How to Hit With Long Irons

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Hitting with the long irons (2-, 3- and 4-irons) is not an easy task for any golfer. The length of the clubs, combined with the less-than-perfect hitting surface the golfer may face, will make this shot a challenge. The long irons also usually have a smaller hitting area and corresponding sweet spot. As a result, a golfer must be quite precise to hit the ball well with the long irons.

Assess your lie when you are considering hitting the ball with a long iron. You need to hit the ball from the fairway or the very short rough. You will have a difficult time making square contact if you hit the ball from an uneven or difficult lie.

Address the ball squarely when using a long iron. Your shoulder needs to be square to the green, and your left foot needs to be directly underneath your left shoulder. Grip the club firmly, but do not squeeze it too tightly. You want to get a full hip rotation, and squeezing it too tightly will prevent this from happening. Squeeze the club at a "5" on a firmness scale of 1 to 10.

Take your time when you swing a long iron. The smaller hitting face and sweet spot mean you have less margin for error. Rushing the swing will increase your chances of hitting a poor shot or mishitting the ball. A smooth, steady takeaway that includes a solid hip turn will give you a better chance for success.

Aim the ball for the safest part of the green when hitting with the long irons. For example, you may be able to see the flagstick, and you would like your ball to end up near that part of the green. However, if that area is guarded by a bunker or water hazard, you are much better off going for the wide part of the green that may be further away from the flagstick than trying to attempt the perfect shot and going for the hole.

Practice with your long irons at the driving range.These clubs can be difficult for golfers at all levels to control, so you need to practice with them for at least half of your session at the range.