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DrMetal

Problems With the Long Irons (4,5,6)

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Hello, I'm a double digit handicap. A Bogey kind a guy on most holes.

I'm fairly decent with my short irons. My distance with my 7-iron (standard length) is anywhere from 160-175 yds. 

But as soon as I pick up my longer irons (6, 5, or 4), my swing falls apart.  I'm not sure if it's the extra length---I'm ok with my driver (250-280 yards)----or if it's the added weight of those irons, or maybe a combination of  the two.  I feel  like I have some difficulty in raising the club and generative good speed, which makes me think its the extra weight of the club that's hindering me. 

Solutions? I was thinking of switching to graphite clubs (but I do like the feel of steel, especially in my short irons).  Get fitted? (I am in the marked for a new set of clubs.  possible to just reduce the lengths of my 6, 5 and 4?)  

Workout and build more body mass?! I should be doing that.   

Thanks in advance for any advice.  

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I would imagine your swing tempo is changing with the longer irons. That being said, most higher handicap golfers struggle when swinging lower than a 7-iron. A 7-iron is the lowest iron I have in my bag then it turns into hybrids to take care off everything up to my 4 wood.

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Which clubs do you have? My long irons certainly weight more then my wedges 🙂

Have the very same issue with my old ping i3. The clubheads feels heavier then any modern club I tried. I don´t have an issue with it on my short irons I actually enjoy being able to feel where the clubhead is but 3 and 4-iron the long shaft just make them feel much heavier and already in the back swing I feel I don´t have full control. Longer irons demand more speed to get airborne due to less loft but the weight of them make it tougher to generate that speed. And it feels like if I am not set up correctly I am not strong enough to correct before impact. I very seldom hit them well.

I solved it by getting new irons with hotter faces that just go longer. Two clubs on average longer! some of it is stronger lofts but they still go high thanks to a lower cg and the trampoline effect they got. Its a lot easier to hit then my ping i3 i5 which I could hit decently most of the time. If I where stronger I would have an easier time coping with the i-3 of course. That would probably help more then anything if you have the time for it.

I did try graphite on a set of Wilson D300 and it make a ton of a difference on swing weight. Felt ridiculous on the back swing like lifting just the shaft but I can see myself getting used to it and certain it would help my swing speed. But currently don´t feel I need it though and preferr the feel of some swing weight. D7 despite all it´s perimetre weighting still have considerably less swing weight with it´s 80g shafts.
 

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50 minutes ago, iacas said:

Those clubs actually weigh less than a wedge, and should have a similar swing weight as your 8I.

Then maybe I'm having a length issue? 

50 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

I would imagine your swing tempo is changing with the longer irons. That being said, most higher handicap golfers struggle when swinging lower than a 7-iron. A 7-iron is the lowest iron I have in my bag then it turns into hybrids to take care off everything up to my 4 wood.

I haven't played much with hybrids, maybe that's a good option. 

 

26 minutes ago, knott said:

Which clubs do you have? My long irons certainly weight more then my wedges 🙂

old Ping game improvement clubs, G20.   I definitely need a new set! 

 

26 minutes ago, knott said:

the long shaft just make them feel much heavier and already in the back swing I feel I don´t have full control. Longer irons demand more speed to get airborne due to less loft but the weight of them make it tougher to generate that speed. And it feels like if I am not set up correctly I am not strong enough to correct before impact. I very seldom hit them well.

Yeah, I feel the same way, especially in my back swing. I try to compensate for it by lifting the club higher, but then I lose my form as I'm bringing it down. 

 

28 minutes ago, knott said:

I did try graphite on a set of Wilson D300 and it make a ton of a difference on swing weight. Felt ridiculous on the back swing like lifting just the shaft but I can see myself getting used to it and certain it would help my swing speed. But currently don´t feel I need it though and preferr the feel of some swing weight. D7 despite all it´s perimetre weighting still have considerably less swing weight with it´s 80g shafts.

So did you switch to graphite permanently?  My only hesitation in doing this, is that I like the 'feel' of steel, especially for 7 and higher, and I don't want to lose that. 

What do you think about single length clubs, or maybe just reducing the length on my 6,5,4, to equal that of my 7? 

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44 minutes ago, knott said:

Which clubs do you have? My long irons certainly weight more then my wedges 🙂

That doesn't seem right. Club heads typically weigh less for longer irons and progressively get heavier down to the wedges. A typical 6i will weigh ~260g, while a typical SW ~300g.

