Most golfers would agree on how difficult it is to score long irons. If you have ever played golf, you know it can get difficult to hit long irons compared to other clubs. In terms of how they are struck, long irons are compared to hitting hybrids which were created to facilitate players who struggled with long irons and needed extra help hitting them high and straight. Dive below to see how to hit long irons.
There are players who want to stick to long irons, and they constantly come across this question: how to hit long runs successfully? While the long iron club may be the easiest club to play with, it can be quite difficult to score for a beginner. Dive below to see how to hit long irons.
Why Are Long Irons Difficult To Hit?
When you are learning how to hit long irons, it is necessary to figure out why it is difficult to master. The higher the loft, the easier long runs you can hit with impact in golf. That means anything below 6-iron can be quite challenging to hit because they are constructed in lower lofts.
Lower-lofted clubs require more speed to make solid contact with the ball. So, players have to make swift efforts to swing it because long irons are all about the right impact. You may read about popular gear taylormade sim max irons review article.
Be careful not to hit it too hard. Beginners have the idea that the long iron hits are all about making really hard hits. If you do that, maintaining consistency becomes difficult. So, make sure to practice your body movements because long irons require more of that to get accustomed to shooting long irons.
Golfers cannot deny the accuracy of the long runs if they are struck successfully. However, that can be quite difficult to acquire. With practice, they are not as challenging to master as they sound.
The trick here is to use smooth swings to produce powerful and effective contact with the ball. What are the right ways? Let’s look into some techniques on how to hit long runs.
The Right Setup
Position Of The Ball
Positioning the ball is another key how to hitting long runs. Many golfers position the ball with reference to their feet. If the ball is too far forward, it means that the ball is too far toward the lead foot. You Are a right-handed player, then the lead foot is your left foot. If the ball is too far back, that means it is too far back in relation to your trail foot.
Incorrect Ball Positions
Correct ball positions are answers to how to hit long runs. You might want to be careful because too far forward will put you in trouble. Because the ball is too far forward, the shoulder of your dominant hand will move upwards, disrupting the body positions you need to maintain. You will end up thinning the ball, and the feeling is not good in your hands.
You will know your ball is not positioned properly during contact. If there are signs of struggle, then you have to fix the position.
When you try to hit long irons, you make contact with the ball first and then with the ground. But if it’s the other way around, your ball is in the wrong spot.
If you constantly hit the tall of the club or the heel, then you need to reposition the ball. Of course, it all comes down to practising learning the telltale signs and fixing them to perfect your long iron hits.
The swing will not catch speed, and the ball will not attain that high launch if the ball is positioned too far back.
The Right Stance
Long irons demand a wider stance between the feet because the ball should be placed at the center of your stance. If the stance is too narrow, you will not be able to achieve that full shoulder turn or full swing when you make long iron hits.
The ball needs to go approximately one ball forward of the center position. Line it according to your sternum and push one ball forward to achieve that ball position.
Sometimes, amateurs tend to overthink that they positioned the ball too far forward. As a right-handed player, if it goes beyond your left heel or even shoulder, you will end up thinning the ball. Start with that, ensure that your ball stays within the stance of your feet.
One of the common mistakes many beginners make is hitting the ball too fast and too hard. That is an unnecessary effort that leads to thin and fat shots. Losing body coordination, especially within your arms and hips, is another concern when you try to make aggressive swings.
The backswing and the downswing must be coordinated to pull off that long iron shot. Your backswing has to be smooth and when it reaches the top, pause for a few seconds to gain momentum. Then, go ahead and give your best downswing and send the golf ball flying.
After you have successfully mastered the first steps on how to hit long runs, let’s fix your posture.
As mentioned earlier, ball positioning is critical when you understand how to hit long runs.
To get that successful hit on the long iron, you must get into the right posture before your swing. Since the length of long irons is, well, long, you have to properly accommodate the length of the golf club between you and the ball.
Since the golf club is longer, it requires you to turn your body more to successfully hit a hard swing.
The initial step is to make sure to balance yourself so you are standing absolutely still. Don’t forget to keep your head still, too. This will not only provide you with a short, compact backswing, but it will also keep you more centered over the ball, allowing you to hit the ball more consistently.
Swaying sideways should be minimized because you will lose the consistency in your body positions that will be discussed below.
