Click here and enter your email address to watch the full video
Tyler Ferrell is the only person in the world named to Golf Digest's list of Best Young Teachers in America AND its list of Best Golf Fitness Professionals in America. Meet your new instructor.

Subscribe now to watch the full video.

Iron Vs Driver - Pros Vs Ams

In this analysis video, we discuss the key differences between the ideal iron and driver swing. We also look at what aspects of the swing remain the same with driver and iron, as well as look at how amateurs typically have trouble making these adjustments. If you struggle with one aspect of your game, either off the tee or from the fairway, this video will help you understand why.

Playlists: Beginner Program

Tags: Iron, Driver, Concept, Intermediate, Beginner

00:00:00,000 --> 00:00:04,000
In this analysis video, we're going to look at the difference between the iron and the driver swing.

00:00:06,000 --> 00:00:12,000
And while there are lots of little subtle differences, we're going to focus on the two primary differences,

00:00:12,000 --> 00:00:17,000
which is going to be the difference in their axis tilt and the difference in what I call the chop

00:00:17,000 --> 00:00:25,000
versus the lift movement of the arms. From the face on view, the easiest way for us to look at

00:00:25,000 --> 00:00:33,000
the axis tilt is if we were to take a golfer to just about impact and then draw a vertical line up from the golf ball

00:00:33,000 --> 00:00:38,000
and then another one down from their shirt buttons. Now because of the color of Adam's shirt on the left,

00:00:38,000 --> 00:00:47,000
we're going to use the edge of his hat instead. So if we were to draw a vertical line down from his shirt buttons or

00:00:47,000 --> 00:00:53,000
the edge of his hat, with the driver, you will see that the head is going to be or the shirt buttons

00:00:53,000 --> 00:00:57,000
is going to be a significant amount behind the bottom of the swing or behind the golf ball.

00:00:58,000 --> 00:01:04,000
With the iron, you're going to see that the shirt buttons will typically be around

00:01:05,000 --> 00:01:10,000
on top of the golf ball. But the biggest thing is you will see that they are further forward

00:01:10,000 --> 00:01:15,000
with the iron than they would be with the driver. Primarily, primarily with the upper body.

00:01:15,000 --> 00:01:22,000
The lower body has shifted just about the same amount regardless of whether they're hitting a iron or a

00:01:22,000 --> 00:01:30,000
driver. Now one of the other pieces to this axis tilt puzzle is with the driver, you will see that

00:01:30,000 --> 00:01:34,000
they will initiate transition with the upper body shifting just slightly forward. And then once they

00:01:34,000 --> 00:01:39,000
get to about delivery position and they start going into the release, you'll actually see the head

00:01:39,000 --> 00:01:44,000
and the upper body back up. I'll go through that a couple times and we're going to look at a variety

00:01:44,000 --> 00:01:49,000
of different touring and amateur golfers so that you can see this pattern. But you will see basically

00:01:49,000 --> 00:01:55,000
as they start this release that upper body is going to drift backwards. The difference that you'll see

00:01:55,000 --> 00:02:00,000
with the iron is as they start into their downswing, the upper body is going to drift forwards and then

00:02:00,000 --> 00:02:06,000
instead of backing up significantly, it's more or less going to stabilize. What I see on 3D

00:02:07,000 --> 00:02:12,000
is that with an ideal iron swing, the upper body from the top of the swing is going to move a few

00:02:12,000 --> 00:02:18,000
inches forward and then move just slightly backward from there so that when you are making contact with

00:02:19,000 --> 00:02:24,000
your iron, your upper body is actually about two inches closer to the target than it was at the top

00:02:24,000 --> 00:02:30,000
of the swing. With the driver or the ideal driver swing, you'll see a slight shift forward of about an

00:02:30,000 --> 00:02:35,000
inch and a half and then you will see a slight shift away to the point when they're making contact

00:02:35,000 --> 00:02:42,000
with their driver, their upper body is actually on average a little bit behind where it was at the

00:02:42,000 --> 00:02:48,000
top of the swing. This helps create that axis tilt which helps support the angle of attack

00:02:48,000 --> 00:02:54,000
and the loft characteristics that we're trying to create for the driver swing. Now let's talk about

