The past few Forecaddie topics have centered around the short game – putting, chipping, pitching and sand play. If you practice and get comfortable with the short game, the short irons (8, 9, pitching wedge and sand wedge) may become your favorite clubs to hit since they have more loft designed to hit the ball up in the air and stop quicker on the green.
The Mid Irons (5, 6 and 7 irons) are designed with slightly longer shafts than your short irons, but also have loft designed to get the ball in the air. Many people make the mistake of “sweeping” at the ball and trying to lift the ball in the air. Learn to hit down on the ball and let the clubface and loft do the work for you. Hitting down will actually get the ball in the air. Make sure the ball position is in the middle of your stance so this will help you hit down on the ball at impact. If the ball position is too far toward your forward foot, you hit the ball on your upswing and will lose distance. The opposite is true if the ball position is too far toward your back foot, you trap the ball on your downswing and don’t get the full advantage of letting the club loft help get the ball in the air for you.
In a few weeks, we’ll discuss set composition – meaning the types of clubs in your bag. If you still carry a 3 or 4 iron, consider replacing those hard to hit long irons with hybrid clubs. The hybrid is your friend – designed to get the ball in the air to produce a nice long shot - and much easier to hit than long irons.