You can practice fixing your posture by making smooth and strong swings without the ball. Getting comfortable is crucial, so try to feel the swings and see how your body feels while performing it. Do not get under the ball or bend your body in any way. Instead, stand tall and let your arms do the action.
After positioning your ball forward, make sure to push your shoulder back and down a notch.
Third, and most importantly, your hands must also be positioned one ball forward of your sternum to hit that long iron accurately.
Your swing should be shoulder high, meaning before swinging, your hands must reach shoulder high. Not too high or too low.
To get the ball high up in the air, your wrists must be locked in, meaning they cannot bend or rotate as your make your swing. If that happens, the face of your club will rotate towards the shoulder as well, and you will end up thinning the ball.
Oftentimes, golfers will make a sideway hip movement when making their shots. But to accurately make your shot, you need to ensure that your hips rotate backwards and eventually rotate forward as you drive your lower body to make that smooth swing.
When swinging, if you distribute too much weight on your trail or back foot, there is a high chance you will end up thinning the ball. To strike better, try to have more weight on your lead or front foot before making the swing.
You can do that by initially moving your chest slightly towards your front foot. In that way, you already removed the weight off the back foot and handed it to the other one.
Widen The Arc
To hit the ball with that powerful impact, you need speed. To unlock that level of speed, you have to widen the arc before making the swing. Swinging on a wider arc helps you strike the ball more into it rather than down on it. This will give your ball the speed and high launch that you are looking for.
To create that wide arc, your hand should trail away from the ball but not up. On the downswing, keep the arc you made on the backswing and strike the ball as soon as you reach the bottom of it.
The increased stance in the backswing from the ball will increase the trail. So, as you make your swing, the club will catch on more speed, sending the ball to a high launch.
Remember, if you try to hit the ball with the clubhead coming in at too steep an angle, you won’t be able to get it in the air. The best way to go with this is to create shallow arcs because they effectively deliver sufficient altitude.
Long Iron Drills
To learn how to hit long irons, you need to create balance and patience through practice. To enhance your long iron play, do a few easy drills daily.
One of the drills entails the use of a second golf club or alignment stick to help show where you need to be swinging.
Another drill is to relax your arms after raising your club to the top so that the club arcs down naturally to make contact with the ball, rather than attempting to push your way through the strike.
Practice with the same long iron length to get accustomed to the club. Meaning you will not get much better at striking your 5-iron if you keep training with your 9-iron.
The Perfect Timing
Timing is very important when you try to hit long irons. This applies to your swingers as well. If the timing is off, you will lose consistency, and your shot will not end up well. Longer irons require you to put more effort, so you need to ensure that the swing is not too hard or too soft, or else the timing will be off.
All you need to do is let your body make that powerful, swift, and complete turn to make the long iron shot. In that way, you will have a timing calculated in your mind every time you make your shot.
Other Options To Consider
When you realize that you cannot achieve successful shots with your golf clubs, then you might want to consider other options.
Here is something you need to know about how to hit long runs. A standard set of irons usually starts from 3 or 4, and many golfers prefer the hybrids that replace these clubs, having a wider body. These have a wider clubface to the back of the club. Hybrids help golfers gain the same impact and launch that they look for when trying to hit with long irons.
It can be difficult to get out of difficult ties when hitting with long irons. When hitting a long iron at a green, maintaining control of the ball to keep it on the putting surface can be difficult. Because of the hybrid’s wider clubface, you can easily get out of the rough or hit it off the fairway.
Hybrids give you more confidence because you have stronger contact, higher launch, and softer and further landing on 150 to 180 yards.
Hybrids are often used by players who face difficulty in adding speed or spin to their ball. In a 200 yards field, compared to long irons, hybrids work twice as effectively as long irons do. So, if you are struggling with ball speed, it is time to carry hybrids in your bag.
The utility iron is a long iron with a broader sole and a lower launch angle than the long iron. While hybrids are gaining more popularity, if you want to stay true to irons, you can opt for utility clubs or what was previously known as driving irons.
Professional golfers prefer this club when they have a match going on during windy weather. Players may also use the extra loft to knock their shots down and through with the iron and get the distance they need.
Utility clubs are also used amongst players who have higher ball speeds. This implies that if they have a tendency to spin the ball more often than usual, a utility iron will help them control the ball better with less spin. So, players who don’t seem to have a good match with hybrids can change to utility or driving irons.
