Time and again amateur golfers walk off the 18th hole or driving range looking at the ball striking of their irons and see it is out on the toe. While they may think, “this is much better than off the heel” because they don’t want to shank it, they often wonder just how much further they would hit it if they struck the sweet spot instead of out near the toe. So, why do you always hit it off the toe?
There are a number of reasons amateurs hit the toe of the club and end up flipping at impact. The number one reason is they are coming across the ball or over the top at the last minute. The good news is, if you are doing this, your over the top is much later than some of your buddies or playing competitors. If you strike the ball well, but it is out on the toe, you are likely coming across later in your downswing. This means you aren’t immediately coming across with your shoulders at the top of the downswing. So, how can you fix it and hit the sweet spot?
While your swing is likely from the inside there is still plenty of work to do to get the ball closer to the middle of the club face. It is not as easy as simply setting up with the ball closer to the heel. In fact, do not do this. This is going to cause huge problems. The way to get closer to the middle of the clubface is to maintain posture all the way through impact and getting your right side through the ball. That’s the good news. The bad news is that this is extremely difficult. You must have core strength and amazing flexibility to get through the ball without pulling across at impact.
The best drill to get your right side through the ball is to act like you are chipping the ball, make sure your left leg is braced and try to soften your right leg as much as possible. Use your right lower obliques, the back side of them, to get the core turning. You should feel as if your navel is turning towards the target and to the left of the target after impact. Try to do this without using your hands or arms. It can take thousands and thousands of reps of this to program your brain not to use your hands and arms to get the ball to impact.
The reason you are hitting it off the toe is your hands and arms take control right before impact and pull across. You may also want to practice softening your left elbow and allowing your right elbow to lead through impact. Once again, this is extremely difficult, but it will help you get your right side through the ball without trying to use your hips or left side. What most amateurs do not understand is the left side is not used on the downswing. The left side is used to brace on the downswing. Do not think you need to “explode the left hip” to get your right side through the ball. That is pulling with the left side and will lead to many more problems and inconsistencies down the road.
If you hit the ball well, but it is on the toe or outside of the club, you are not that far off. You just need to work on getting through the ball with your right side. Absolutely DO NOT set up with the heel of the club closer to the ball. Also, DO NOT change your setup and stand closer to the ball. This is not going to fix the problem of hitting it off the toe. It will cause many more problems.