00:02:54,000 --> 00:02:58,000
the difference between the arm movements and the chop versus the lift pattern for the driver

00:02:58,000 --> 00:03:04,000
versus the iron. So here we have Adam again and we're going to take him down to roughly

00:03:04,000 --> 00:03:10,000
delivery position which will be somewhere about like so. If I bring him down with the iron

00:03:12,000 --> 00:03:18,000
to somewhere about like so, you'll see a similar looking pattern with the shaft somewhere around that

00:03:18,000 --> 00:03:25,000
right forearm in both cases. Now even though their bodies look like they're in identical positions,

00:03:25,000 --> 00:03:31,000
we know from looking at the face on view that on the iron swing, Adam is actually a little bit

00:03:31,000 --> 00:03:37,000
more on top of the ball where in the driver swing Adam is actually starting to work back towards us.

00:03:37,000 --> 00:03:43,000
Here's where that's going to show up in what the arms do. So as he goes through his release with the

00:03:43,000 --> 00:03:49,000
driver, you will tend to see the arms working a little bit more up to the point where when he gets to

00:03:49,000 --> 00:03:54,000
shaft parallel in the ground or the follow through position. If you had a line straight out in front

00:03:54,000 --> 00:04:01,000
of his shirt buttons, the driver swing will be out up into the right where if you had him swinging

00:04:01,000 --> 00:04:09,000
his ideal iron, the arms would continue down in as a result when they get to that waist-type position.

00:04:09,000 --> 00:04:14,000
They're actually going to disappear because they will be more or less in front of his shirt buttons.

00:04:14,000 --> 00:04:20,000
This is one of the critical pieces to the difference between the ideal iron and the ideal driver

00:04:20,000 --> 00:04:27,000
swing and one that many Tor pros seamlessly integrate. Now let's take a look at another golfer.

00:04:27,000 --> 00:04:32,000
This is Jason Day. So on the left we have his driver and we can see that from the top of

00:04:32,000 --> 00:04:40,000
swing that upper body is going to have a slight shift forward followed by a shift backward during

00:04:40,000 --> 00:04:46,000
the release and you'll see that when he makes contact with the golf ball, his shirt buttons

00:04:46,000 --> 00:04:54,000
are a good 4 or 5 6 inches behind the golf ball. Here on the right we can see with the iron. He's

00:04:54,000 --> 00:05:00,000
going to have a slight shift forward with his upper body and then less dramatic shift backwards

00:05:00,000 --> 00:05:05,000
or what I call more of a stabilizing action. When he makes contact with the golf ball,

00:05:06,000 --> 00:05:10,000
his camera angle may not be perfect but you can clearly see that his upper body is further

00:05:10,000 --> 00:05:19,000
forward compared to where it was with his driver. Now let's take a look at the chop first lift

00:05:19,000 --> 00:05:25,000
from the down the line view. So over on the left we'll see as the club comes down. We're going to

00:05:25,000 --> 00:05:31,000
get him both to delivery position. So now if we come down with the iron we will see

00:05:33,000 --> 00:05:37,000
he may be hitting a cut shot that's hard to tell but you can see there's definitely a little

00:05:37,000 --> 00:05:44,000
bit of a difference in his shaft plane here at the delivery position. But as we come down

00:05:45,000 --> 00:05:50,000
we will see we know that his upper body is moving backward at this point and it's behind the golf

00:05:50,000 --> 00:05:57,000
ball and so what you will see is the arms reach more up and out and you will see when he gets to the

00:05:57,000 --> 00:06:02,000
follow through position that if you had a line even with his body or if we were looking to

00:06:02,000 --> 00:06:10,000
the shirt buttons the club would be off to the right of that line or to the right of his body

00:06:10,000 --> 00:06:16,000
and his shirt buttons. If you were to look at him over here on the left with the iron you'll see

00:06:16,000 --> 00:06:23,000
that as he comes through the club when it gets to that waist height position has disappeared

00:06:23,000 --> 00:06:28,000
because it has been working more down low and left or what I consider more of a chop movement