Confidence In Your Swings
While there are many technical ways to learn how to hit long irons, confidence is one key factor you need to develop within yourself. This confidence is what will radiate in your long iron hits.
Undoubtedly, long irons are difficult to shoot. Don’t let that stop you. Without thinking too much, you need to swing in one big swoosh, powerful and fast.
You have to go shallow and parallel to the ball, and the way you can achieve this is by confidently extending your arms.
It will result in powerful contact and high launch if not the distance and soft landing. Do not stop after hitting the golf ball. Swing the long iron all the way up to your shoulder.
Different Types Of Long Irons Shots
Another answer to tackling how to hit long runs is that not all long iron hits are the same. Different lengths require a different approach to make the shot. These approaches depend on the ball positioning, the stance between your length, and the long iron itself.
Hitting Higher Shots With Long Irons
If you have decided to make higher shots, you need to make sure that the ball is positioned approximately one ball forward from the center, but not too much. When the backswing is at the top, the clubface has to open in the backswing.
This means the toe of the clubface is facing straight down. With long irons, a closed clubface results in terrible duck hooks.
Hitting Lower Shots With Long Irons
For lower shots, the ball has to be positioned one ball back. Again, not too far back. Here, keep the swing radius short by shortening the arc in your backswing.
If you observe tree branches that will obstruct your golf ball, this is one smart approach to keep your shot low.
How To Avoid Slicing Long Irons?
Slicing golf shots mean that the ball curves away from your dominant hand when you make a shot. This falls under ‘don’t’ which you need to know as you learn how to hit long runs.
It basically means a shot poorly made from wrong body positions or not making enough rotations. Failing to make sufficient body rotation will not only lead to a slower speed, but you will hit it off the direction.
Slicing long irons is a common problem that can be avoided if the right steps are followed.
Avoid Open Clubface At Impact
The most common reason for a golf slice is when your club is too far away from you, resulting in an outside-in swing path. To make up for this error, many players subconsciously make adjustments, and the club is left open at impact.
You will know when the clubface is open at impact by your wrist movements. If you extend them upwards, that will lead to an open clubface.
To avoid slicing your long iron, there is little to no wrist movement required to hit the perfect shot. So, as you start your downswing, try not to extend or move your wrists too much.
Do Not Aim Left
When you are suddenly aware that either your position or the ball position is off, you will try to adjust your aim to ensure making that hit. Always try aiming straight instead of left to keep the golf ball from slicing. If you continue practising that, you will be inclined to reinforce the same poor habit over and over again.
Yes, the inaccurate position of the ball will result in a golf slice. This usually happens if the ball is placed too far forward. Just reposition it a bit backward from your previous position, and you are good to go.
Proper Grip On The Club Handle
A proper grip is really important to take note of when you are learning how to hit long irons. It is the powerhouse for controlling almost all your shots.
One of the reasons you are slicing your ball is that your non-dominant hand is positioned far below the club. Make sure to place your weak hand first on the club handle and rotate it so that only 2 to 3 knuckles are visible. Then, place your right hand below your left hand, facing downwards.
Many players overlap the right pinkie finger over the left middle or index finger or in-between to get a better hold of the grip and prevent too much wrist movement. You can try to include this in your practice if you haven’t yet.
Make And Check Divots
Divots are small marks made on the grass to find issues in their swings and correct them. It is essential during long iron hits because you need perfect body and golf ball positions for making successful swings.
You can easily recognize the reason for your golf slice through divot positions. If it points towards the left of the target, there you have it—another reason for slicing your shot.
Long irons require straighter shots, so divots can become performance indicators that will help you achieve consistency in producing straighter shots as you practice.
The majority of the weight will lie in your trail foot. But when you are making the shot, you have to transfer the weight at the right time and manner.
This is the right way during backswings; the weight should be shifted further toward the trail foot and then returned to the lead foot during the downswing. Avoid putting your weight on your trail foot since this will open up the clubface, which is exactly what you need for a good slice.
Hopefully, the tips given above solved the question you have been carrying: how to hit long irons? Again, you can only achieve successful shots through practice, practice, and practice only.
Make sure to find the right club. It can be long iron, hybrids, or driving irons. Remain consistent with one before moving to others. Before every swing, try to envision the outcome. Learning and practising long irons require immense patience, so do not give up!