Why Are Long Irons Harder To Hit? (7 Reasons)

Golf can be a difficult sport.

For some reason, it always seems there is a part of the golf game that might not be on that day.

One day it could be the driver, the next day the short irons and the following day the putter.

But, what about the long irons?  

Some golfers never really seem to dial in their long irons and struggle season after season trying to hit some quality shots.

Why Are Long Irons Harder To Hit?

The long irons can be harder to hit for the following reasons:

  1. They are longer in length
  2. They have less loft
  3. It takes decent swing speed
  4. Golfers have too high of expectations
  5. Golfers fail to control their low point
  6. Golfers become too golf ball bound
  7. Golfers dump their speed before the ball
Does this shot bring some fear? Check out our 3 solutions below!

Reason #1: They are longer in length

When compared to a short iron, they could be several inches longer in length.  Anytime the golf club is a bit longer, it becomes more difficult to control the accuracy of the club in your hand.  Another factor with the longer club is that the golfer might struggle to make solid contact.  When you have a less loft and poor quality, the results can become more devastating quicker.

Check out the chart below and notice the difference in the standar 3 iron compared to a pitching wedge.  The 3 iron is 39” in length compare to only 35.75” for the pitching wedge

Club Number3456789P

Reason #2: They have less loft

Once again, the lower the loft, the more difficult it is to control the accuracy.  When you combine a longer golf shaft with less loft, naturally it is going to become more difficult to hit your irons high enough, far enough and solid enough to have consistent results. 

It takes a quality golf swing with enough speed to produce the results many golfers are seeking with their long irons.  Let’s face it, for many golfers once they get outside of 150 yards or more, the chances of hitting the green decrease quickly.

Hitting long irons vs short irons

Reason #3: It takes decent swing speed

Most golf irons are built to have a penetrating ball flight.  The less loft, the more difficult to hit quality golf shots on the right line.  For many golfers, especially with the 3 and 4 iron, it takes decent swing speed to produce enough height on the longer irons.  The good news is that a golfer can still add swing speed! 

(Check out our recommended speed training section below!)

This has been a complete game changer! Check out the SuperSpeed Training section below!

Reason #4: Golfers have too high of expectations

Did you know that from 100 yards in the fairway on the PGA Tour, the average proximity to the pin is 18 feet? 

Did you know that between 150-175 yards on the PGA Tour, the average proximity to the pin is 28’6”?

So what do you think an amateur would average from the same distance?  Would 40-50’ be acceptable?

Many golfers hit a shot to 35 feet from this distance and are disgusted with their result.  When in reality, they just hit a pretty decent shot.  As a result, they next time they try to do better, take a greater chance and end up in a bunker and make bogey or worse.

Hitting the fat part of the green is a great strategy for many golfers once they get 150 yards or more from the green!

How to increase driver swing speed

Reason #5: Golfers fail to control their low point

There is a clear line between the best golfers and the weakest golfers when it comes to low point control.  The best golfers control their low point over 99% of the time, while the weakest golfers might only hit the ball solid and control their low point around 50% on a good day.  One of the quickest ways to improve in golf is to control your low point

(See drill below to get you headed in the right direction).

Reason #6: Golfers become too golf ball bound

Golfers focus so much on the ball that they often end up stopping at the ball and fail to have a target based approach.  Instead, the golfer should pick a target way off in the distance and swing out towards the target.  You want the speed out front!

Target focused golf (7 keys)

Reason #7: Golfers dump their speed before the ball

As a result of being too golf ball bound, golfers often dump their speed too early, which results in many problems.  A loss of swing speed, a loss of proper launch angle and many lose the ability to control their low speed.  The best tip is to focus on creating the speed just past the ball and accelerating through the ball.

What causes early extension in golf?

Long irons can be great to hit on those difficult par 4 from the tee box.

The Solution!

Now that we have admired the problems, let’s dive into some potential solutions.  We believe golf is built around 3 basic fundamentals.

  1. The golfer’s ability to control the low point
  2. The golfer’s ability to control the start line and curve of the ball
  3. The golfer’s ability to produce enough swing speed to play the course.

When a golfer can hit the ball solid, start the ball on the correct line with a predictable curve and has enough swing speed to play the course, they are in a position to build a consistent and reliable swing that they can count on!

So we provide three drills or training systems to help you improve in these three key areas!

#1: Low Point Control

The Low Point Control Drill

  • Take some yard paint and paint a 1-2 yard long line.
  • Setup with 55% of your weight on your front side.
  • Try to hit the target side of the line and see how many times out of 10 you can do this successfully!
  • Repeat this drill every day for a month, tracking your progress and your ability to to this successfully in trials of ten.
  • You may need to start with half swing and progress to full swings.

If you are struggling, put more weight forward and work on keeping your head still to help control the low point in the swing.

