Hit Your Irons A Full Club Longer
I am seeing ads from a number of iron manufacturers this year which tout their new models of irons to be the longest ever made. Apparently, all these companies sequestered their mad scientists in top secret installations deep inside a mountain somewhere until they found the formula for increased distance with irons. And they tout that their new super-duper, kryptonite-loaded, pixie-dusted model “super game improvement” irons are going to give you tour-like distance.

Well, I’ve recognized that apparently the marketing wizards at the major brands have found out that golfers will buy anything if it promises more distance. So, I went into my lab and I found a way to help any golfer hit all his or her irons a full club further, too. And I’m going to give this discovery away complete FREE. No strings attached. Right here, right now.

All you have to do is take a piece of silver duct tape and cover the number on the bottom of each iron. Then you take a permanent Sharpie marker and write the next higher number on the tape. Your 5-iron now has a “6” on it, your 8-iron now has a “9”, and so on. And voila, you are a full club longer than you used to be!!!

As silly as that sounds, that’s exactly what these companies are doing, and then trying to sell that “advancement” as some kind of technology breakthrough. These new longer-hitting irons are all sporting specifications that are not much different from my totally FREE solution. The “P-clubs” have as little as 43* of loft, the 9-irons are what your previous 8-iron was in both loft and length. But you’ll find that under close examination, the 4-irons in these sets are only a little stronger than your current one.

So, what these sets do to your golf game is compress the range of distances you get between your longest iron and your shortest, creating a large gap in distance between your “P-club” and your gap wedge, and leaving you a big hole right in prime scoring range.

And your scores will suffer. Trust me.

This obsession with distance is ludicrous in my opinion. I wrote a few weeks ago about every golfer’s need to have a sequence of yardages from around 200 to 80 or so, where you know exactly how to hit a shot each distance. It doesn’t matter what number is on the sole of the club. If you are 135 yards from the flag, you need a club that will deliver close to that distance consistently, right? There are no bonus points for doing it with a 9-iron over a 7-iron.

Luke Donald is the proof.

Congratulations to Luke Donald for capturing the pole position as the #1 player in the world. There’s no question he’s playing better this year than anyone. His stats for wins and top 10s back that up. And he proves that the game belongs to the big, strong bombers who hit it 300+ every time, and can stick a 9-iron from 165 yards.

Wait, that’s not right. Luke Donald is 5’9” tall, and weighs 160 lbs. His driving distance is a full 30 yards behind Dustin Johnson’s and 11 yards shorter than the tour average.

But Mr. Donald is 10% more accurate off the tee than the tour average, he hits almost 10% more greens than the average and his scrambling success is almost 20% better than the tour average. Hmmmmmm. Maybe the game doesn’t belong to the bombers?

The moral of this story is that if you want to get better, an extra ten yards with your irons isn’t the answer. Accuracy is. And that means distance accuracy as well as direction accuracy. If you are playing the right set of tees for your skill level, you’ll hit the bulk of your approach shots with a 7-iron or less. You’ll have a par four or two and a par-three that test your longest approach clubs, and you won’t have a remote chance of getting home in two shots on more than one par five, if any at all.

But, if you hit your drives in the fairway, hit your approaches close to the green (regardless of what club you hit), and learn how to get it up and down a higher percentage of the time, your handicap will come down.

I promise.
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.

[ comments ]
legitimatebeef says:
How about the TM commercial that shows Dustin Johnson on a range whacking 270+ yard iron shots using one of their super game improvement clubs. Clearly the company's trying to sell you on the idea of long distance irons, which is kind of lame, but on the other hand completely predictable.
dooboo says:
I received promotional 6 iron from TM's burner 2.0 iron...this I use in my bag as a replacement for my 5 iron. Perfect replacement for my game. I've already don't carry 3 or 4 irons anyways, but with TM's 6 iron, I get the distance of 5 iron, but little easier to hit (just my personal opinion). Still working to get my distance down on this "hybrid" 6/5 iron. Distance is not everything. I know from personal experience.
I can bomb my driver 280 yards everytime, except that it goes 200 yards to the right or left 99% of the time as well. LOL
bubbafish says:
Thanks! 50% of this game is played between the ears and believing that "if you hit your drives in the fairway, hit your approaches close to the green (regardless of what club you hit), and learn how to get it up and down a higher percentage of the time, your handicap will come down" - will help to build confidence in my game. Thanks again!
bobhooe says:
i think people that can't play the game get the warm fuzzy when they take out a 9 iron at the 150yd par 3 when you are hitting a 7 or 8, even when they know they have to swing out of their shoes to get it close.
Banker85 says:
Luke has improved his driving accuracy and i think that is the main reason for his success this year. Everyone knows he is one of the best iron players around so now he is getting better looks at the flags and it is paying off. I remember last year hearing how is it short and crooked he was which is not a good combo in any aspect.
HotBacon says:
I'm fully on board w/ the ridiculousness of the loft tweaking. But isn't it true that the irons have also developed lower/deeper centers of gravity that launch the ball higher, which allows/requires the lofts to be strengthened?
TeT says:
Did you see the ADAMS commercial implying that a pro hit their Hybrid 349 yds... That was an epically outrageous example of (words fail me)...
jrbizzle says:
TeT - actually if you pay attention - the Adams commercial isn't using a "pro", well not as tour pro. It is Jamie Sidlowski who is a major competitor on the long drive circuit.