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8 hours ago, billchao said:

That doesn't seem right. Club heads typically weigh less for longer irons and progressively get heavier down to the wedges. A typical 6i will weigh ~260g, while a typical SW ~300g.

I believe mine is before the hollow era. I haven´t weighted them but the club size etc and weights on the back do look the same. Every club do look the same bar the loft changes to my eye.  So the actual club head may be the same and it´s the longer shafts that make it feel heavy. 

I have not tried single length yet. I just tested the stance on a cobra set but it was to short so never bothered testing it. As for graphite I did send them back and went with wilson D7 instead. When these start to feel heavy next set may be graphite 🙂

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3 hours ago, knott said:

I believe mine is before the hollow era. I haven´t weighted them but the club size etc and weights on the back do look the same.

I can't speak to your clubs, but it's not a hollow or cavity-back vs blade or an era difference (unless you're talking about the hickory days, I don't have clubs from that era). It's simply a function of club design. Irons within a set have the same playing height when presented at address, so as the loft gets higher, more material is required to maintain it.

If you look at a club head from the FO view like a right triangle, if a is the height of the club at address and c is the height of the clubface, as the loft of a head increases (angle bc gets more acute), in order to maintain a, c and b must increase.

Mizuno MP4 6i and PW:

IMG_1095.jpg

6i face:

IMG_1097.jpg

PW face:

IMG_1096.jpg

Same thing with my Apex II's from 1979, 5i vs PW:

IMG_1098.jpg

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Interesting. i3 was released in 1999.  I will measure them see how they fair. Feels backwards that pitching wedges has larger surface area then long irons. Yet another reason they are hard to use I guess if so 🙂

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16 hours ago, DrMetal said:

Hello, I'm a double digit handicap. A Bogey kind a guy on most holes.

I'm fairly decent with my short irons. My distance with my 7-iron (standard length) is anywhere from 160-175 yds. 

If you are hitting your 7i consistently +160 carry, then you have the swing speed to play long irons. I don't think you need an equipment change unless you wanted a 4H for your 4i. 

16 hours ago, Billy Z said:

I would imagine your swing tempo is changing with the longer irons. That being said, most higher handicap golfers struggle when swinging lower than a 7-iron. 

Totally agree. In addition, the urge to try to help the ball into the air is much greater with longer irons. I would suggest:

  • Choke down an inch on these clubs, at least until you feel more comfortable with how you hit them
  • Work on maintaining the same tempo with long irons as your 7i
  • Learn to trust the loft of the club. It took me a long time to trust that my 5i has 26 degrees of loft - it doesn't look like it compared to a 7i, but it does. 

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33 minutes ago, gbogey said:

If you are hitting your 7i consistently +160 carry, then you have the swing speed to play long irons. I don't think you need an equipment change unless you wanted a 4H for your 4i. 

That's what I originally thought, which is why I was confused as for what to do next.   I've tried choking down an inch on my longer clubs, but my wrists don't respond well (probably b/c I have a strong grip). 

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I'm certainly not an expert but I'm reasonably sure it's not an equipment problem or equipment mis-match. If there's really a bigger than usual drop off in performance below 7i, you're either doing something differently with longer clubs (tempo, trying to lift, etc.) or your swing flaw (we all have them) gets accented with longer clubs (which is normal). Suggest you get some video of you hitting both clubs, maybe with a pro giving a lesson, to what is causing the issue.

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On 7/10/2020 at 4:41 PM, DrMetal said:

 

What do you think about single length clubs, or maybe just reducing the length on my 6,5,4, to equal that of my 7? 

Funny you should ask.

I game the single length irons from 6i - PW. I have the Cobra F9s with graphite shafts. Love them.

Wedges: I went with a standard length F9 GW - this is because I couldn't get used to chipping with a 7i length GW; Callaway MD-4 54/10 and 58/8

Hybrids: I went with Cobra standard length F9 4H, and 5H. They're like playing with cheat codes enabled. 

3W: I went with the Cobra F9 and set at 15.5 degrees which is working out perfect. 

Long irons are definitely more difficult to hit than hybrids. It's why they make hybrids. A 5i today has the loft of a 3i of 1980. You're not going to be a pro. Why make your game more difficult than it needs to be?

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On 7/10/2020 at 6:22 PM, DrMetal said:

Hello, I'm a double digit handicap. A Bogey kind a guy on most holes.

I'm fairly decent with my short irons. My distance with my 7-iron (standard length) is anywhere from 160-175 yds. 

