Back in the previous century (the 1980s), golfers used to do the Hi-Lo drill to get the long irons working. The idea was to mimic the smooth tempo of the short irons with the longs...
Hit 3 shots with a 9i, then 3 shots with a 4i
Hit 3 shots with an 8i, then 3 shots with a 3i
Hit 3 shots with a 7i, then 3 shots with a 2i
Also, the lofts have changed. My old MacGregor MTs had a 21* 2 iron; on my TM SLDRs, 21* is a 4i. (You can't compare exactly, because SLDR clubhead is a lot more efficient for launch than the MTs). Stronger iron lofts have helped make the hybrids popular, since the 3i has such low loft these days.
Club designer Tom Wishon suggests the 24/38 rule: The average golfer can't hit an iron that has less than 24* loft and a shaft longer than 38 inches.
If you must hit long irons, consider getting the shafts softstepped: This involves putting a shaft tip-trimmed for 2i into a 3i, then 3i into 4i (then butt-trim to length). This increases the length of the flexible portion of the shaft, softening it by 1/3 a flex and helping out with the launch. An old-time clubmaker told me that back in the 1980s, he would always softstep the 2i and 3i for customers without telling them.
If you get flighted shafts, you get a similar effect. For flighted shafts, the long irons are softstepped... PLUS, the short irons hardstepped (to prevent ballooning of shots).
This is the dynamic portion of the swing that you seem to be gleaming over. Most people can pose (like for a picture) to look like a pro at setup or at finish. It's the getting from the setup to the finish in an efficient manner that gets the ball moving quickly that's hard.
My round was in one work "Yuck." 1 birdie, bunch of pars, a few bogeys, couple doubles and a triple and quit on the 14th after a drive that ended up 20 yards from the pin in the middle of the fairway on a 272 yard par 4 because it hit a tree and bounced back in.
I seem to focus better when people are watching me, and if I really need to make a decent shot.
If on my own, I'm totally careless. Double yuck.
What does a pin sheet have to do with anything?
And again, people seem to be missing this… I imagine that if not enough rounds are posted on a given day, they'll simply default to the course rating as rated by the ratings teams.
I don't understand why you seem to be stuck on pin sheets.
The superintendent shouldn't have cut the hole there. That's all there is to it. You can't account for human goofiness in screwing things up.
Just keep it based on the stock course rating and slope. I think the tradeoff that you might not be accurate to the tenth is a good one. Do what you say you'll have to do: keep track of yours as always and keep your USGA handicap.
The second thing will probably happen automatically. Even if it doesn't, it's not something to worry about right now.
Well, small point, but if it stayed pointing outside the ball all the way down… they'd miss the golf ball. It has to point at the target line eventually.
But yes, by moving your hands "out" a little more, the shaft will probably lay down slightly.
Watch that you're not doing this too much:
The hands shouldn't really move up and out (away from you) at this point in the backswing. Hinge the wrists as your turn lets the arms go in. If you create depth on the backswing (by turning and letting the turn take the hands up and in), you'll have room to go "out" to start your downswing. If you only go "up" on the backswing, you'll have to stay "in" on the downswing.
You can see this here:
Then, what I'm suggesting on the downswing doesn't have to be a big change.
Right now, you do the red arrow (on the right). I'd like to see you do the green arrow. If you do that, the clubhead will likely drop or shallow just a little (other green arrow). If it does, the shaft will be where the white line is (as you can see it'll point just outside the ball).
Look at how stiff or how much tension or force you have in your left wrist around the transition. If it's tense, or actively pushing, etc. it'll probably keep steepening the shaft. Try it with a soft wrist, at least your left wrist.
If you continue to struggle with this submit another video and I'll record a video for you explaining what I mean with some video.
Also, I changed my name to "Erik" here a few times.
Could work. Record it and see if the picture changes.
It will be more difficult, you bet.