Why Can I Hit Short Irons But Not Long Irons?
Every golfer has a favorite club in the bag. Most will settle on something around the seven or eight iron. Each time you put the seven or eight iron in your hands, you feel as though you can do whatever is necessary with the club to get it near the pin.
This type of confidence is essential for shooting low scores; however, most golfers struggle to gain this type of confidence with their long irons. Long irons are considerably harder to hit than short irons, and it is good to have a general understanding of this concept.
The more prepared you are to take on these long iron shots, the better your chance for success. Here is everything you need to know to start hitting your long irons properly again.
Long Irons Vs Short Irons
To start off, it makes sense to understand the difference between short irons and long irons. The most significant difference between these two clubs is the length and the loft.
The long irons are, in fact, longer than the short irons. When you start with a club like a pitching wedge in your hand, and you move up to the nine iron, there is an increase in the loft of the club.
This increase in length continues its way up the entire set of golf clubs. The longest iron in your bag will be considerably longer than the wedges in your golf bag.
As these clubs get longer, they also start to lose a bit of their loft. Each club is about three or four degrees less loft than the club before them. This means that your seven iron is going to have considerably less loft than your four iron.
The longer a golf club is and the more loft that it has, the more difficult it is to hit. As you can see, as you move from the nine iron up to the four iron, the clubs just keep becoming more and more challenging to hit.
Why Am I Struggling With My Long Irons
Chances are you are struggling with your long irons because your swing speed is not quite fast enough to be able to hit them properly.
As we mentioned, the long irons have a low loft, and the clubs are longer.
This requires more speed and great efficiency in the golf swing. If you don’t have these things, you will have a hard time hitting the types of shots that you want.
The short irons in your bag are more forgiving because of the higher launch angles and more confidence-inducing look to their setup.
Most players can stand with an eight or nine iron in their hand and the club looks like it is going to get up in the air and produce some impressive shots.
When you stand over a four iron, the flatter face and thinner look will make the process of hitting this shot well feel like a daunting task.
Some golf equipment is being made to give the four irons a wider sole and some improved launch capabilities. This is helping to make it so more golfers can hit the club well.
How Can You Improve With Your Long Irons
As hard as it is to be able to hit a long iron well, it is possible.
There are plenty of great players that have learned to adapt to hitting long irons, and they know how to enjoy their time on the course by using a long iron to benefit them.
However, this probably came with a little practice and tweaking to the game. Here are a few ways to start getting your long irons to work for your golf game.
Practice, Practice, Practice
There is no question that people like to practice their driver at the driving range. So many amateur golfers run to the hitting booth, pull out the driver, and just start hitting shot after shot. It’s satisfying to hit a driver, and golfers love the way it feels when you hit a great shot. However, it’s not the best way to get better at golf.
If you really want to get better, you need to practice the shots that are hardest for you to hit. If you struggle with your four iron, take it to the range and start tweaking a few things in your setup, ball position, stance, and even swing length. See if there are slight chances you can make to start hitting the ball better.
There are plenty of drills out there to help you hit your long irons better. One of the best drills is quite simple, and it requires you to hit a single shot with each of your irons all the way up your golf bag. Hit one nine iron, followed by an eight, a seven, etc.
This drill helps to give players a better idea of what it will be like on the course as opposed to just hitting shot after shot with the same club in hand. Golf drills that work on balance and create an efficient turn can also help players looking to improve with their long irons.
Golf lessons can be eye opening when it comes to learning to hit long iron shots. There may be something small in your swing that is causing these clubs to be less forgiving for you.
The golf professional may change something small like your ball position or the stopping point at the top of your swing to help you get more consistent contact. Golf lessons with a qualified professional are never going to hurt your golf game.
Improve Your Stance
When you are hitting golf shots with your long irons, you may need to adjust your golf stance a bit.
The ball should be placed further towards the front of your swing, and you will also need to be slightly further away from the ball. Making sure that your stance is ready for taking a swing at the long iron is essential.
As we have mentioned, one of the reasons that players struggle with being able to hit the golf ball solid is that they don’t have enough speed in their golf swing.
If you want some extra speed, then you are going to need to work for it. This type of speed can be developed through getting new equipment or from getting a bit stronger with your irons.
If you want to gain speed, you can use a weighted golf club to get some extra strength and eventually more speed.