#2: Develop A Stock Shot

Stock Shot Drill

  • At the driving range, set up an alignment stick about 6-8 yards in front of you, straight down your target line.
  • If you have a second alignment stick, set the stick 3-4 feet right of the first stick (for a draw) or left of the first stick (for a fade).
  • Complete your initial assessment see how many times out of 10 you can start the ball to the right or left of your target.  Pick one side and measure your game at this point.
  • The goal is to eventually complete this successfully 7 out of 10 times!

#3: SuperSpeed Golf Training System

The game of golf has evolved to where speed is important in the game of golf.  The faster your swing, the further the ball flies and the more shorter irons or wedges you have into a green.

Training for speed is a great idea and one worth exploring!

My 50% swing example above can be a great swing because I have enough in my swing to still hit the ball far enough with the feel of a bunt swing.

If you are going to train for speed, I would highly recommend the SuperSpeed Training System.

Gone are the days of simply being content with the distance you currently hit your golf ball.  Many older golfers have proven over the past several years that an increase in swing speed is possible.  

There are training systems to help you get your game to the next level and distance is arguably the fastest way to make this happen!

My number one recommendation is to check out SuperSpeed Golf and their protocols to help you find a safe way to increase your swing speed.

I spent many years wondering how I can increase my swing speed.  When I was playing junior golf, we weren’t fortunate enough to have some of the training aids and knowledge that is now available.  Smart people have studied the golf swing and have created training aids and protocols to help all golfers increase their distance!

At around the same time, the statistics from the PGA Tour have become more clear and the importance of speed is acknowledged by many to be a key to being the best on the PGA Tour.

Within the past several years, there have been several products hit the market to make speed gains possible.  While many people for many years waited for the latest driver to come out to gain an additional 5-10 yards, you can now do this even with your current clubs.

Did you know that with the SuperSpeed Training System you can gain 5-8% increase in swing speed as early as the first training session?  This would allow you to gain somewhere between 10 and 30 yards depending on your current swing speed.

SuperSpeed Golf

The SuperSpeed Training System is based on three different swing speed sticks all weighing at different weights.  There is a green club that is 10% lighter than the average driver, the blue club which is 5% lighter and the red club which is actually 5% heavier!

Following their prescribed protocols the golfer completes the training every other day.  The total time to complete most of their protocols is between 10-15 minutes.  Most people can find the time to make this happen.  The golfer will also need a swing radar to measure their progress. 

The science behind the SuperSpeed Training System is based on overspeed training.  Overspeed training has been around for several decades now and has been used by olympic athletics in the sport of Track and Field.  

The science behind this overspeed training is based on the premise that your brain will only allow your body to move as fast as it feels it can stop safely!  So, you get to work and swing the clubs as fast as possible, retraining your brain to allow you to swing your driver faster.

For more permanent results, the golfer should continue these training protocols for several months.  The initial 5-8% is great and can become more permanent with the right length of training.  The golfer can expect to continue to break down barriers every several months at a 1-2% increase.

My own experience has been an increase of 7-10 miles per hour on average from between 98-101 all the way up to 106-109.  My goal is to hit the PGA Tour average of 113 mph in the coming months.  I will continue to train every other day and watch in amazement as I am hitting drivers longer now than ever before!

Phil Mickelson (a senior golfer now) has been known to increase his swing speed in the past year or so and is close to 120 miles per hour in his swing speed.  There are potential results for golfers of all ability levels and age!  

Check the current price on SuperSpeed Golf System, here!

Original Swing SpeedAfter 4-6 WeeksNew Carry DistanceTotal Distance

My Secret To Golf Improvement

Let’s face it, in order to get really good at golf, we must practice frequently.  About three years ago, I made the leap and invested in a golf simulator build for my garage.  I went with a SkyTrak Launch Monitor and the TGC software and can now play over 100,000 courses including Augusta, Pebble Beach, Bethpage Black, Whistling Straits. St. Andrews and many other of the top 100 courses in the world.

This golf simulator setup, which is more affordable that you might imagine, has been a game changer.  I can now play golf everyday of the year regardless of rain, snow, cold weather or time of day.  I can practice or play rounds of golf.  I can stand in the 11th fairway at Augusta and with the auto-rewind feature I am able to practice my approach shots from various differences.

It is worth checking out through Rain or Shine Golf as they offer some incredible packages along with financing offers that are difficult to beat.

Some direct links to Rain or Shine Golf for pricing and financing:

Take Action – What You Can Do Today to Get Better

What does this mean for you?  I believe in the following recipe to get better:

1 – Improve your motion in the golf swing by identifying a golf instructor.  Here are some options:

Here is a list of golf instructors that we have reviewed:

2 – Train to swing faster and improve your swing speed.  Here are some options:

Looking to gain more Speed and Distance in your swing. Two Options:

3 – Understand course strategy and work to break through your next barrier.  Here is a series on breaking through:

We have provided guides on how to break 100, 90, 80 and 70. Check out more below, if interested.

4 – Practice Frequently

Did you know that I build a golf simulator in my garage and have played over 500 rounds of golf on my SkyTrak system?  It has been a game changer and one worth checking out. Here are some of my other posts on golf simulators frequently asked questions:

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