How To Hit Long Irons

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Luke is an avid weekend-warrior golfer from the East Coast who plays golf more than he cares to admit.

One of the most impressive things in golf is seeing someone hit a long iron in the way it was intended and getting some serious improvement in their game.

how to hit long irons

However, you’d likely agree that the majority of amateur golf players would say that their long iron game is probably their weakest part of their overall skill.

Considering it’s likely going to be the least practiced part too, over time it’s easy to get rusty and lose confidence.

But luckily, once you master the basics – you can find yourself getting a repeatable and consistent swing and learning these things is definitely achievable.

What exactly do you need to do though?

Well, we’ve written this helpful guide which aims to explain everything you need to know about how you should hit long irons, along with other helpful hints.

Read on to learn more.

The Setup 

The first and foremost thing is to work on your setup.

Consistency is key when it comes to your golf game, and if your setup is all wrong, you will struggle to recreate the perfect swing and therefore, you will struggle overall.

Here’s how you can help to fix your setup. 

Widen Your Stance 

Generally, most long irons will require a wider stance than you would normally be used to.

Take a look at your feet – they need to be wider than your shoulder width, but not too wide.

If you are looking for a general rule of thumb here, remind yourself that the longer your club is, the wider your stance will need to be. 

A large proportion of amateur golfers’ setup is far too narrow and this makes it nearly impossible to pull off the full shoulder turn which is required, and it often leads the golfer to sway rather than rotate their body.

You’ll need to start wide enough that your shoulder can nicely fit underneath your chin during your backswing.

Check Your Ball Position 

The ball position when you are using a long iron is one of the most important points too. Ideally, you will want the ball to be front center of your stance. 

One of the most common errors that we see is when a player will try to overcorrect and then they position the ball way too far forward, and this can be significantly detrimental to the ball’s ability to go airborne. 

Placing the ball too far forward can allow the club to be hit past impact as it is coming back up, which can lead to a topped shot. In other words – don’t do it! 

Simply trust in the loft of the club, even if you think it’s not that much and center the position of the ball. 

Hitting With Long Irons 

Now it’s time that we look at how you can hit long irons in the right way. 


So, you’ve examined and worked on your stance and your positioning – but now it’s time that you turn your attention to your hand position and your grip.

how to hit long irons 1

There does not need to be much of a forward press because these clubs have less loft than that of a wedge or even a short iron. 

Just position your hands ahead of the ball a little bit and then match your left wrist as you see it. 

Now, let’s take a look at the backswing. One of the best general rules is the 80% backswing rule on the way back.

Despite it being a long iron, you do not need to think of it in such a way.

In other words, don’t accidentally overdo yourself on the driver level. You’ll want to end up slightly shorter than parallel for the perfect backswing length.

5 Iron 

Arguably, most amateur golfers’ longest club in their bag will be the 5 iron. It’s a very versatile club and as such, you will want to know how you can keep your consistency when you’re swinging.

The best advice you can take here is to not rush when it comes to the transition.

You need to start slower and then speed up toward the point of impact, rather than gaining maximum speed before impact. 

It’s all about timing rather than trying to whack the ball as hard as possible. Allowing the energy to build so it’s at its peak at the point of impact is by far the best option you have to maintain consistency.

Keeping Long Irons Straight 

You will need to try to hit long irons straight and a lot of this will come into the loft that the long iron offers. Typically, the straighter the face, the more easy it is to miss wildly. 

Long Iron Drill For Consistency

In order to get the most consistency out of your long iron game, you should remember that practice is always going to be necessary. 

One of the best drills we have seen involves using an alignment stick which is a great indicator to where you swing should be on the way down.

It can allow you to recognize why your ball is starting way off to the left or way off to the right after the point of impact – and once you know why a problem occurs, you can work to fix it.

Top tip: if you’re playing in especially windy conditions, choke up about one inch on the club.

Know Your Level 

Finally, one of the biggest problems that golfers have is that they try to run before they can walk. If you do not know your level, you may be jumping ahead by using a long iron – and might be better off using a hybrid

Final Thoughts 

Hitting long irons is a difficult task, but with enough practice and consistency, you can definitely achieve much better in your game. We hope this guide has helped.

Luke Griffin

Luke is an avid weekend-warrior golfer from the East Coast who plays golf more than he cares to admit.

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