They say you drive for show and you putt for dough. Which is true, but remember in order to putt for that dough you must first land the green.

That is why your iron play is so important. A key point to remember is that with the exception of pitching, chipping, or putting, the full golf swing is the same from your driver to your sand wedge.

I can not begin to tell you how many times I have seen weekend golfers set up for a 9 iron shot perfectly. Then on the next hole attempt to hit a 2 iron. Its is as if a different person is hitting now. Everything changed, The grip is stronger, the stance is more open, there is a look in there eyes that seems to say, I’m going to hit this ball a mile, KILL, KILL!

Well what usually happens is? My point is that each club depending on its loft is designed to travel a certain distance. You should swing your 2 iron the same as your 9 iron. The only difference is that the 2 iron is longer than the 9 so you move away from the ball to compensate for the difference. And you also play the ball further up in your stance. The same is true for the rest of your clubs rite on down the line.

The irons are divided into three groups. You have your long irons, 1-2-3 and 4 your mid irons 5-6-7 and your short irons 8-9-P/W-S/W-L/W. The rules of golf allow for a maximum or 14 clubs in your bag so depending on your skill this will determine the clubs you carry.

Key thought

A 4-5 or 7 wood will fly as far as a 2-3 and even a 4 iron and in most cases are much easier to hit from the fairway as well as the rough.

The Full Swing

The full golf swing is the key to a good round of golf. Although the full golf swing can be illustrated on paper, a lesson on the proper grip, alignment and posture is essential. One might think that practice makes perfect, but in golf, proper technique is very important. It is very easy to develop bad habits on the practice range. As a pro golfer, I still on occasion seek the advice of my coach.

Practice thought

Do not over practice. A tired swing could develop into bad habits. It is better to work on your game in short increments. And always loosen up first.


Practice odd numbered irons one day and even numbered irons another day. Dedicate a day to your woods.  Also take brakes between clubs. Remember proper practice prevents poor performance.

Long irons

At address the ball should be played just inside your left heal, using the full golf swing the average distances are as follows.

1 iron = 210 yards

2 iron = 195 yards

3 iron = 180 yards

Mid irons

At address the ball should move back in the stance about 25%. Using the full golf swing the average distances are.

4 iron = 175 yards

5 iron = 160 yards

6 iron = 145 yards

7 iron = 130 yards

Short irons

At address these clubs should be played slightly forward of center, using the full golf swing the average distances are.

8 iron = 120 yards

9 iron = 100 yards

P iron = 90 yards

S iron = 75 yards

L iron = 50 yards

Remember that these are just average distances. Different style balls and clubs will perform different. Also, depending on your lie, you can always go up or down a club and or move the ball forward or back in your stance.

Key thought

If you have a 170 yard up hill into the wind shot, Do not try to over swing your 5 iron. That’s why you have the 4 iron.

Practice drill

Take a 3,6 and 9 iron. Pick three targets and try to get it close. This will not only help you with distance control but your alignment as well.