In honor of the British Open we would like to pay respect to the wind-cheating knockdown 5-iron. Take a 5-iron, choke up a little; open your stance about 20 degrees; play the ball toward your back foot; shift your weight forward; have your hands pressed forward; and take the club back waist high and come down aggressively on the ball with very little wrist action. This shot can be used from under trees, from out of divot, off hardpan, off loose sand, into the wind, or when loft simply isn’t necessary. The shot will produce a low roller that will keep you out of trouble.
The above is an excerpt from a master PGA professional. Although I have full due respect for his experience, it’s in my experience through teachers like Butch Harmon and players like Tiger Woods, that that’s NOT the right way to hit the knock-down shot. First, don’t choke. Second, don’t open your stance. And third, don’t play the ball off the back foot. Finally, fourth, do not shift your weight forward.
Choking will really choke you mentally and physically. Opening your stance will only confuse you. Playing the ball off the back foot and shifting your weight forward will only make you hit down on the ball, causing the ball to shoot up in the air.
So, just take your regular stance, play the ball in the middle, have weight balanced 50-50, and do NOT come aggressively down on the ball. Just swing nice and smooth 1/2 or 3/4.
That’s my 2 cents from the best coaches and players who have played this shot. If you don’t believe me, just go ask Tiger or Butch Harmon.