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Having the ability to keep the ball under control with your irons is crucial if you want to score well.

According to data from Shot Scope, the average scratch golfer will hit the green in regulation 62% of the time. Take that statistic to a ten handicap player, and the number falls to 35%.

Clearly, a big gain is made by better players giving themselves more chances at birdie and less chances to notch up costly double bogies.

Take that statistic to the tour, and so far in 2023, former Masters champion Scottie Scheffler has hit 74% of greens in regulation.

• Master the high soft chip

• Are you standing too far away from the ball?

So, how can you hit the green more often with your approach shots?

PGA Tour pro Maverick McNealy, who is ranked inside the top 100 in the world rankings, has a small adjustment he makes when playing an iron shot he wants to keep under control, particularly when he’s faced with a strong wind.

For him, it’s all about getting his ball to fly the right distance, rather than getting the ball to carry a long way.

“I like to grip down an inch on my irons,” he told bunkered.

• The key to lower scores? Not more birdies

• How to master the long bunker shot

“It doesn’t make the ball go shorter, it just stiffens the shaft and flattens the flight on the ball. You get a little less ball speed and a little less spin, so your ball will fly with a more penetrating flight through the wind.”

The 27-year-old continued, saying that trusting the ball will fly the correct distance is essential for better iron play.

“You just need to trust that you’re not going to lose distance, but it’s great for flighting a shot either under the wind or to a back pin where you want a little bit of release on the shot.”

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Lewis Fraser As bunkered’s Performance Editor, Lewis oversees the content that’s designed to make you a better player. From the latest gear to tuition, nutrition, strategy and more, he’s the man. A graduate of the University of Stirling, Lewis joined bunkered in 2021. Formerly a caddie at Castle Stuart Golf Links, he is a member of Bathgate Golf Club where he plays off four.

Performance Editor

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