Iron is a very important golf club and would be just as useless as a stick if you don’t know how to swing it properly, so here is a guide on golf how to swing irons.
You use it to propel or make your ball fly to the hole. It usually comes in a numbered set; the higher the number, the higher the ball will fly.
Guide on Golf – How to Swing Irons
When you are new to golf, you might wonder if there are different swings for each type of club. This will lead you to ask the questions; How to swing irons in golf? Or How to swing a golf iron?
The first section of the Guide on Golf How to Swing Irons will focus on the first phase of the swing which involves the setup until the takeaway.
This first stage is very crucial because when you start it wrong, the rest will also go wrong.
Preparing the proper setup
Most golfers overlook the setup and knowing how to set up properly will greatly help beginners who are asking, How to swing irons in golf?
The setup involves getting the basics properly:
Regardless of your body type or age, you should always get a good posture before you swing.
This does not just involve keeping your spine in an upright position; it also requires you to keep your head to be in a neutral position.
Your spine controls your core and if your core is unsteady, your swing will most likely miss, or will not be as impactful as you want it to be.
Your head should also turn naturally along with your arms and shoulders when you swing.
However, on the setup, you should always maintain your head in a neutral position because this does not only help you to protect your neck, but it also ensures that your swing will be accurate and robust.
For beginners, it is extremely important to maintain a good posture during the setup because this helps to give their body the rhythm it needs to perform a good swinging motion.
Professional golfers always see to it that their posture is correct before practicing their swings.
Many people who are curious about how to swing irons in golf tend to miss out on the stance.
During the setup, getting a good stance ensures that you will have enough space for your shoulders and arms to swing correctly.
To get a proper golf stance, make sure that you have a good posture, and your knees and feet are aligned.
Your knees should be slightly bent, and then use your waists to bend lower. Your arms should also be slightly above the ball and not in a parallel position behind the ball.
Treat your dominant arm as an extension of the club, so your dominant arm should dictate the power and the direction of your swings.
Always balance your weight using your feet. Your feet should also be able to hold your weight down while you are preparing to swing.
When you need to shift your weight during the swing, rely on your waists.
Do not use your back or your hips so you can protect your posture and your joints.
If you are curious what are the indicators of a good stance, you can observe if your butt is slightly sticking out.
Even if you have a good stance, and posture, you will not find out how to swing a golf iron properly if you do not know how to place the ball properly.
Professional golfers have their “sweet spot” when they set up their ball on the tee or on the greens.
The sweet spot is the distance between the ball and the player, and to get this distance, you have to get a good ball placement.
Beginners should immediately understand that the ball placement is important if they want to know how to golf swing irons. They should also discover their own sweet spot.
To know if you have a good ball placement, observe if your arms are not hanging down uncomfortably when you are preparing to swing.
You should also place the ball not too close to you so that it already limits your swinging space.
Many pro golfers keep in mind this rule of thumb for their ball placements: not too far back from the sternum and not too far forward from the armpit of their non-dominant side.
If you experience missing on your swings or getting weak shots, then try adjusting your ball placement.
Doing so will not only get you good swings, it will also help you to form a routine and let you discover your own “sweet spot”.
The golf ball and the club needs to have the proper preparations so that your shot can have the elevation and the accuracy you want.
In order to do that, you must stick to the basics of setup.
Performing the correct takeaway
The takeaway happens after you have properly set up and before you perform the backswing or when the ball is parallel to the ground.
This is one of the areas that are overlooked in golf how to swing irons, so it is important that you get it right, especially if you are a beginner.
Performing the correct takeaway ensures that your swing route would be accurate and powerful.
Your backswing also relies on this, so if you have a wrong takeaway, then you will most likely miss it.
The general guideline for a proper takeaway on any position on the golf course is to consistently follow the 2-8-12 rule:
- Start off your takeaway at a 2-inch distance and make sure that the club is brought back parallel to the target line. Make sure that the club is not pointing towards the right or left of the target line because you will be moving your club back inside or outside if it is pointing to either of the two directions.
- Once you move away from the 2nd inch up to the 8th inch, your wrists should not hinge yet during the takeaway. At this point, you should ensure that your shoulders are naturally rotating to bring the club to the 12-inch position. Do not drop your forward shoulder because your weight will not shift properly and your backswing will lose its power.
- As you move from the 8th inch up to the 11th inch, make sure that your wrists are still firmly controlling the club. Once you go in the 12th inch, this is where your wrists should break free and the clubface should now be aimed slightly towards the ground. The 12th inch is where you should prepare your clubface to consistently follow the target line and to make an impactful hit to the ball.
Professional golfers who know golf how to swing irons on the roughs perform a sharper takeaway.
Beginners should also focus on making adjustments on their takeaways when they are in other positions on the golf course besides the greens.
A steeper takeaway is designed for roughs because this still helps the golfer to get the right swinging arc.
To perform a correct takeaway even when on the rough, make sure that your wrists are not twisting, but are ready to hinge to allow for a shorter backswing after your takeaway.
Visualize cocking back your golf club with your wrists just as how you are cocking back a stone from a sling. You should maintain control on your wrists when cocking your golf club back.
Aside from cocking your golf club with firm wrists, make sure that you are still on your swinging plane.
This ensures that your takeaway is not that steep, and you will still be able to make an accurate and powerful hit after your backswing.
