|Ask the Golf Coach!|
Q: I am having trouble with my long irons, with controlling the ball flight and getting a solid strike, any thoughts on this area of my game?
Long Irons can be a struggle for all of us and the area that they cover, 165 – 195 yards is one whereby as we improve, we will be able to hit more greens in regulation.
From a technical point of view the loft on these clubs has changed greatly in the past decade or so. For instance a 5 iron used to be around 31 degrees in loft, in today's bag that now becomes 26 degrees.
So from a playability point of view these clubs are considerably tougher to play. In my view most players would be much better off having a 5 as their biggest iron.
A hybrid offers a much easier option to play with as demonstrated by 2009 PGA Champion YE Yang, who uses them in place of his 3, 4 and 5 iron.
With longer irons or hybrids the key in this area of the game is acquiring the feeling of sweeping the ball away.
I have found in an effort to hit a greater distance with a longer iron , we lose our shape of swing and hit across the ball. Ideally we want to swing at no more than 70% of our available power.
Hybrid clubs are perfect for those unforgiving lies that ensnare long irons - fluffy rough or hard-pan. Their typically rounded soles and compact heads are far less likely to dig into the ground and far more likely to bounce on through impact, giving you a consistent strike.
When you have a long iron in your hand, there is a temptation to try to help the club get the ball up in the air by scooping with their wrists. This can lead to all manner of ugly duffed and thinned shots.
Your aim should be to keep the back of your left hand level - if not ahead of the ball at impact. This should give you a solid strike through the ball.
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