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National Club Golfer and National Club Golfer magazine

Driver Swing vs Iron Swing (Made Simple)

Do you know what to change in your swing when changing from driver to iron? PGA pro Jack Backhouse lets us know what the differences are between the driver vs iron swing.

 

Golfers tend to be either good with their irons and struggle with driver, or vice versa but often don’t do both things well. In this instruction video, one of a series in association with Callaway, PGA pro, Jack Backhouse lets us know what the driver vs iron swing differences are.

Are the two swings the same?

The best way to understand this is by working things back from impact. With an iron, we want a downward angle attack on the ball so that we can compress the ball for spin and control and take a divot after the ball. With a driver, we are looking for an upward attack angle on the ball so we can launch the ball high with a low lofted club for maximum power and distance.

These impact positions are very different, and so the golf swing that produces them must also be.

driver swing set up position

Differences at Set up

To achieve the upward attack angle with the driver, it helps to make the following changes to your set-up:

  • Move the ball forward in your stance up towards or even past your front heel
  • Add some trail side bend into your posture to tilt your spine angle away from the target

This pre-sets the golfer in a position where they can swing and get their body behind the golf ball to hit up, get the ball airborne and get the desired high launch low spin.

The setup for iron shots is different as we want the downward angle of attack, so a golfer should make the following changes to the driver set-up:

  • The ball should be positioned further back in the stance.
  • It might help to change your weight distribution by moving your weight forwards onto your lead foot and hands further ahead at address, as this is the desired impact position we are searching for.

Are the swing thoughts the same?

The golf swing doesn’t necessarily need to change a great deal, depending on your stock ball flight. We are still trying to achieve the same swing fundamentals, like having good hand depth at the top of the swing, a full turn in the backswing, having a nice shallow swing plane, etc.

Hopefully, just simply changing the address position will do enough to alter the swing to produce the desired impact to where the swing thoughts don’t need to change!

iron swing impact positon
DUBLIN, OHIO – JUNE 01: Collin Morikawa of the United States hits from the 13th fairway during the first round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday at Muirfield Village Golf Club on June 01, 2023 in Dublin, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

How Can You Practice This?

It will come as no surprise that I recommend golfers go to the range and practice this over and over again. Moving from long irons to driver and then to a wedge, then back to a driver, constantly making conscious adjustments to the address position will ensure that you do this successfully on the golf course.

Simulating the shots your are going to place out on the golf course is a great way to work on this too. Getting your driver and irons out, making sure that with each change in the golf club, you make the changes it needs to give yourself the best chance of success with each club.

Have you tried these drills before? Or do you have other drills that you think might work better? Let me know with a tweet.  

This video was filmed at Celtic Manor and we are wearing Puma apparel.

Jack Backhouse

Callaway Epic Max driver review

Jack is a PGA Golf Professional who specialises in coaching, teaching golf to beginners and top-level amateurs for 10+ years. He also loves his golf equipment and analysing the data of the latest clubs on the market using launch monitors, specialising in blade irons and low-spinning drivers despite having a chronically low ball flight.

Although Jack has no formal journalism training, He has been reading What's In The Bag articles since he started playing at 12 and studying golf swings since his dad first filmed his swing to reveal one of the worst over-the-top slice swings he reckons has ever been recorded, which set him off on the path to be a coach. His favourite club ever owned was a Ping G10 driver bought from a local top amateur with the hope that some of the quality golf shots would come with it (they didn't), and worst was a Nike SQ driver he only bought because Tiger was using it.

Jack is a member of Sand Moor Golf Club and regularly gets out on the golf course to prepare for tournaments. Jack uses a TaylorMade BRNR Mini driver, a half set of TaylorMade P7MB irons, MG4 wedges and a TaylorMade TP Reserve putter.

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