Golf Irons

The club head of a golf iron is either made of either forged or cast metal. Forged is higher quality but if you are just getting into this sport a set of golf irons made from cast metal will do just fine.

Golf Iron Head Styles

There are two distinct iron club head styles. Blade style golf irons have a smooth back. Blade style irons are usually used by more experienced players. These irons are less forgiving and require much more precise ball striking skills.

Cavity back irons are the more common type of golf irons among amateur players. These clubs have perimeter weighting which makes them more forgiving for the less experienced golfer.

How Many Golf Irons Do You Need In Your Bag

set of golf ironsA complete set or standard set of golf irons usually consists of a 3 iron – Pitching wedge. If you want a #2 iron you will most likely need to special order it along with the other wedges you might want (like a gap wedge (GW) sand wedge (SW) and Lob wedge).

These extra wedged and the 2 iron are not necessary for a beginning golfer, but once your game starts to improve they can give really help out.

Golf Irons are numbered from 2-9. The loft increases and the shafts shorten as the numbers go up. For exapmle the #3 iron has a lower loft around (20 degrees) and a longer shaft than say the #9 iron. The lower numbered golf irons are designed to go hit the ball farther (that is if you can find the sweet spot on its club face).

The lower the number of a golf iron the smaller the sweet spot on the club face. In the case of the #3 iron the sweet spot is about the size of a dime. This is why many players have swapped their long irons (this is how the lower number irons are often referred to) for more forgiving hybrid golf clubs. Hybrids provide similar distance in a club that has a larger sweet spot and a shorter shaft (which gives you more control).

Golf Irons & Distance

As I mentioned earlier the lower the number of a golf iron (i.e. 3 or 4 iron) the farther it will hit the ball. This is due to a combination of the clubs loft angle and the length of the shaft.

3 mid iron golf clubsSo, an #8 iron will have more loft ( 37 degrees ) than a #7 iron ( 33 degrees ) and a shorter length shaft, therefore producing shorter distance shots. A shorter shaft means a shorter lever arm. The shorter the lever arm the slower the club head speed (that’s why drivers have such long shafts).

If you need a shot to stay low, say to get under a tree limb, while still advancing the ball 180 yards, you’d pick a 3 or 4 iron for that shot. If on the other hand you needed to get over a tree directly in front of you while only needing to go 120 yards you might try hitting an 8 iron.

Every player hits his golf irons different distances. Many sites and book have tables and charts telling you how far each club should go. These can be useful but you really need to figure it out for yourself. I’ve put together a very simple one if you want to check it out (golf iron distances)

Without talking about specific distances golf irons are usually broken down into three categories. You have long irons, the ones that travel longer distances (2, 3, and 4 irons). Then there are what they call mid-irons for those approach shots to the green (the 5,6 and 7 irons). Finally you have your short irons (8, 9, and PW) for those shorter shots.

When To Use Your Golf Irons

Golf irons are mainly played from the fairways or rough. Once or twice per round of golf you might use an iron from the tee on a par 3 hole.

Golf Iron Swing

Fat Golf Shot DivotsHitting golf irons is somewhat different than hitting a fairway wood or driver. When you come into impact with an iron you should be hitting the ball on the downswing (descending into the ball). You will be hitting down into the ball taking a divot from the grass. The divot should be in front of where the ball was, never behind it. 

Think of it like your are pinching the ball between the club head and the ground. Just make sure you hit the ball first, it is not proper form to strike the ground then the ball on a normal iron shot. For a quick explanation of why irons require a slightly different swing check out this video on the Golf D-Plane.

To make sure you strike the ball on the downswing the golf ball should be positioned roughly in the middle of your stance. As opposed to lining it up more off your front foot as you would with a wood.

As you play more shots with your golf irons you’ll begin to have a good idea how far you hit each of your clubs. This is important and one of the biggest ways you will improve at golf. Does your 5 iron go 170 yards or only 162 yards? This is critical information for shooting lower scores.

Pros know exactly how far each of their golf irons will hit the ball, you should know your iron distances too.

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