Hitting long irons isn’t just about making contact and seeing where the ball lands. Having a certain amount of control over your shot is going to make a huge difference, but how do you achieve that in the shot?
Well, having a solid iron game will prove to be rather essential when it comes to your game, and there are several simple steps that you can follow that will prove to be very beneficial to you. So, let’s go through them.
Forget it’s a Long Iron
The first thing you need to do is to forget that you are hitting a long iron. The problem is that people tend to put too much pressure on themselves when they start to think about distance. That creates tension, and that won’t bode well for your shots.
Instead, you need to view this as any other shot. You are going to swing the club the exact same for a 5-iron as you would an 8-iron.
Let the Club Do the Talking
You must allow the club to do the talking when it comes to long irons. Overthinking the shot leads to problems, and it’s crazy to do this when there’s no need.
People always try to crush their long irons, and that’s going to alter your swing. You need to keep in mind that different irons have different loft angles, and that’s going to change how the club deals with the ball.
You need to allow the club to really do the talking here, or it’s going to cause all sorts of problems.
Keep in mind that the loft of the iron is designed to get that ball up into the air at the correct trajectory, and that alone will help with the shot. If you put too much of an emphasis on what you are doing, then there’s a greater chance of you messing things up.
Long irons are about giving you some sort of distance, but also control and accuracy over the shot. Let this happen, and try not to tense up about it thinking that long iron shots are something special.
Tackling Your Stance
If we now look at your stance, then the first thing to mention is that you are going to have to widen it. This basically means your feet must be wider than your shoulder width, and that’s going to make hitting your long iron shots a whole lot easier.
Most people make the mistake of lining up for their shot, and actually closing their stance. What then happens is you will find it difficult to get your full rotation, and that has a negative impact on your shot.
You want your stance to be strong and smooth when it comes to the rotation. You want that your arms can tuck under your chin as you rotate, and it should feel pretty natural when doing so.
If you feel as if you are scrunched up through the rotation, then go back to the drawing board and open up your stance that bit more. That alone should largely correct whatever it is that you are struggling with.
Know Where You are Standing
You must pay close attention to where you are standing, and this is done in relation to the position of the ball. Once again, getting the wrong position will only lead to all sorts of issues.
In the perfect world, the ball is going to be front and center when comparing it to your stance. However, a lot of high handicappers are going to make the mistake of having the ball far too far in front of their stance. This has a negative impact on both the swing as well as how the ball is struck.
When the ball is in front, it means you tend to hit more on the upswing, and that’s bad for your iron shots. You will only increase your chances of topping your shot, and that will be a disaster.
So, get the position correct with the ball, and you should have a substantially smoother impact that is going to completely change how you address the ball, and you should see your iron shots have a better flight path compared to before.
Look at Your Grip and Swing
Now we turn our attention to your grip because that too can hold the key to success. You want your hands to only be slightly ahead of the ball. However, you don’t want to have that much of a forward press as that’s going to cause problems itself.
But your grip also then makes you look more closely at your swing, and that’s where people can lose the shot.
With your swing, you don’t have to put absolutely everything you have into it. That will increase the chances of you making a mess of your shot. Instead, you are looking at putting in somewhere in the region of 80% of effort and allowing the club to do the rest.
The main area is the backswing. You don’t need to go ahead and do a full rotation with this as it will put too much emphasis on the swing. However, too short a backswing is also not a good idea, as that’s going to mean you are swinging a long iron like an 8-iron or a wedge.
That’s why you need to make sure you practice the swing part for your long irons before you get out onto the course. It will allow you to really perfect the way you address the ball, and once you master that, you will notice a real difference in your long irons.
And that’s how you are going to be able to successfully hit those long irons. It’s not going to be rocket science, and yet it’s amazing how difficult this shot tends to be for so many people.
At the end of the day, if you are able to practice the different points mentioned above, then there’s no reason why you will not then see a difference in these shots.