Long irons are hard to hit! It is one part of my game that I always need to work on because of my ongoing inconsistency. A few years back, I wrote an article on the importance of long irons. It still applies today and is worth the read (in my opinion). However, I recently asked the question which was the long iron of choice and I have to say, I am not surprised by the results.
After conducting an exhaustive poll (tongue in cheek) here is the results of my research:
I am not surprised that 68% of the respondents said 4 iron from the list. After seeing the results, I realized that the question asked was off the mark. With the onset and popularity of hybrids, many players do not carry long irons or at the most they carry a 4 iron. So the results are obvious. One person responded to my question about who carries a 3 or 2 iron as follows:
Simon’s comment was perfect. Hitting a 2 or 3 iron is a lost skill for the vast majority of amateurs. They are difficult to hit and have a small sweet spot, therefore most amateurs have switch to woods or hybrids. It is the evolution of the game.
A few years back, I purchased a set of clubs with a 3, 4 and 5 hybrid. I was struggling with my game and I thought this was the answer. Although I could hit the ball well, I found that I could not control my 4 and 5 hybrid the way I wanted and in some cases needed. As I continued to used them, their utility began to wane and as such, my success declined. So, I switched.
When I bought my new Titlelist AP2 irons, I kept the 3 hybrid and reverted back to irons for the 4 and 5. It was a smart decision and now that part of my game is improving. I have lost a bit of distance, but it was a perfect trade-off for increased control.
Long irons have great value. As your handicap lowers, I see an increase in the use of long irons. If you cannot hit your long irons, there are other options out there. If you can, then you have a leg up on your competitors.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!