But as soon as I pick up my longer irons (6, 5, or 4), my swing falls apart.  I'm not sure if it's the extra length---I'm ok with my driver (250-280 yards)----or if it's the added weight of those irons, or maybe a combination of  the two.  I feel  like I have some difficulty in raising the club and generative good speed, which makes me think its the extra weight of the club that's hindering me. 

Solutions? I was thinking of switching to graphite clubs (but I do like the feel of steel, especially in my short irons).  Get fitted? (I am in the marked for a new set of clubs.  possible to just reduce the lengths of my 6, 5 and 4?)  

Workout and build more body mass?! I should be doing that.   

Thanks in advance for any advice.  

I would start with strike; make sure you're hitting down on the ball a few degrees, reasonably out of the middle of the club head, and with reasonable control of face to path.

I recommend at least one hybrid.  Hybrids will launch higher and with more backspin, so they will have a better descent angle.  They also appear to maintain ball speed better.  I carry 2 hybrids--3h and 4h; love them.  Be sure to hit down on them and take a nice divot--don't try to help the ball in the air as @gbogey stated.  You want to feel the club head traveling down through the ball (even after the ball is gone).

Edited by ncates00

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Without seeing your swing it's impossible to know what the exact issue is, but, as others have said, switching out a few of those long irons for hybrids could go a long way towards helping. 

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On 7/11/2020 at 11:27 AM, gbogey said:

If you are hitting your 7i consistently +160 carry, then you have the swing speed to play long irons. I don't think you need an equipment change unless you wanted a 4H for your 4i. 

Totally agree. In addition, the urge to try to help the ball into the air is much greater with longer irons. I would suggest:

  • Choke down an inch on these clubs, at least until you feel more comfortable with how you hit them
  • Work on maintaining the same tempo with long irons as your 7i
  • Learn to trust the loft of the club. It took me a long time to trust that my 5i has 26 degrees of loft - it doesn't look like it compared to a 7i, but it does. 

So I was thinking along these lines as most of my double digit friends have issues with longer clubs and get really anxious which compounds the problem. When the trust leaves the tempo goes to hell and the likelihood of you hitting the center of the clubface with a longer shaft is compromised. Given you have average swing speed, hitting a modern 5 iron is very doable. 

39 minutes ago, jamo said:

Without seeing your swing it's impossible to know what the exact issue is, but, as others have said, switching out a few of those long irons for hybrids could go a long way towards helping. 

I agree with this as well especially with a 3 iron. Hybrids are a bit more reliable for mid caps and definitely more versatile from tee, fairway, rough, and fairway bunkers. 

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The con with hybrids though is that they go even on misshits. So you are bound to get more lost balls with it if you are not striking it perfectly. I have a 22 degree after my irons and it´s ridiculously easy to get into the air and I certainly have better percentage then my old iron 3 but the misses is close to be as dangerous as misses with a 3-wood seeing the distance they go in the wrong direction.

But it´s very useful. If you have a day you can´t chip you can just use it as a chipper. Trying to recover with distance from a fairway bunker or bad lie in the rough much easier then a fairway wood or iron. From a perfectly good lie the fairway wood is preferrable though but the misses using an iron versus a wood or hybrid tend to be much less punishing as the ball will go a much shorter distance and is required to hit well to get the distance.

Another thing is distance control. If no wind fine but with wind and the high trajectories it would be hard to calculate. Maybe punch shot is easy with hybrid too though...
I don´t know about backspin because yet to land my hybrid on a green 😛. The holes I play I hardly ever get it for the approach shot where there is any real chance. I seldom need to hit more then 160 metres to pin.
I am still not 100 % sure about the distance I have with it need more time to dial that in better. On the range it appears to be a huge difference when ripping it and on a slower swing. but I do feel it replaces my old 18 degree fairway wood quite well. Goes a bit shorter but significantly longer then my i5 d7 despite its playing as a i-3 so gapping aside I think I lucked out with the right hybrid loft in between my 3wood and irons.  25 degree hybrid probably don´t go longer then the average well hit iron 3?

I am very curious to try a set of cleveland hb turbos or the like but not in the market for new clubs currently but would be interesting how they play and if they can just about eliminate all duffing which do happen on occasion... But again if that short duff short is replaced by an out of bound not much gained.
 

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Here's what's helped me immensely... Take a light grip so you can really feel the weight of the club head. It should feel heavy, that's good. The clubhead feeling heavy should dictate your swing. Use the weight to "swing" the head through the back of the ball, don't try to manipulate the head, let it flow naturally. I bet all those smooth swingers like Els and Couples really felt the heavy club head in their light grips. You can really whip the head through impact this way. Use this feeling with all clubs, not just long irons. Good luck.

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