Are you struggling to break 90? Do you have trouble with shots from 140 to 180 yards? Then you must improve your long iron game and bag some GIRs. Here’s how the average golfer can hit these distances without hybrids.
If you are like most intermediate golfers that are looking to break 90, you can hit a 9 iron with reasonable confidence and distance, but a 4 iron scares the confidence right out of you.
I personally spent many years wondering why my 5 iron didn’t go any further than my 8 iron (and was less consistent), and why I couldn’t hit my 3 iron without duffing it most of the time.
I would dread being 150 or 160 yards out. There was nothing worse.
Sure, “pull out a hybrid”, you say. “You shouldn’t be hitting long irons unless you are a low handicapper”.
Great idea, but my 5 hybrid goes 180-190 for crying out loud.
I had “no club” for 140 to 170.
So I took a lesson from one of the top pros in my area. Here’s what he showed me.
The problem with long irons and 90s shooters
Have you even read those articles or watched those videos talking about how low-lofted drivers are robbing distance from average players?
This common instruction suggests that a higher lofted driver will create a longer total distance for those with average or slow swing speeds.
Data has proven that, with a certain given swing speed, a 12 degree driver will go further than a 9 degree driver.
This is also true of long-irons. There’s just not enough loft to create an efficient ball flight for golfers that do not swing fast enough.
As a side note… what do hybrids do and why can we rip these so far in comparison? They move the center of gravity back and lower which creates a much higher launch.
The LPGA and club loft
Still not convinced?
LPGA golf clubs are set up to have higher lofts than are PGA golf clubs (or something like that, according to my instructor).
How to hit your long irons and break 90 – The fix
All you need to do is to add loft to the club face and your long iron shots will fly higher and further. How do you do that? Just place the ball further up in your stance.
Way further up – as in as far up as the heal of your front foot.
Will this cause other problems? Not really. Sure this has some minor effects, but those are nothing as compared to the benefits of having higher loft on the club face.
So then are we not just turning a 4 iron into a 6 iron? No. The 4 iron shaft is longer. It’s going to go farther.
A higher lofted club, as swung by an amateur with average swing speeds, will not only go further, but it will have more back spin and fly more consistently.
Congratulations – you just made your 4 iron fly higher, go farther, and fly toward the green more consistently – just by moving it way up in your stance.
More about swing speed and long irons
So how fast should we swing our long irons?
The answer is “pretty fast, but no faster than our trusty pitching wedge”.
If I handed you your own PW and asked you to hit the ball 100 yards, you would probalby feel pretty condifent about this shot.
Well guess what?
The same swing with a 4 iron in your hand, played toward your front foot as indicated above, will go 170. No problem. You don’t have to kill it.
With that said, I don’t want you to swing like a wimp either. As long as you are not tense, you can swing as fast as you want. Just swing the club as you would your PW trying to hit it 100 yards. Fast-ish – but super relaxed.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes.