Hitting Long Irons

Long irons are the golf clubs from the 1-iron to the 5-iron. These clubs have relatively long shafts with the 1-iron having the longest shaft. The club shafts get progressively shorter as we go down in clubs from the one through the five iron. The lower the number of the club – the longer the iron and the less angle the club head has to it.

The longer the shaft of any golf club, the more difficult it is to hit. Golf clubs with longer shafts force the golfer to stand farther away from the ball. Standing farther away from the ball makes it more difficult to hit correctly and accurately.


The best grip is a neutral one that is not held too tightly.


Stand far enough away from the ball to compensate for the longer shaft length. Ensure the ball is not too far back in your stance. Your ball needs to be in the middle of your stance for you to hit a low shot. Putting the ball inside the left heel will lead to a lifting strike.

The stance for the long irons is slightly wider than for medium irons. Set yourself up over the ball in a “square” position with your feet, hips, and shoulders on a parallel line toward your target. Flex your knees slightly to help keep your balance throughout the swing. Your weight should be evenly distributed between both feet. The hands are slightly ahead of the ball, and the arms are tucked in close to the body.


Swing the clubhead back along the ground for the first 30 centimetres, utilizing the body and shoulder turn. Gradually lift and cock your arms and hands when they pass outside your right leg. Cock your wrists when your hands get to hip level. The clubhead should point towards the sky. At the top of the swing the weight is almost entirely on the right side. The wrists are fully cocked, the left arm is straight and the full shoulder turn is complete. The club head should be directly over your rear shoulder once you get to the top of your back swing (for a full swing).

Lift the left heel off the ground about three centimetres during the turn from the ball. This prevents straining the hips and shoulders.


Begin your forward swing by unwinding from your hips. Keep your head down. If your head moves too much or comes up, the club head will bottom out before it strikes the ball resulting in hitting the ball fat.

As soon as the hips start the downswing, plant the left heel firmly and purposefully on the ground.

Strike the ball from inside the target line. A shallow arc allows you to sweep the ball with the club as opposed to hitting through the ball. A descending and even stroke takes advantage of how the club is angled. Keep your left arm straight.

Halfway through the downswing the wrists are fully cocked and the right elbow is tucked in against the right side. At this point, the weight is moving to the left side and the right side is beginning to drive into the shot.

Start activating the right hand and forearm close to impact with the ball. Once the club is parallel to the ground the right hand and forearm can stop the arms and club from rotating past palms perpendicular to the ground and club toe up, and make the club go straight up vertically. The right hand must force the club up in the vertical plane in order to hit the ball solid, straight and longer.

The longer the club, the more energy and emphasis needs to be applied.

Hit the ball with a descending arc ensuring that the ball is struck prior to hitting the ground.

At the point of impact your head must be behind the ball, your hips must be open and your hands together with the shaft of the club must be forward of the ball.

Swing the club level through impact making sure that you stay tall and your arms swing around your body. To keep your shot accurate and clean when you hit long irons you need to immobilize your head and keep still.

Your swing must produce a club face that is square at impact. Aim the bottom edge of your long iron just beneath the mid-point of the golf ball. The bottom edge of your long iron must contact the ball just prior to contacting the ground below the equator and the result will be a good flight path for the ball with proper loft. Make sure that the club face impacts the ball squarely.

Follow through

Complete the swing with a decisive follow through following the path right to the target.

Don’t forget to rotate with your hips completely after coming through the ball.