00:06:28,000 --> 00:06:34,000
because the height compared to his belt buckle would be lower and the path would be more left

00:06:34,000 --> 00:06:40,000
as if I were executing a chop. Here the handle is quite high compared to his belt and further

00:06:40,000 --> 00:06:47,000
out to the right as if he is conducting a lift. Now let's take a look at another example here we have

00:06:47,000 --> 00:06:56,000
Jason Duffner. So from the top of the swing we are going to see the upper body

00:06:57,000 --> 00:07:02,000
drift slightly forward and then start working back away during the release and you'll see that

00:07:02,000 --> 00:07:09,000
when he makes contact with the golf ball his upper body or the edge of his shirt buttons kind of

00:07:09,000 --> 00:07:15,000
right around here is going to be again six inches or so a significant amount behind the golf ball

00:07:17,000 --> 00:07:21,000
with the iron you'll see his upper body working forward and then more or less stabilizing

00:07:21,000 --> 00:07:27,000
or in his case working more up but it doesn't have quite the amount of moving backward as he has

00:07:27,000 --> 00:07:34,000
in the driver and now let's look at his chop versus lift pattern from the down the line. So on the

00:07:34,000 --> 00:07:41,000
left we have the driver let's get him into delivery position where we'll see that club shaft

00:07:41,000 --> 00:07:48,000
roughly in line with the forearm here on the iron we can get to a somewhat similar looking position

00:07:48,000 --> 00:07:57,000
now if we continue moving the driver down through impact you will see the club exit a little

00:07:57,000 --> 00:08:02,000
bit more up and you can still see the handle when the club is parallel to the ground.

00:08:03,000 --> 00:08:09,000
Over here on the right where he's making contact with it iron you will see

00:08:10,000 --> 00:08:16,000
that you are just starting to lose the handle. So again here's where his shirt buttons are

00:08:16,000 --> 00:08:22,000
here's where his shirt buttons would be you can see that the hands are further left with the iron

00:08:22,000 --> 00:08:28,000
but not quite as significantly as with some other players but there is clearly a difference in the

00:08:28,000 --> 00:08:34,000
handle height if you were looking compared to the belt line and the location of the club. So his

00:08:34,000 --> 00:08:39,000
is not quite as exaggerated as some other players and we can get into that in his personal evaluation

00:08:39,000 --> 00:08:44,000
but in general he is going with more of a lift pattern on the left and more of a chop pattern on the right.

00:08:46,000 --> 00:08:52,000
Now before we go over any more pros let's take a break and look at a few amateurs. So here we have one

00:08:52,000 --> 00:08:59,000
of my students who has more of a driver based swing and what you'll see is that with the driver

00:09:00,000 --> 00:09:06,000
you're going to see the club work excessively up and out to the right so that if you had that

00:09:06,000 --> 00:09:12,000
line in front of a shirt buttons we can clearly see the handle off to the right. Now with the iron

00:09:13,000 --> 00:09:22,000
he executes more or less the same pattern so that when he comes through that club is still up into the right.

00:09:22,000 --> 00:09:28,000
He's using the lift pattern and as a result he tends the struggle a little bit with consistent

00:09:28,000 --> 00:09:35,000
contact with his iron and battling hooks with the driver. If we look at this driver based pattern

00:09:35,000 --> 00:09:44,000
from the face on view what we will see is that when he starts his downswing he's going to have

00:09:44,000 --> 00:09:50,000
the slight shift forward and then a very pronounced shift backward. Now if you remember the Tor pros

00:09:50,000 --> 00:09:55,000
the adjustment that they made with the driver was it was going to come a little bit more or

00:09:55,000 --> 00:10:00,000
the upper body was going to drift a little bit more on top of the golf ball. Here what you'll see

00:10:00,000 --> 00:10:07,000
is a very similar pattern to his driver where his upper body shifts back more behind it or away

00:10:07,000 --> 00:10:13,000
from where it was similarly to what he's doing with the driver. So even though he is further behind

00:10:13,000 --> 00:10:20,000
where the golf ball was with the driver than with the iron he is executing a version of the

00:10:20,000 --> 00:10:24,000
driver pattern with his iron which part of the reason why he has a little bit of struggle.

