Hitting Long Irons

Golf bag with clubs
Hitting long irons is a challenge for many golfers, especially beginners and amateurs. One major reason for poor shots with a long iron is a misunderstanding on how to approach the shot. The shaft on a long iron is much longer than a short iron. With this increased length any mistakes or mis-alignments are magnified. A shot hit offline by just a few degrees will travel further away from the intended target than a short iron. The loft of the clubhead is also much less. Hitting high towering long irons is probably not going to happen for most golfers. Understanding these key elements will help you to hit better and more accurate long iron shots.

To address the first problem you have to be much more patient with a long iron than a short iron. The increased length of the club means the clubhead will travel a great distance back and through than a short or mid iron. The tendency is to rush the shot. Ideally you should swing with the same rhythm with every club. This will produce the best struck shots. To achieve better rhythm think about taking the club back at a slighltly slower speed than you would with a 7 iron. Don't over exagerate as this will just throw your natural golf rhythm off. Trying to swing slightly slower will more than likely reproduce your normal swing speed. This one change will help improve your ball striking.

With the small amount of loft on a long iron it can be difficult to get the ball in the air. This is where many golfers will try to help the ball in the air by swinging up on the ball. This is fine if you are teeing off and the ball is resting above the ground on a tee, but is disastrous if you are hitting from the fairway or rough. The leading edge of the clubhead will contact the ball first resulting in a skulled or thin shot that will end up nowhere near the target. Remember, to hit a ball in the air your iron shots should strike the ball with a slightly decending blow. Practice htting down on the ball with your irons without hitting the ground behind the ball. Grip down on your long irons while you are trying to learn this. It will shorten the length of the club and allow you a little bit more control.

Also any amount of error is magnified with a longer club so you must also decide what is an acceptable shot for you. Hitting the green with a long iron is not the only successful outcome. Sometimes just getting the ball around the green with a chance to chip it close is just as good as landing it on the putting surface. Don't beat yourself up if you don't hit the perfect golf shot every time!