Hit Long Irons Crisply by Using These Iron Tips

by Simon Butler

It takes time, patience and practice to learn how to hit long irons.  Of all the clubs you could have in your bag, the 1 through 4 irons are universally considered to be the most difficult to hit.  The following tips can help you learn how to hit long irons precisely and with confidence.

Four Key Factors to Hit Long Irons Successfully:

Although you’ll come across hundreds if not thousands of iron tips about iron play, you must incorporate four key elements into every shot you take with a long iron:  careful alignment, good balance, smooth tempo and continuous club head acceleration.  If any of these four factors are missing, your shot will not be successful.

Your Main Goal – a Crisp, Clean Strike:

When you’re beginning to learn how to hit long irons, make striking the ball crisply and on the sweet spot your primary goal.  You should incorporate several techniques into your long iron swing.

1.    Take a good, balanced stance at address.  Maintaining a slight knee flex throughout your swing will help you in several ways, including helping you to maintain proper balance.

2.   A smooth takeaway is essential, but a smooth tempo must be maintained throughout your entire swing, especially as you make the transition between backswing and downswing.  A smooth, easy rhythm will help keep your club face aligned correctly, but it will also help you achieve and build club head speed, which is critical for distance.

3.   Once you reach the top of your backswing, remember to uncoil from your hips and feet.   Avoid the common mistake of letting your hands control your swing.  Uncoiling your lower body during your downswing will give you the power you need for distance.

4.   Keep your head down and your eyes on the ball throughout your entire swing.  This technique is important with any club, but especially so with a long iron.  When you want to hit long irons, you have little margin for error.  Keeping your head stationery is essential.  If your head comes up or moves too much, your club head will probably bottom out before striking the ball and you’ll make poor contact.

5.   Your forward arm (left arm for right-handers) must remain as straight as possible throughout your swing.  Bending your forward arm changes the distance between ball and club head, necessitating difficult mid-swing adjustments in order to hit the ball crisply.  You won’t need to worry about making any technically difficult and unreliable mid-swing adjustments if you keep your forward arm straight.

6.   Many players just learning how to hit long irons mistakenly believe they must hit the ground first in order to scoop the ball up into the air.  Actually, you should do the opposite and hit the ball first, then the ground. In fact, this is the most important of all the tips you see here.  To hit the ball before the ground, you must hit down on the ball in a descending arc.  Trust your swing and let your club do the work.  Ignore the fact that long irons have very little loft.  If you do your part, your long irons will do theirs.

7.   Make sure you finish your swing and have a full follow-through.  Your club should move toward your target after impact and then arc up as you finish.

Practice these Iron tips when you’re learning how to hit long irons.  With patience and practice you’ll soon start seeing long, crisply-hit iron shots right at your target.


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