Are Long Irons The Answer To Great Golf Scores

Over the years I have experienced a love/hate relationship with my my long irons. Even to this day I struggle hitting a three and four iron. So much so, that I have replaced them with hybrids. My scores are more consistent, yet I often wonder if I am missing something by removing the long irons from my bag. Ignoring the purity of hitting long irons, I often wonder if I could master these clubs I would be further along on my quest to be a scratch golfer.

Long irons are very versatile. When I did hit them properly, which was once in a while, I found that I hit the ball farther and more accurate. The challenge was that I was so inconsistent, my game suffered dreadfully. With consistently poor shots, my confidence to a beating to a point were I dreaded to pull out a long iron. So, I would choke down on my 5 wood and whack away. It was really such a sad state of affairs for my game.

As you know, I have dropped my three and four irons for hybrids. I hit them far more consistently and I have developed the confidence to trust these clubs when I pull them from my bag. Yet, I do lose some flexibility for hitting out of some tight lies, but there is always a give and take when making the decisions on the composition of my bag.

Because I never hit my long irons well, removed them early in my career (or at least stopped using them) and tried to find many a different solutions to fill the distance gaps, I wonder if I made the right decision. Of course I will never know because I have no intent to benching my hybrids. But, I will never stop wondering if learning to hit my long irons could have helped me develop a better golf game.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!


8 thoughts on “Are Long Irons The Answer To Great Golf Scores

  1. Jim, wedges are the key to good scoring, not long irons. Keep those hybrids in the bag and hit them with confidence.

    I carry 3 and 4 Mizuno iron hybrids. They look and play like irons but have a wider sole than the rest of the set. Helps me to get through tough lies and still get the benefit of the low penetrating ball flight you sometimes need.



    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian,

      You are right about the scoring clubs. I will not be reverting back to long irons, I carry the 3 and 4 Mizuno hybrids and feel very confident hitting them. I am definitely not trading them in. I hope you are playing lately.

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jim, supposed to be in the high 50s tomorrow. I will probably get out for a little practice but I haven’t played in three weeks. Trying to stay as sharp as possible before my February trip to Myrtle Beach.

        You up and running yet with off-season DIY?


        Liked by 1 person

  2. Don’t let that get into your head. It’s just a waste. I can hit my 3 iron. Like using it. But it’s standing against the wall. I’m not a better golfer because I can hit it, I’m a better golfer because I chose to use a club that performs better for me.

    There may come a time when we should tick off the box that says we’re competent with a long iron whether it’s the perfect club for most circumstances or not. That point is far closer to turning pro than we will ever reach. So there is no use to wondering about it. No gain from it. Better to lament not having spent enough time on our short games and get to it. 😎

    God I love having a range out back. We got stuck waiting for the 10th tee today with no one behind us so I decided to hit the Phil shot again. 6 feet back from a ten foot tall fence with a lob wedge. Green is 8 yards past the fence and the pin 15 yards. With my lob wedge first shot from 6 feet back I dropped the ball inside 6 feet of the pin. The guys decided they had to give it a try. Not one made it over in three attempts. I bragged and told them my next shot I’d use the sand wedge and get over from 5 feet. They were skeptical to put it mildly, but I dropped that one inside 10 feet of the flag. Technically, my lob wedge is the harder of the two to do that shot with. It has just 5 degrees of bounce so very little wiggle room. My sand wedge does it more consistently and an open face is an open face. A 64 degree wedge doesn’t open more than a 56 degree wedge is just starts closer to open. I gave each of them the tips they needed to get the ball over the fence and both managed it. Both opened the club face well enough, they just needed to step back a little and lower their hands. Put a little more angle in the swing to activate the bounce. They both managed to get it not just over but on the green at least once. And the practicing I’ve done showed up and I never missed the green in 8 attempts. In fact, all but one fell inside that 10-12 foot circle around the pin.

    Like in your backyard, I have to pick up my own balls on our range. It’s not a pay for kind of place. You carry out what you want and bring it back with you. The green on the range is always full of divots so it’s useless to putt on, but the chipping green is great for that and it’s also not a raised green like the one of the range so you get a different kind of practice over there. It’s behind the row of condos out my front door. I know, tough life. 😂 Over there I can hit 50 balls to two pin placements and then spend time putting them all “in”. It’s a great way to kill an hour and really, really get your short game dialed in. Even plastic wiffle balls in the back yard would have been helpful had I done more of it. If only.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin

      Great point about not worrying about hitting long irons. I realize that I have made the right decisions along the way, yet I sometimes wonder. I am never going to be a pro and likely not much better than I am now without significant investment in time; but one should never say never. You wedge game sounds fun. We do not have a place to hit balls over a high fence. I would definitely like to try. My new course has a range and chipping area. It is only 10 minutes from the house, so it will be fun to practice more. We shall see how it helps my game.

      Cheers Jim


      • The fence isn’t required really. I hit a truly terrible shot once on our shortest hole and sent my ball way right where it landed behind a short bush only about 4 feet tall. My ball was so close I could not kick out to the green so to have a chance at par I had to go over but I was only about 2 feet away from it. That’s just as much fun and just as challenging and difficult. More so maybe because I was so close I had set myself up so my follow through wouldn’t crash into the bush and had to keep that worry out of my head too. What I know is if you can get over that 4 foot bush with only 2 feet of space to work with, you can get over the 10 feet high fence with 5 or 6 feet of space. Both require the same amount of swing speed, the same fully open face to get the ball moving almost straight up.

        It’s also safer. With the fence, there is always a chance you don’t clear. And should your ball hit the top bar at the right angle, you might find yourself bruised. So any bush or tree will do the job. I’d suggest picking one and give it a try. See how close you can get and still get the ball over. It’s great fun and useful practice. Learning some distance control with odd trajectories comes in handy on occasion.

        Liked by 1 person

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