No matter where your clubface is at address, in the takeaway, or at the top of the backswing… the only thing that really matters is IMPACT. The flight of the golf ball does not lie and can tell you exactly what the path of the club head traveling into the ball and the position or angle of the clubface.
Characteristics of a good impact position are as follows:
Head behind the golf ball (it should stay in the same place that it was at address)
Square shoulders (parallel to the target line)
Hips 15-35 degrees open to the target line
Right wrist bent backwards = shaft leaning forward
Left wrist flat = square clubface
Weight aggressively transferring to the front foot (75-85%)
Stiff front leg supports the aggressive transfer
Trail knee bent shifting forward
A little bit of air under the trail foot
Here are some drills that you can do in order to work on improving your impact position. Players often try to lift or help the ball into the air. The golf club is designed to strike down on the ball with a descending blow. To a player who tries to flip the ball up in the air; these exercises may feel like you are hitting a knockdown or a low shot. If you struggle with flipping your wrists through impact you must exaggerate the following.
Key thoughts that will help you strike your short and mid irons:
Shaft leaning forward (towards the target)
RH golfers = at impact keep the right wrist bent back (palm to the ground)
Head should stay behind the ball (same as it was in the address position)
Here are some drills and training aids that can help you to feel the proper impact position:
Try to hit your wedge as low as possible. By doing this you will see that trapping the ball will produce a higher ball flight than trying to lift the ball. As a visual aid, set a table out on your practice range, about 20-30 yards away. Try to hit shots under the table. You actually will be hitting the golf ball way over the table.
Exaggerate the forward lean of your shaft with an impact bag leaning up against the tire of a golf cart or a bag stand (something solid). Take several slow swings into the impact bag… STOP!!! Hold this position and feel the difference. The longer you hold this exaggerated position the more likely you muscle memory will remember. You should feel your abs and core muscles engaged at impact instead of flipping your wrists.
Work on chipping and pitching and focus on the 3 key thoughts above. When you strike the small shot properly you will feel the compression of the golf ball and you will notice divots in front of the ball. It feels good because you are doing it right!