You’re not getting through the ball, which explains why you rarely compress it or generate that nice ‘click’ sound at impact (you’re used to hearing more of a ‘thud’). Golfers with this problem typically have decent backswings and downswings, but tend to hold back through impact, choosing to swing their arms through the hitting zone instead of busting through it with their body. Firing your entire right side through the ball helps you produce the right kind of divot (ahead of your lie) and hit shots with the spin and distance you need to get close to your targets.
The Drill that Fixes It
Since the tip ‘fire through the ball’ doesn’t do a good enough job of telling you how to properly release your body through impact, try the following drill. It’ll help you feel in an instant the right kind of rotation you need to swing powerfully through the hitting zone and compress the ball like the pros do.
Step 1: Set up with any one of your mid-irons using your regular stance and address posture. You won’t need to hit a ball with this drill.
Step 2: Without moving anything else, extend your left arm and club down the target line. You want your shaft and forearm as close to horizontal as possible with the toe of the club pointing up.
Step 3: While keeping your left arm and club in place, reach for the grip and reset your right hand on the handle. I tell my students, “Go get it!” Notice how you instinctively shift your weight and turn your lower body to get your right hand on the club again. You can’t do it just by swinging your right arm (the move you make when you hit bad shots on the course). Practise this drill a few times to ingrain the feel of correctly turning through the ball, then hit a few shots for real.