At last January’s PGA Merchandise Show I came across a booth with a huge banner manned by Englishman Bertie Cordle. The banner showed a golfer striking what anyone would have to say was a perfect iron shot.
On display were wedges and irons but not normal wedges and irons. Each had a pronounced curvature to the shaft so naturally I asked what it was all about. Cordle’s explanation made tremendous sense.
To hit it pure, we know irons must be struck with a descending blow having the hands ahead of the clubhead. But as with a lot of things, golfers often find this is one of those easy-to-say-hard-to-do moves that we struggle to master. Our swings produce poor hits maybe because the club is not on plane but usually because our hands are behind the ball.
Aside from the speed of our swings, that poor club-ball contact is undoubtedly the biggest difference between the typical amateur and the touring professionals and the probably the biggest reason we don’t score up to our potential.
Cordle, a teaching professional who understands all of this, figured out to train amateurs to make proper and impact…i.e., hit it pure, he needed an easy to use and understand training aid. Thus, after a lot of trial and error, the Compressor clubs were born from his company DST Golf.
There are two, an 8-iron and a wedge (each $100), with curved shafts so to hit it properly the swing must be on plane, the weight shifted to the left (for right-handers) and the hands ahead of the ball at impact. In other words, the entire package for producing better iron shots. You are instructed to replicate the impact position of hands ahead of the ball at address and there’s an alignment line on the hosel to help.
Cordle explained in an email…”here are a few things to bear in mind when using the 8 iron compressor for the first time. Due to the curvature of the shaft it is not unusual for players to hit it fat for the first few shots. If this happens you will be forced to get more weight onto your lead foot prior to impact. Secondly don’t be surprised to see a draw flight path or a pull. If you do see this ball flight, the compressor is encouraging you to hold your hands off for longer through pact. So you have a flatter lead wrist. Essentially, the club requires that you swing the club face square or minutely open to the target line for 15cm longer than a conventional club. It forces you to feel how to control the club face through impact.”
The DST Compressor Wedge uses the same principle but where the wedge really pays for itself is teaching how to hit pitches and chips. It is amazing to watch someone who has been hitting it fat or blading the ball over the green–typical wrist-flipper moves–all of a sudden see the ball go towards the hole with a nice trajectory and actually spin to a stop.
After a series of practice range sessions with both clubs I can report simply they work. Improvement wasn’t instantaneous but after a couple of range sessions I figured what it took to swing for a much more powerful on-line blow and my iron game really improved.
Now if I could just putt.