00:10:25,000 --> 00:10:31,000
Now we will look at a few amateurs executing more of the iron pattern. So here we have a higher

00:10:31,000 --> 00:10:39,000
handicap and what you'll see is with the driver you're going to see the same overall pattern

00:10:39,000 --> 00:10:46,000
that we see with his iron. So we'll get him more or less down to delay reposition if you'll see

00:10:46,000 --> 00:10:54,000
a similar looking club path. Now as we take the driver to contact and then to the follow-through

00:10:54,000 --> 00:10:59,000
position you will see that when he gets to that follow-through position the handle of the club and

00:10:59,000 --> 00:11:06,000
the club head are clearly in front of his chest. If we do this with the iron we would expect to see it

00:11:06,000 --> 00:11:13,000
more to the left but what we're actually seeing is it's about the same. So he's executing the same

00:11:13,000 --> 00:11:17,000
pattern with his iron that he's demonstrating with his driver and it's more of an iron base.

00:11:18,000 --> 00:11:23,000
Now from the face on view we're going to see the iron based pattern of the upper body drive

00:11:23,000 --> 00:11:29,000
forward and then more or less stabilize. So when he's making contact if we were to draw a line

00:11:29,000 --> 00:11:34,000
down from his shirt buttons or sternum we can see it's just slightly behind the golf ball.

00:11:34,000 --> 00:11:40,000
Now with the iron we'll see that similar pattern of upper body driving forward and then stabilize

00:11:40,000 --> 00:11:45,000
to where his upper body is more or less the exact same place compared to where it is with the

00:11:45,000 --> 00:11:53,000
driver. So while Torpro's seemed to make these adjustments whether it's conscious or unconscious

00:11:53,000 --> 00:11:57,000
they're able to make these changes of how they're swinging the club within iron and how they're

00:11:57,000 --> 00:12:03,000
swinging the club with the driver that produces the successful strike with each end with each club.

00:12:05,000 --> 00:12:10,000
And now let's take a look at another iron based swing but this time with a low handy gap golfer.

00:12:11,000 --> 00:12:17,000
So we'll take him up to the top of the swing and draw a line vertically up from the back of the golf

00:12:17,000 --> 00:12:22,000
ball just as a reference. So we're going to go up to the top of the swing, draw a line vertically.

00:12:22,000 --> 00:12:27,000
Now you'll see from here we can't really tell if this is going to be an iron or driver based swing

00:12:27,000 --> 00:12:33,000
because in the in the driver he's definitely further behind the golf ball. What we'll see is if we

00:12:33,000 --> 00:12:38,000
establish that line from where the upper body is at the top of the swing you'll see during transition

00:12:38,000 --> 00:12:44,000
a prominent shift on top of the golf ball and never really moving backward but just stabilizing.

00:12:45,000 --> 00:12:52,000
Now when he makes contact he is slightly behind the golf ball but you can see that it's more

00:12:52,000 --> 00:12:57,000
of an iron based pattern with the upper body kind of linging forward. Now on the iron you'll see

00:12:57,000 --> 00:13:04,000
a smaller version of that shift and then the same stabilization pattern. Now this is he did not

00:13:04,000 --> 00:13:09,000
actually break the shaft it's it's it's a it's an effect of what's called a rolling shutter

00:13:10,000 --> 00:13:14,000
but what's happening with his body and his arms is something that you can clearly pay attention to

00:13:16,000 --> 00:13:22,000
and it's what he's doing with his arms and his club that have caused him to have consistency issues

00:13:22,000 --> 00:13:27,000
and trouble mostly with the driver because he's a very good iron player.

00:13:29,000 --> 00:13:34,000
Lastly now that we've taken a look at what's different between the two swings let's take a look at

00:13:34,000 --> 00:13:40,000
what's similar or consistent between your iron and your driver swing. The two main things that we're

00:13:40,000 --> 00:13:46,000
going to look at here are sequencing and the release. So here we have Jason Day and to look at

00:13:46,000 --> 00:13:50,000
sequencing it's easiest to do from the down the line view and we're going to look for checkpoints

00:13:50,000 --> 00:13:55,000
as far as when movements are occurring from different parts of the body. So during transition

00:13:55,000 --> 00:14:01,000
you will see that a lot of the focus is on a subtle movement of the wrist but the majority of the

00:14:01,000 --> 00:14:06,000
movement is going to come from the lower body. You'll see during transition whether it's with

00:14:06,000 --> 00:14:13,000
the iron or the driver the transition movement is going to be driven by the lower body.

