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Why is shaft alignment so important? This interesting video shows us

If you want to hit the sweet spot in the face, you have to have a forward leaning shaft.

@andrewricegolf / X

Welcome to Play Smart,’s regular game improvement column that will help you play smarter, better golf.

There is no feeling like holding a bell just on the right. For professionals, that feeling is expected. For the average recreational player, hope.

There’s no reason these images have to be rare, though. All you have to do is develop a little consistency. And a good place to start in that effort is to understand what a polished iron gun looks like.

If you watch a slo-mo video of a well-struck iron, one thing should immediately become apparent: the shaft leans toward contact. This forward lean shaft de-lofts the impact face – generating more power – and brings a nicer clubface position behind the ball.

You can see the events in the video below from GOLF Top 100 Teacher Andrew Rice.

“As soon as we get the shaft lean, and we have the clubhead moving down to a certain degree, that face area has a clean reach to the back of the golf ball,” Rice said.

If you don’t maintain proper lean – especially with high clubs – you will have a tendency to hold down the clubface. However, if you lean the shaft forward a little, it allows you to contact the sweet spot more easily.

That leans forward and helps you press the ball into the turf, generating spin (and length) on your shots. This will make it much easier to attack the tees and get the ball to stop quickly on the green.

Zephyr Melton Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Before joining the GOLF team, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists in all instruction and covers youth and women’s golf. He can be reached at

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