of opportunities to be aggressive within a given round of golf, so you have to take advantage when they are presented to you. Pick out a very specific target based on your shot shape, and execute the swing to the best of your ability. You aren’t going to hit the ball close every time, but being aggressive in your approach will maximize your birdie chances.

Shooting good scores is all about taking advantage of opportunities, and reaching for your seven iron on an approach shot is a clear opportunity to hit the ball close to the hole. Make sure you pay attention to your fundamentals when setting up for a seven iron shot, and then clear your mind prior to taking the club back away from the ball. With the right amount of practice and plenty of confidence, the seven iron is a club that should serve you well.