00:14:13,000 --> 00:14:20,000
One way that you can clearly see this is his legs or his thighs will reach parallel to the target line

00:14:21,000 --> 00:14:27,000
kind of like so roughly when the left arm is or the left upper arm is parallel to the ground

00:14:27,000 --> 00:14:32,000
which it is in both of these swings. That's going to be consistent during all of your stock full

00:14:32,000 --> 00:14:39,000
swings. The next checkpoint we're going to look at is delivery position or when he's come to

00:14:39,000 --> 00:14:47,000
about shaft parallel to the ground in the down swing. What we will see at this position is the arms

00:14:47,000 --> 00:14:53,000
are going to be more or less still in the orientation they were at the top of the swing and his

00:14:53,000 --> 00:14:58,000
chest is going to be facing the golf ball or pointed out in the general direction of the golf ball.

00:14:59,000 --> 00:15:05,000
Then finally what you'll see is during the release from this down line view you'll see that the arms

00:15:05,000 --> 00:15:13,000
are going to basically take the club the last part of the downswing. You will see with the iron

00:15:13,000 --> 00:15:19,000
because it's more of because the upper body is a little bit more or less tilted behind it.

00:15:20,000 --> 00:15:25,000
The right arm will be a little bit straighter than it is with the driver but the overall release pattern

00:15:25,000 --> 00:15:32,000
is going to be the same. Now for the general release stuff I'm usually referencing 3D but we'll do

00:15:32,000 --> 00:15:38,000
what we can and look at a few things with the video. So one of the things that's really easy to look at

00:15:38,000 --> 00:15:44,000
if you have a good frame rate and a good high speed video is the angle of the wrist roughly as they're

00:15:44,000 --> 00:15:51,000
making context with the golf ball. Now it's going to be a little bit harder to draw the one here on

00:15:51,000 --> 00:15:56,000
the right because of the fact that he's wearing all black but if I were to draw a line basically down

00:15:56,000 --> 00:16:02,000
his forearm and then down the grip you can see the number right here which is about an 85 degree

00:16:02,000 --> 00:16:11,000
angle between these two. If you were to draw for the driver you're going to see about 82.

00:16:12,000 --> 00:16:18,000
Erily even though his upper body is well behind the golf ball his wrists are in the same

00:16:18,000 --> 00:16:26,000
orientation compared to his body more or less are compared to the golf ball. Even though he's got a

00:16:26,000 --> 00:16:33,000
lot less chef lean with the driver than he does with an iron the reason for that is because of the amount

00:16:33,000 --> 00:16:44,000
of side tilt being slightly more with the driver than it would be with the iron giving the

00:16:44,000 --> 00:16:50,000
illusion or appearance of less chef lean compared to his body his hands are more or less doing the same

00:16:50,000 --> 00:16:56,000
thing which is what you're working on in your stock full swing. So now we'll look at a few more golfers

00:16:56,000 --> 00:17:02,000
putting all of this together so here we have Justin Rose and I'll draw some of our different reference lines

00:17:02,000 --> 00:17:07,000
so from the top of the swing I'm going to draw one line up from the back of the golf ball

00:17:10,000 --> 00:17:17,000
just like so and now during transition you will see the slight shift forward followed by the shift

00:17:17,000 --> 00:17:23,000
backward during the release you can see by his head now this is a three wood it's not a driver so

00:17:23,000 --> 00:17:28,000
he's going to be a little bit more on top of it than he would be if he were truly striking up

00:17:29,000 --> 00:17:36,000
if we take it to the frame just before impact we can get an idea of where his wrist is so we'll say

00:17:36,000 --> 00:17:44,000
that's roughly around 70 now the iron you'll see a little bit more of the shift forward followed by a

