Learning how to hit long irons takes time, practice, and patience. Of all the clubs in the standard golf bag, the 1 through 4 are widely considered the most difficult to master. Here are some tips to help you learn how to hit long irons with confidence and precision.
The Key Elements:
While there are hundreds of tips concerning iron-play, four key elements must be a incorporated in each shot: good balance, smooth tempo, club head acceleration, and careful targeting. If any of these are lacking or absent, the shot will be less than successful.
The Key Goal:
When you are first learning how to hit long irons, your main goal is to strike the ball crisply and cleanly on the sweet spot of the club face. Here is how you can accomplish this goal.
1. Make sure you have a good solid stance when you taking your address. A slight flex in your knees will help steady you as you go through your swing.
2. It is imperative that you bring your club back smoothly and continue this smooth swing throughout, especially as you move from backswing to downswing. A smooth swing does two things for you: it helps keep your club face aligned correctly, and helps you accelerate the club, which is crucial for distance.
3. As you learn how to hit long irons, remember to unwind from your hips and feet once you get to the top of your backswing. Do not let your hands take control of the swing, which is a common mistake. By uncoiling your lower body, you’ll get the power needed to move the ball down the range.
4. Anyone who has ever been taught a golf lesson has received the instructions to keep the head down. This is important with all shots, but especially when learning how to hit long irons. There is little room for error with these clubs, and you must keep your head still.
If your head moves too much or comes up, the club head will most likely bottom out before it strikes the ball, ruining your shot.
5. Your left arm needs to remain straight (for right handed golfers). When you bend your forward arm during the swing, you change the distance between the club head and the ball, and this has to be brought back to hit the ball cleanly. Keep that forward arm straight and you will not have to worry about making that adjustment.
6. Many golfers who are learning how to hit long irons believe they have to hit the ground first to scoop the ball off the fairway. In reality, this is the exact opposite of what you should do.
Of all the tips presented here, hitting the ball first, ground second is the most important. This means that you must hit the ball with a descending arc. Ignore the fact that these clubs have very little loft. Let the club do what it is designed to do, and do your part to make sure that happens.
7. The last tip is to make sure you complete the swing with your follow through. The club should follow a path right to the target as you finish up.
Use these tips when you are learning how to hit long irons and you will soon see dramatic improvements.