Golf tips: This one’s all about the irons

How do you hit your long irons?

How do you hit your long irons?

What’s the difference between hitting your 9-iron and hitting your 3-iron? What a huge question. There are five other clubs between these two, so surely you need to swing them differently. Right? I mean, isn’t that what everybody says you need to do?

Most people say - “You need to hit down with your short irons and sweep your long irons.”

Have you ever heard that before? So the question is - if you hit down on your short irons and sweep your long irons - what do you do with your mid-irons? Do you kind of hit down and kind of sweep at the same time?

Should you hit more down on your 8-iron than you do on your 7-iron? And if so, how much more? And do you sweep your 3-iron more than you sweep your 4-iron? If you say yes to any of these questions, it’s no wonder that you might be struggling on the golf course. Even Tiger and Annika aren’t thinking about being that precise.

So the question continues - what’s the cut-off point that says you’ve moved from short irons to mid irons and mid irons to long irons?

Some say that the short irons consist of the Sand Wedge, Pitching Wedge, 9-iron and 8-iron. The mid-irons include the 7, 6, and 5. The long irons are the 4 and 3. And some others consider the SW, PW and 9 to be short irons - the 8, 7 and 6 to be mid and the 5, 4 and 3 to be the long irons.

Now this is serious business because if you don’t know which category the 5-iron goes in, how do you know if you’re supposed to sweep it like a long iron or do that half hit down and half sweep thing that you’re supposedly supposed to do with your mid-irons.

This is so confusing.

Yet, the Player doesn’t put their clubs into the “short iron,” “mid iron” and “long iron” categories. Maybe that’s why they’re less confused on the golf course and more confident with their golf swing.

The Player just swings all their clubs the same way. The Player says - “If I swing all my clubs the same way, why would I need to come up with categories such as short irons, mid irons and long irons? I’m just trying to put the same swing on all my irons and just let the loft of the club and the length of the shaft determine the different distances the golf ball flies.”

That’s so refreshingly simple! And 100 percent correct. Put this in your game and enjoy.

Steve Wozeniak is PGA Director of Instruction Bellevue/Lake Spanaway Golf Courses. He has taught more than 50 tour players and over 100 PGA and LPGA teaching professionals. Readers can contact him at or