For many the thought of hitting a long iron conjures up fear and anxiety, but are the long irons really that difficult to use?
In recent years manufacturers have been pushing the sale of hybrids which are often preferred to long irons as they are apparently easier to hit. But what is the main difference between a long iron and hybrid?
Well to be honest apart from the shape not a lot. You may get a slightly higher ball flight with a hybrid and you may feel as though they are easier to hit than a long iron but this is because you have no fear of them, they are marketed in a way that make you believe that they are easy to hit.
You need to consider the following:
Long irons are harder to hit as they have less loft on them, than say an 8 iron, but a hybrid three and a three iron have the same amount of loft as each other. (Around 20 degrees).
So how can one be easier to hit than the other? To be honest it can’t, it is just our perspective of the golf clubs.
One of the best tips to improve the way that you hit your long irons is to move the ball forward in your stance and ensure that your hands are NOT ahead of the ball.
I see this error with so many golfers when they are trying to hit longer clubs, irons/hybrids/fairway woods and even the driver.
I believe that your hands should never be ahead of the ball when you are making a full swing. Instead the hands should be positioned in the center, where they join naturally, where the arms meet in the center of your body.
If you force your hands towards the target you are immediately changing your posture, resulting in the bad shots that you are trying to avoid.
Further more and even more damaging to your chances of hitting a good long iron shot, is the issue of de-lofting the club face as you push your hands towards the target, effectively changing the loft of the club and increasing the difficulty of the shot and the chances of controlling it.
It is nearly always the case that poor set up and posture are the beginnings of all golfers struggles and coupled with the mental issues that many face regarding hitting long irons the result is almost always the same.
Above all else you need to practice more with your long irons in order to become more confident with them. It is important that you remain patient and check that you are setting up correctly to give yourself the best opportunity to hit consistent long iron shots.