The Art of Golf: Long Irons and Hybrids

The Art of Golf: Long Irons and Hybrids

By: Nick Bockenfeld, PGA
⌚9 Minute Read


Long irons are an incredibly underrated art in the golf world, especially by amateur golfers. I have found that I have a particular affinity for hitting my long irons, and have for a very long time. Even though I am great with long irons, I sometimes struggle to hit them well. Right now, you put a 3 iron in my hand, and I feel incredibly comfortable standing over it. I am so comfortable that it wouldn't bother me if you told me I couldn't use my driver. I can hit my long irons all day. This confidence opens up a golf course for me in many different ways. I can play holes much differently and hit into any par 5.



The most significant problem people have with a long iron in their hand is trying to freaking kill it when it is not necessary. A long iron has a longer shaft and less loft; it goes plenty far on its own; you don't need to try to kill it. That is the single biggest mistake you can make with a long iron. So stop it! A long iron will go plenty far, but it is just like all other irons; you need to hit a specific spot, not just rail on it. A long iron is meant to hit off the tee to a specific spot or into a green at a specific spot, maybe even to lay up if needed. The best thing about them is that they are so versatile.


The Stinger

One of the best ways to hit a long iron is to hit the stinger. There are a lot of ways people say to hit this. One of the easiest ways to get everyone hitting stingers is to put the ball in the back of your stance, aim left, take a shorter swing, and finish low on your follow through. This will generate that low-ball flight that will roll out a pretty good way. This is a great way to hit a long iron off the tee if you can manage it.


Tee Ball

If you are taking an iron off the tee, you should ensure everything is in the right spot, and it becomes effortless to pull it back and hit it right down the middle. Once you have mastered this tee shot, you will be confident that you can hit these off the tee instead of taking the driver off every tee. To hit a long iron off the tee, you want to tee it up just barely off the ground so you have a pure strike. You can lift that tee just a little higher if you're going to hit it slightly higher, but you don't want it too high; you have to be careful about how high you tee the ball because it can lead to off-center hits high on the face, which is terrible. You want the ball to be tee'd up in the front of your stance, where you tee up a driver. If you have time, try to go out and hit an iron off every tee to build confidence in your long irons. Doing this is a great way to show yourself that you can hit iron off any tee and don't have to hit the driver if you hit it poorly.


Consistency of Ball Striking

With all irons, the consistency of ball striking is very important. Consistently hitting it in the center of the face gives you a consistent ball flight and distance out of similar swings. For instance, if you are hitting it square in the middle, it will help you to hit the ball at the same length. When you know where the ball will land and can aim accordingly, hitting your long-irons becomes incredibly easy. The best way to become a consistent ball striker is to practice your tempo. The best ball strikers in the world have one thing in common. Their tempo is the same every single time. They all have different tempos, one from the other, but the biggest key is that it is the same for that player every single time. Have you ever just gotten into a rhythm on the range? Where you pull it back the same every time, and you are just puring it every single time? That is when you lock in your tempo and hit the same rhythm every time. This is when you hit the ball right in the pure spot every time. It does the same thing every time; life is good.

There is scarcely a better feeling than getting into this groove. It is tough to find, though. At least it was until now. The CTRL Swing Master Training aid makes finding this groove the second you get onto the range easy. First, you build a model with your club, hitting shots and telling the app whether it is good or bad; after 10 good swings, the model is built. Then you can bring it to the range every time you go to the range to hit balls. Put on the CTRL Swing Master, pick the model you want, turn on the metronome, and find your groove. The metronome will help you to find that perfect groove. You don't even need to go to the range. You can take practice swings anywhere once you have a model built. The CTRL Swing Master training aid is a revolutionary tempo training tool that fits your ideal tempo. There are plenty of tempo trainers in the world, but none of them assimilate to your ideal swing, except for the CTRL Swing Master. If you want more consistent ball striking, the only way to do it is the CTRL Swing Master. If you took a break for a couple of months, it wouldn't matter, come back and get back to grooving your perfect swing.


Be in Sync

Another vital part of consistent ball striking and making great contact is to have your entire body in sync with itself. You need to bring the club and your hips through at the same time. The best way to do this is to do the towel drill. This is one of the best drills you can do for your golf game. It's simple, and you have everything you need already in your golf bag. Throw a towel under your arms and hit little 75% shots on the range. 3 on, 1 off. You always do a drill 3 on, 1 off, and wean down to 1 to 1, then hitting more shots on than off. It's simple and effective.



All of this applies to long irons and your hybrids. If you get good with these clubs, there is nothing that is going to stop you from shooting a good score. The confidence with these clubs will bleed into the rest of your game and help you hit fantastic shots from anywhere on the course. If you can succeed here, you will get really good, really fast.

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