Again, follow the 2-8-12 rule wherein the clubface should only be slightly facing the ground when en route to your backswing. Do not rush your takeaway despite being on the rough.
If your wrists hinge and break free from its firm control over the club, you are in danger of missing your swing and would put your club in a position wherein a backswing would already be too late.
If you are a beginner who wants to know golf how to swing irons, try practicing your takeaways first outside your comfort zones.
Backswing and Downswing
The correct swinging motion is not complete without the backswing and the downswing.
So after you have done the correct setup and takeaway for your golf irons, you should be able to cover at least the basics of backswing and downswing.
Starting with the backswing, you should consider two important factors to ensure a proper backswing: momentum and gravity.
The top of your backswing dictates the momentum of your backswing before it impacts the ball. So, when you are at the top of your backswing, your dominant arm should be straight.
Bending your arms at this point will make it difficult for you to bring your club down, for your shoulders to turn properly, and your waists to shift weight properly.
Once you have grasped good arms control at the top of your backswing, it is time to let nature do the heavy lifting for your swing.
If you are moving your club downwards, make sure to shift your weight to your rear foot, so that your momentum would go along with gravity, and not against it.
This helps to give your backswing more power, so when it finally impacts the ball, you will get the elevation and the distance that you would want from your shot.
If you stick to the basics during the setup, then your knees and feet should do their work. Your shoulders, arms, and head should follow the good swinging motion during your backswing.
After the backswing, it is time for the downswing or the point where the clubhead should be moving towards the ball.
Ready to hit it with all the power that your momentum and gravity have helped to muster.
A good downswing transition can be seen after your body has turned with the help of your waists, your hips have uncoiled.
Then your shoulder starts to follow to let your arms and the club swing down en route to ball impact.
Keep in mind that the downswing is faster than the backswing, and at this point, you are ready to release arm power towards the club and the clubhead should be ready to hit the ball accurately and strongly.
However, if you stick with the basics then this transition would feel natural to you.
Think of the downswing as the point wherein you are about to release the golf club that has been cocked back with your wrist, and your golf club is ready to deliver the blow to the ball.
Just like how the straps in a sling are ready to let a projectile be launched.
Follow-through is not a “show-off” pose done by professional golfers, this is actually the “ending” to a fundamentally-sound golf swing with irons or any other clubs.
Doing so helps your body to get used to the swinging motion and your muscles would then be able to deliver that motion consistently.
For beginners, follow-through is a must because this allows their body not to get strained even when they are at the early stages of a game.
For veterans, follow-through is a product of their experience, and you can tell a beginner apart from a veteran through their follow-throughs.
Understanding The Golf Irons
Irons got their name because of the material their club heads are made from.
However, you might mistake a fairway wood for an iron nowadays because their club heads are made of metal now due to recent developments.
But, the irons still hold the throne since they have always been made that way for centuries.
When you look at the club heads of an iron golf club, you will notice that they are thin from front to back. Furthermore, they are also grooved so they can make the golf ball spin.
Professional and Experienced opt for a or “blade” or “muscle-back” iron style. On the other hand, newbies and recreational golfers tend to lean on the “cavity back” style.
When you go to a sporting goods store and ask for a set of irons, they would usually hand you over a 3-iron through pitching wedge.
Which is more commonly advertised as the “3-PW”. That set features a total of eight irons.
You can easily distinguish the iron golf clubs from each other based on the number that is engraved on the sole of each club. The pitching wedge, however, is labeled as “PW” or “P”.
You can also opt to purchase the other classifications of irons and wedges separately, but you should take note that none of those additional irons is a necessary purchase for a person who is just starting to play golf.
Loft, Length, and Distance
We have discussed that irons are classified based on different numbers.
However, you must also learn that depending on those classifications, each iron golf club also has more loft than the other. The shaft length of each also comes in varying sizes.
Furthermore, when you try hitting the ball with each one, you will notice that the higher the number of the iron golf club, the shorter the distance its ball will cover.
The average yard covered by each classification of irons differs by ten to fifteen yards.
Given this information, you would know that your 3-iron would give you shots that are ten to fifteen yards longer compared with your 4-iron.
Also, when you try comparing irons with shorter and more lofted clubs, you will see that the shots produced by those who have a steeper trajectory.
This means that the shots will fly following a steeper angle and it will also fall down at a steeper angle. Given this, a ball hit by an 8-iron will roll less than it would if it was hit with a 4-iron.
Long, Mid, and Short Irons
Irons are also categorized into three different categories: the long irons, mid-irons, and short irons.
Here is what belongs to each category:
- Long Irons: 2-, 3-, and 4- irons
- Mid-irons: 5-, 6-, and 7-irons
- Short Irons: 8-, 9- irons, and the pitching wedge
- Long Irons: 2-, 3-, and 4- irons
Beginners usually use short irons because they are easier to swing rather than the other two categories.
The reason behind this is while the club is gaining loft and the shaft length becomes shorter, the club becomes easier to master.
Iron clubs with shorter shaft lengths are generally easier to control.
Swing Swiftly and Accurately
Now that you know about golf, how to swing irons, it is time to take it to the golf course!
Let the things written here sink in, head to the nearest golf course to practice swinging your irons, and get that tee!
Last Updated on March 2, 2023 by Paul Roger Steinberg