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Crockme

Short Irons on Target, Long clubs terrible

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After much work on my swing (thanks to advice on this site), I am finally hitting my short irons consistently on target. Unfortunately, the improvement in my short irons is not carrying over into my longer clubs at all.

Toward the end of last season, I got so disappointed with my long iron and wood inconsistency that I decided to play several rounds with only my 8 iron and putter (2 clubs).  I usually hit my 8 iron 170 yds and our local course is short (can reach every green in regulation). I hit it right down the middle almost every time, and I shot back to back 41's after a blow-up 52 using all clubs pushed me to this extreme experiment.  Now this season I continue to hit my short irons consistently straight (PW - 7 iron), but for some reason I still spray my long clubs everywhere with no consistency.  Most likely misses are a big hook or straight push.

Anyone recall something similar in their past, in which they could consistently hit short irons (PW-7 iron) right on target, but your long clubs were sprayed everywhere?  If so, do you recall your fix?

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Originally Posted by Crockme

Anyone recall something similar in their past, in which they could consistently hit short irons (PW-7 iron) right on target, but your long clubs were sprayed everywhere?  If so, do you recall your fix?

Major disclaimer: I'm not qualified to guess what your problems may be, nor qualified to try to solve them even if I guessed right.  So this is simply a recounting of my own experiences.

My experience suggests that short irons are MUCH more forgiving of a pretty darn steep swing and an outside to in path.  The longer clubs, on the other hand, work better for me with a flatter more traditional swing plane.  Lacking any sort of other information, I'd suggest you take a look at your swing plane, and quite possibly what's going on at the top of your back-swing.  One of my swing keys is to get the club handle to point back down at the ball on the way back.  A tee stuck in the hole at the grip end can help make this more obvious.  And when having trouble with my longer clubs it often seems to get better if I stiffen up and shorten my back-swing somewhat, (I seem to get a little loosey-goosey at the top sometimes.)

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Just as the above, I'm in no position to lecture you, or give you any good advice, but I'll tell you my own experience.

I just recently just started playing (august last year), and I've had the exact same experience as you. I'd hit my 6-iron and up pretty good (7-iron around 150 meters, 8-iron around 140 and so forth), but when I started with a 3, 4 or 5, I would hit the ground, or top the ball, or just hit a terrible shot if I made contact.

I went to a coach for the first time this week, and she explained to me, that I've had a very steep upright swing, where the shorter clubs were pretty forgiven. To make my swing work, I had made several adjustments to my grip and so forth, to make up for the bad swing.

Now with the adjustments, I'm tying to get a little wider swing, and hopefully that'll get my longer irons straighten out. Do note though, my distance on the shorter irons are terrible at the moment, but hopefully the distance will get back, as I get used to a new swing. :)

Best of luck to you, hope you sort it out!

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I don't think my swing is that steep in short irons, but that could be part of it.  I read this advice in another similar thread and am considering it...

" The problem you are describing to me sounds like a handsy motion problem.  7-iron is a typical tipping point where the swing weight and length of the club makes it too hard to manipulate and you have to start flipping it somehow to try to get the face square.  It may simply be that you are hinging the club too open and you are able to roll and square it before impact with the 7-iron, but have difficulty with the longer clubs.  Been there done that...  I would say work on your chipping, develop a good hinge and hold method.  Convince yourself that it works, and why it works.  Then try to develop those same kinds of feels in your full swing.  I like to set my wrists early and square, then it feels like I can just smash it and not worry about the clubface because I know it's pointing in the right direction.  My hands are more relaxed because of that and I hit long and straight shots.  If I feel myself trying to flip it to square it, or block it to keep it open, I just check my grip, rehearse my takeaway a little to get back on track, and I'm back in business. "

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I did the exact thing with my 7i about ten years ago. Even putted with it. The course was tight and wooded and all the good landing areas seemed like they were 160 yards +- away. My biggest problem was that I should have left the driver at home because even nearly perfect drives ran through the fairway.

On to your question long irons are a lot more work. Many people gave up on them and started bagging hybrids and 7w and such. If you plan to stick with the long irons you have to hit it pure with a long iron swing not a short iron swing.

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This is pretty common with most people and I agree with the 7 iron tipping point statement. I just recently put my 3, 4 and 5 iron back in the bag after 2-3 years of playing hybrids (that I couldn't get on with). I can hit them now, because my swing is much better. No other reason. Swing issues are more pronounced with lower lofted clubs, so I would say it's probably an overall swing issue more than anything. You could be swinging harder than normal with the long clubs possibly. I know I sometimes tell myself to take it easy before hitting a 3 or 4 iron.

I will say that my 3 iron swing doesn't feel all that different than my 8 iron. I'm standing slightly taller due to club length, but it feels pretty similar.

Also, you wrote you hit your 8 iron 170. What is the trajectory like on the ball flight? If it's not a bullet, you're doing something right.

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Regarding trajectory of my 8 iron, people always tell me.. "Jeez you hit the ball high".   I used to hear "Jeez you hit the ball far," but I haven't been using clubs lofted for that lately.  I am a fairly long hitter, which is why I can get away with playing high loft irons and still compete somewhat.  I've won several "long drive" hole prizes in best ball tournaments in the past.  Just feeling the pressure to start hitting normal clubs again, especially when I play with other long hitters who hit consistently straight... while I grab my patheric 7-iron to tee off on the par 4 or 5.  :)

Last year I worked on a tighter swing with a shorter backswing, which did help my short irons and really hasn't hurt in distance, but still no 3W/Driver improvement in consistency.  I hit my short irons really well because I can get right up on the ball, let my club hang down loose, bring club straight back, and the swing straight thru right at the target.  But with longer clubs I have to stand far away from the ball, so I don't feel like the ball is in "the slot" anymore.  I can't use the weight of the club to guide me in hitting down on the ball and thru. So, I just attempt to swing on thru toward the target, while I spray the ball a long ways in every direction.

I'll work on the "hinge and hold" advice I pasted above.

Other advice or thoughts definitely welcome!

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Originally Posted by nemauen

I went to a coach for the first time this week, and she explained to me, that I've had a very steep upright swing, where the shorter clubs were pretty forgiven. To make my swing work, I had made several adjustments to my grip and so forth, to make up for the bad swing.

Now with the adjustments, I'm tying to get a little wider swing, and hopefully that'll get my longer irons straighten out.

Every time I've seen this, it's been a very steep swing...YMMV

Seems easier to flatten out a fairway wood or driver for some reason than a 3i or 4i or 5i

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So the straight push and hook miss can be the same swing, but with a vastly different face angle at impact.  It could also be two totally different swings and face angles.  Hard to tell without video evidence of some sort.

Anyway, these are my misses with my woods and long irons.  When I push the ball it's generally a good swing, but I don't release the club through impact.  Not terrible usually, just in the right rough on most holes.  When I hook the ball it's because I flat out overswing and a multitude of things break down.  Tempo and balance is my key.  Smooth stroke and the worst that happens is that I'm on the right side of the fairway or green, if I try to kill it I can get into all sorts of trouble.

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