Justin Rose is someone I have got a lot of respect and admiration for. I just love watching him play the game and the way he manoeuvres his ball around the golf course.
He plays his own game and how he conducts himself both on and off the course is something everyone can learn a lot from. He’s a model professional and it’s no surprise he’s been signed up as an ambassador for England Golf to try and get more kids playing the game. He’s a great role model for kids to copy.
From a playing point of view, he has so many attributes, particularly when it comes to his iron play. I’ve outlined a few things I like about his approach to irons to give you an idea of his classic style and why it works.
What I really like about Justin is that he’s always set-up in what I would call ‘picture perfect’ posture. The angles he presets at address are very athletic. As a guide, and something for you to copy, a line drawn from your knees down to the ground should pass through your laces.
Bending at the hips and allowing the spine to retain its natural curve is key to being in good posture. The arms and hands should hang naturally underneath the shoulders from this position.
Having fantastic posture allows your hands to hang naturally underneath the shoulders. And because it’s natural, it feels natural, so it’s more repeatable. Posture is extremely important when it comes to solid iron play. It has a huge impact on balance within the swing and balance is a key ingredient to hitting solid shots.
Whenever you see Justin hitting irons, you never see him off-balance - but he can still generate a significant amount of power. It looks solid and it is solid.
Justin’s swing is quite orthodox in terms of the way the club moves around his body. He passes through positions which you would see in textbooks and hear commentators speak favourably of.
During his backswing, he remains very centred over the ball and doesn’t allow his weight to shift too much laterally - this, I believe, is a key ingredient to hitting solid iron shots, as it allows him to control the lowest point of his swing.
We don’t want to go too much into the right side… you just want to turn into the right side. If you move laterally into your right side, it paves the way to inconsistency, possibly hitting it heavy. But if you can stay over the golf ball when you turn, it allows your angle of attack to be much better.
When Justin gets to the top, it looks like he’s got a lot of time and a lot of room to maintain his width. He doesn’t seem to be in rush to get back down to the golf ball.
Always hit down
Justin is able to hit down on the golf ball and get his hands working ahead of the club because of his centred position at the top. Having that good angle into the back of the ball determines your strike. Again, for an iron, you want to hit down into the ball. With a driver, you’d hit up. Irons are always down.
EXTEND YOUR LEFT ARM
The biggest thing here is that the left arm, Justin’s lead arm, is straight at impact, and fully extended. People often let their left arm collapse and bend, and that will stop you from hitting down on the ball. This fault is often called ‘chicken wing’. Keep it straight and that helps you hit down on the ball for better ball-striking.
Gavin Abson is the Head PGA Professional at The Carrick. For lessons, call Gavin on 07967 206266. Follow him on Twitter @GavinAbsonGolf.