The difference between Driver and Irons

The difference between Driver and Irons

Do we have a different swing with the driver and the irons? To be honest it’s hard enough to find time to practice and develop one swing let alone two different swings. The difference in the effect of the swings comes from the modification in our set up and the different design characteristics of the clubs. The driver is obviously a good bit longer and sits on the ground a little flatter than the Irons this makes people stand a little taller at address and in the swing they appear to swing flatter. The ball position with the driver is a lot more foreword in the set up. This also has the effect of creating a bit more front facing spine angle and slightly more angled shoulders (left shoulder higher for a right handed golfer).


Driver set-up

  • Ball position inside left heel
  • Shoulders and spine angle tilted slightly
  • Hands fractionally behind the ball


9 Iron set-up

  • Ball position in the middle of the stance
  • Shoulders nearly parallel to the ground
  • Spine angle vertical
  • Hands just in front of the ball

For a lot of Iron shots we will hit the ball with a descending blow or what is commonly called hitting down on the ball. This is done simply because the ball is resting on a closely mown area and so this gives us the best margin of error in the striking zone. In a driver we ideally want to hit the ball marginally on the upswing or at the very least the bottom of our swing apex, this will help us optimise our launch angle for greater distance. Setting up to the ball in these different ways should naturally change the swing effects to give us our minor variations we need to utilise each piece of equipment.

Appointments with Paul for golf lessons in Wicklow can be booked via Powerscourt Golf Club Reception: Tel (01) 204 6033 or the Golf Shop Tel (01) 204 6031. Read more about lessons from Paul Thompson by visiting the Powerscourt Golf Club Website.

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