Jamie is a former hockey player, which also possesses ridiculous flexibility, giving him the ability to hit drives 500 yards. But you won't find him on the PGA Tour anytime soon.
larrynjr says:
I finally bit the bullet and took a lesson from the course pro yesterday. He changed my set up from a failed half @ssed stack & tilt to a wider stance and the more traditional weighting the rear leg and shifting weight forward through the forward swing. VERY different from what I've been doing but the shots I performed correctly were very straight and at least 1 and sometimes 2 clubs longer than what I've been doing. Once I have the sequence ingrained, I fully expect to remain longer and straighter than ever before. I've tried Cleveland's Promo CG-16 "7" iron that is really a 6 iron and while it was a nice club, wasn't impressed with their solution to gaining distance.

Thank you Terry for keeping it real!
erickbelus says:
Essentially all of the major clubmakers are putting out 4-GW(or AW) sets nowadays. It's really not much different than the old standard 3-PW. I understand the pitch. You hit a club with a certain number on the bottom longer, but the results are no different if you check the lofts and lengths.

hat said, the 43 degree pitching wedge in my old Wilson Staff Di7 set was a little unsettling. The fact that they juiced it up to a 42.5 for the Di9 made me laugh. I found that when I switched to a "more conventional" lofted set my scores improved.
G.Renner says:
Well written Wedge Guy. If you want to get long get into the gym and build some long lean flexible muscle.
SweetJazz says:
LOL... I recently added a full club in distance by making proper ball contact. The best cure for distance is keeping the ball in play.
GolferAnt says:
so we gotta buy another PW to fill this gap
ayparekh says:
Thats why you don't see a 3 iron anymore in the new iron sets. They've taken it out of the "iron" category and put in the "rescue" category...what a scam!! But anyone buying into this BS, at least it keeps the economy going.
Hoody005 says:
I do agree that the stronger lofts do make a bigger gap between p wedge and your gap wedge. Unless you purchase a gap, sand, and lob wedge accordingly. I recently changed irons from callaway x forged (47% p wedge) to the Adams cb2 (45% p wedge) and I have gained yardage on all irons. So I had to get new gap, sand, and log wedge to work the gap. My feeling on the jacked up lofts is that I don't mind it most of us are way more confident hitting a p wedge or 9 iron than say a 7 or 6 iron regardless of the loft and that is what golf is about being confident in your shot selection with the club in your hands. So now I am way more confident hitting my 9 iron from 170 than hitting my old 7 iron. I think the manufactures have a little brain banging involved in more confidence with a higher number on an iron.
Hoody005 says:
I am also a bit of a longer hitter so when I hit a 9 iron into a 170 pin and put it tight if anyone asks what club I used I usually answer with my 170 club because there is no need for them to get all pumped up to try and hit there 9 iron that distance. Because it does bug the crap out of me when your playing partners with some super jacked lofts boast about them hitting a p wedge and you just hit a 9 iron the same distance. It shouldn't matter as long as the result is the same No one ever notices when you choke down and take a 3/4 swing
Hoody005 says:
And Tet those Adams hybrids are super long I bought a 20 degree and it is 3 degrees lower than my 4 iron and about 30 yards further. I mean you get a long drive champion hitting anything and of course it's gonna be ridiculous. He is not a PGA pro because they can't keep that guy on the course not a whole lot of 255 par 3's and that with he was hitting his 7 iron. I would imagine his short game is junk
grizzly says:
good one terry, thats putting them right back in their box, i bought a set of mizunos 4-pw and you are exactly right my hogan apex,s are still a better club and i hit true distance with them, the mizunos i have to go up a club eg 5-4
so gained nothing just lighter in the pocket.
wish i would have read this first!!!
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Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

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