How Can You Hit Long Irons Well, Consistently
One of the best ways to start hitting long irons consistently is to change your mind about them.
Golf is such a mental sport, and when you stand over a golf ball with no confidence, you can’t expect your golf shot to be a good one.
Players need to learn that in order to play consistent golf, it is essential to practice the long irons and then get some extra confidence in their abilities.
Learn to swing the club a bit faster and position the ball in the right spot; this will lead to better and more consistent golf.
What Is Considered A Long Iron
A long iron is anything longer than a six iron.
Six iron seems to be the bridge between the clubs that are considered long irons and those that are short or mid irons.
This is why you see so many golfers switching to the hybrid irons after their six irons.
Is A 5 Iron A Long Or Short Iron
A five iron is considered a long iron. Many golfers will keep the five iron in their bag so that they have a low lofted club for hitting out a bad position.
The problem is that getting these shots to fly correctly and with enough accuracy can be difficult.
If you are carrying long irons that you can’t get great shots with, switch them for a hybrid. Don’t keep a club in your bag that you can’t use.
Should You Consider Using Hybrids Instead Of Long Irons
If you realize that each time you reach for a long iron, the result is less than ideal, it is time to take them out of the bag.
Hybrids are made specifically for players that struggle with long irons, and they do a great job of making the game easier.
Could It Be Down To The Types Of Irons?
You should always check your equipment to see if it could be the cause of the issue.
If you are playing with a blade type player’s iron, the ability to hit long iron shots only gets harder.
Many golfers play with a combination set that includes some blade style irons in the short irons and cavity back irons in the long irons.
Can Switching To Game Improvement Or Super Game Improvement Help?
Game improvement and super game improvement irons can make a big difference in your game.
You will lose a bit of the feel, but you will get the distance and forgiveness that you have likely been lacking.
Can Single Length Irons Help?
Single length irons make it much easier for golfers to set up to the golf ball.
When your four iron is the same length as your seven iron, you can take the same setup, and you won’t have to worry about being able to release and swing the long iron around you quite as much.
Many players that struggle with long irons have found the single length irons to be helpful.
Favorite Long Irons To Improve With
Callaway Big Bertha B21 Single Iron
The Callaway Big Bertha B21 irons are built with forgiveness and distance in mind. Sometimes for players that need it, switching to a more forgiving iron design in the long irons can be what is needed for success.
The B21 features Flash Face Cup technology, and it was designed with artificial intelligence.
This is a club that gives you power, low spin, and enough launch to help get your long irons in the air.
- Flash Face Cup
- Lower Spin
- Straight shots
- Urethane Microspheres for feel
- It does not have the purest feel for better players
Overall Score: 96/100
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TaylorMade 2017 M2 Iron, 4, 2017 M2 Reax (Graphite), Regular
The TaylorMade M2 golf iron set was built with forgiveness and distance in mind.
The graphite shafts M2 irons are very easy to hit, and players will be able to get the ball quite high into the air.
If you are a golfer that struggles to get the ball speed necessary to hit great shots, the M2 speed technology can help increase the ball speed.
Overall this is a fair price for a long iron fit specifically to your game.
- Graphite shaft helps launch
- Easy to get ball speed
- Confidence inducing design
- Not as long as some of the newer TaylorMade technology
Overall Score: 94/100
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Tour Edge Golf Hot Launch 4 Iron-Wood Hybrid Irons
For the golfer that is not quite sure that they want an iron or a hybrid in the bag, the Tour Edge Iron Wood is a perfect choice.
This club features a heavy sole, and it looks like a mix between an iron and a hybrid. The offset of the club makes sure that you are able to keep your longer iron shots as straight as can be.
This club is offered in a few different lofts, so you can find one that works well for your golf game. For very easy and stable performance, the Hot Launch 4 Iron Wood is a great choice.
- A mix between iron and hybrid
- Wide sole
- Heavy sole for higher ball flight
- It does not have the same distance technology other top brands do
Overall Score: 92/100
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The majority of golfers struggle with being able to hit their long irons.
This is such a common problem in golf that we have seen the continual growth of hybrid golf clubs. Take our tips for learning how to increase your speed and play a long iron properly.
If you find that you still can’t get what you want out of your five, four, and three iron, it may be time to look at alternative equipment. Golf manufacturers are well aware of the issues that golfers have with long irons, and they are continually coming up with solutions that can help.