Why Do I Hit My Irons So Short?

Do you hit your driver plenty far, but struggle to hit your irons a quality distance?

Do you struggle with clean contact with your irons because the ball is on the ground?

Not hitting your irons far enough can be frustrating, but it is something we can help you fix.

Why do I hit my irons so short?

There are typically 1 of 3 reasons why a golfer hits their irons short.  They include: poor contact, lack of swing speed or angle of attack.

Below, we will dive into the three reasons and provide a drill at the end of each section.

  • Poor Contact
  • Lack of Swing Speed
  • Angle of Attack
Hit one fat or short on this hole and you have a price to pay. Make sure you practice the low point control drill to take your game to the next level.

Reason #1: Poor Contact

Playing consistent golf and hitting your irons the right distance starts with making quality contact.  You could have average to above average swing speed, but if you aren’t hitting the ball on the center of the face or are struggling to control your low point, you are going to hit your irons shorter than your swing speed might suggest.

There are two parts to the equation: center strike and hitting the ground after the golf ball.  If you are hitting the toe or the heel or striking the ground before the ball you are going to lose significant distance.

How to hit irons pure!

Solution #1: Low Point Control Drill

Follow these steps and make sure you complete this drill as often as possible.  HOpefully, as often as daily to get you headed on the right track.  Whether you are a beginner golfer or someone that has golfed for 10 or more years, if you hit shots fat or thin, this is a great drill to start with.

  • 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.

The quicker the golfer can learn to control his or her low point, the better the chance of striking the ball solid and on the center of the clubface. 

Reason #2: Lack of Swing Speed

If your swing speed is below average, no matter how much of a center strike you have, you are going to struggle with distance.  You might only hit your 6 iron 130 yards if your swing speed is poor.  The good news…you can increase your swing speed!

How to hit a 7 iron 200 yards!

Solution #2: OverSpeed Training

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 – Use Discount Code Golfjourney365 for some savings!

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
When playing par 5s like this one, the extra distance with every club in the bag is helpful. Get those results with SuperSpeed golf and take your game to the next level!

Reason #3: Angle of Attack

If your angle of attack is too steep you are going to struggle with the following: quality contact and spin rate.  Your contact might be more of a glancing hit vs a solid hit and your spin rate will be too high.  More spin equals less distance in the majority of cases.  The golfer with a poor angle of attack is also often swinging out to in and is slicing the ball

If you hit the big ugly slice and are using plenty of distance, we have a drill to help you fix your swing path and your angle of attack.  Returning to the low point control drill and monitoring the size of your divots is one thing you can do, but we also need to get you on the right swing path.

Why is spin rate important in golf?

Solution #3: Back to Target Drill

It is near impossible to hit too steep with the drill detailed below.  Not only can you fix your angle of attack, you might just even start hitting a draw!  What a wonderful drill!

My studies of the golf swing brought me to Jim Venetos at one point.  He is an instructor that guarantees to help someone hit a draw.  He is able to do this through the setup that he promotes.  Here are the steps the golfer can take to use his approach as a drill to help them hit the ball from the inside and hit a draw at some point in their life.

  • Setup to the ball and loosen your hands on the grip.
  • Go ahead and turn your shoulders 45 degrees away from the target, so that your chest points away from the target..
  • Regrip the club with a strong grip.
  • Aim the club face down the target line
  • Put 70% of your weight on your front leg.
  • Make a swing, moving only your arms. 
  • Keep the rest of your body still throughout the swing.

From this setup, as long as you stay still through the shot, your arms will follow the angle of your shoulders and you will produce an inside out swing.  As we learned from the ball flight laws, if your face is slightly left of the path, you will hit a draw.  The ball will start at the angle of the face at impact and then curve away from the swing path.

A golfer can use this drill to get the feel for a swing that moves from the inside out.  Go ahead and hit 10-20 shots and get the feeling of your arms moving down as your back stays towards the target.

Jack Nicklaus often talked about keeping his back to the target (feeling) and having his arms beat the buttons on his shirt to the ball.  This is a feeling he tried to produce and we know that sometimes the feels in a golf swing are different than what actually happens, but if Jack Nicklaus was trying this, it might work for your game as well!

BONUS TIP: Build A Distance Chart

Most golfers overestimate how far they hit each iron in their bag.  This leads to often being in the bunker short of a green or hitting a well struck shot that leaves you with a 50 foot putt.  Every golfer, regardless of current ability level, should create a distance chart that looks like the one below.

I would highly recommend each golfer create a distance chart like the sample below:

ClubCarry Distance (100%)90%80%
2 Utility Iron210
4 iron190
5 iron181
6 iron171
7 iron163
8 iron153
9 iron143
P Club130123115
Pitching Wedge118110102
SW Club1059791
LW Club908274

This might be the most important information you can use to help you play quality golf.  I have heard so many stories and have seen it first hand where golfers completely over estimate how far they hit each iron.

They hit one 7 iron 165 yards one time and think this is their carry distance.  So they step up to a 165 yard shot, hit the 7 iron and end up in a bunker.  They blade it out of the bunker and are looking at a double bogey as their reality.  Instead, if they had the right club and hit the 6 iron, their chance of hitting the middle of the green would increase greatly!

How can you create your own chart?

Option 1: I would highly recommend a launch monitor!

These portable devices can be used at the driving range, golf course or set up in your home net or golf simulator.  These devices are game changers not only on being able to map your bag and know your distances, but they also provide quality feedback after on every shot and provide the following information:

  • Carry Distance
  • Spin Rate
  • Launch Angle
  • Spin Axis
  • Total Distance
  • Ball Speed

This information will help you map your bag, decide on which clubs are best for your game, develop a stock shot and much more.  I love using my SkyTrak 365 days a year in my golf simulator setup.

The process for mapping your bag can looking something like this:

  • Hit 5 shots with each club in your bag.
  • Log the carry distance and total distance for each shot.
  • Eliminate any outlier numbers (poor hits or low spin rates).
  • Take the average and create a map of your bag.

If you visit any PGA Tour event you will see plenty of golfers utilizing their launch monitors.  While most can’t afford a Trackman, there are some very affordable options in the 500-2000 dollar range.  I own the SkyTrak and think the world of it.  

Here are the top 3 options to check out:

I would highly recommend Rain or Shine. The options, pricing, customer service and financing offers are difficult to beat! Check out our links below:

If you can create a space like this with your Sktrak you can improve drastically and map your bag often.

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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