00:17:44,000 --> 00:17:50,000
little bit more of the stabilization not quite as much a shift back and it's going to be a little

00:17:50,000 --> 00:17:58,000
bit trickier to get the grip but we'll give it our our best so I think that's the grip kind of

00:17:58,000 --> 00:18:08,000
somewhere right about there so 7077 it was look pretty close to me again just looking at some of the

00:18:08,000 --> 00:18:15,000
similarities as well as some of the differences between the driver and the iron swing now for fun

00:18:15,000 --> 00:18:21,000
let's look at a few of the less traditional swings so here we have Lee Westwood and he's not

00:18:21,000 --> 00:18:27,000
hitting a driver so it's going to be a little less in the spectrum but as he goes through you'll see

00:18:27,000 --> 00:18:33,000
even with his tendency to bend his arm when the club is roughly parallel you can see you can still

00:18:33,000 --> 00:18:38,000
see the club head over here the grip is going to be more or less there it's slightly to the right

00:18:38,000 --> 00:18:43,000
at least when we compare that to the short iron that he's hitting over here on the left or sorry

00:18:43,000 --> 00:18:51,000
on the right so as he comes down you'll clearly see the handle working a little bit more left

00:18:51,000 --> 00:18:56,000
and when he gets to that follow through position the club is more or less bisecting his body or

00:18:56,000 --> 00:19:08,000
straight out in front and here we have second Johnson and to say the camera on the left isn't

00:19:08,000 --> 00:19:17,000
very good but we can see the slight shift forward followed by the stabilization on the right you can

00:19:17,000 --> 00:19:22,000
see from the top of the swing slight shift forward followed by a much more prominent shift back

00:19:23,000 --> 00:19:29,000
now whether or not that change is conscious is totally debatable but it's important to understand that

00:19:29,000 --> 00:19:37,000
that change is happening now one last little point or one last way to look at this is

00:19:38,000 --> 00:19:44,000
we can highlight it by using Roy Macquarie as an example in order to create this access to

00:19:44,000 --> 00:19:49,000
in order to have the upper body going backward you're going to be using your legs to push against

00:19:49,000 --> 00:19:56,000
the ground you'll see that as he pushes his left leg that's what causes his upper body to go backward

00:19:56,000 --> 00:20:03,000
that also helps trigger the arms working up so more or less a good driver of the golf ball is going to

00:20:03,000 --> 00:20:08,000
use the lower body as their main power source where good iron player is typically going to use the

00:20:08,000 --> 00:20:14,000
shoulder in lat as their main power source what we'll see with the examples is as Roy goes through

00:20:14,000 --> 00:20:20,000
you'll see his left foot is going to actually spin and be a little bit elevated

00:20:21,000 --> 00:20:26,000
all right so it's lightly off the ground allowing it to spin because he's pushing so hard against

00:20:26,000 --> 00:20:33,000
the ground with the iron there's going to be a less dramatic push from the lower body and a little

00:20:33,000 --> 00:20:41,000
bit more of an upper body dominant movement so you won't see the same amount of of gap between

00:20:41,000 --> 00:20:48,000
or movement of his foot as he goes into this release so I hope that helps clear up what we're trying

00:20:48,000 --> 00:20:53,000
to do with your stock full swing the stock full swing is going to help you build a swing from the ground

00:20:53,000 --> 00:20:58,000
up of moving your lower body positioning your hands for the proper release and then helping you

00:20:58,000 --> 00:21:04,000
figure out how to transfer all that energy into the golf club during the release the things that

00:21:04,000 --> 00:21:10,000
are going to adjust are going to be the direction of where you're applying that force with the

00:21:10,000 --> 00:21:15,000
driver you want to be more of a sweeping motion with an iron you're going to be hitting the ball

00:21:15,000 --> 00:21:21,000
before the ground or a little bit more of a chopping or downward motion if you can figure out how to

00:21:21,000 --> 00:21:28,000
build one or two thoughts to make that simple transition from driver to iron it will help you

00:21:28,000 --> 00:21:34,000
immensely be a consistent not only just driver or iron player but a consistent golfer

Subscribe now for full access to our video library.