Irons are clubs which generally allow the golfer to play shorter distances than woods and to play approach shots towards the green. In general, any kind of shot can be played with an iron. There are 9 kinds of iron, numbered from 1 to 9. The lower the number, the longer the shot that you will be able to make with the iron.
Choosing golf clubs to match your swing and playing level is essential for optimising your performance on the course. The trajectory of the balls will reveal your level and help chart your progress.
Getting longer, more accurate shots
If your objectives are launching the ball higher, extending your distance, making straighter, more regular shots you’ll want an iron with more tolerance and power. Make sure to look out for the following features:
- A wide sole: This will allow you to launch the ball more easily and will make your club more tolerant.
- An oversize club face: This will forgive centring errors when striking the ball and will make it easier to strike accurate, more regular shots.
- A cavity back/cast head: On a cavity back head, the weight is redistributed along the periphery of the head. The sweet spot – the place where the face should strike the ball for the shot to be successful – is larger. The larger the head, the easier the club is to play. The redistribution of weight compensates for centring errors.
- An offset: This describes when the head of the club is set back from the shaft. Reducing the undesired effect of slice, an offset helps the player to keep his or her hands in front of the face at the moment of impact, giving the player a better chance at hitting the ball accurately.
- A graphite shaft (light), for maximum speed and better handling.
If your objectives are more penetrating balls, regularity of your shot lengths, mastery of effects you’ll want to choose an iron which gives you greater control and power. If you’ve got the choice you’ll want something with these aspects below:
- A thin sole: This will allow greater precision while still maintaining the necessary tolerance when launching the ball.
- A central centre of gravity, for greater control.
- A progressive offset: This describes when the head of the club is set back from the shaft. Reducing the undesired effect of slice, an offset helps the player to keep his or her hands in front of the face at the moment of impact, giving the player a better chance at crossing the ball.
- A graphite shaft (light), for maximum speed and better handling, or a steel shaft (quite heavy) for greater control.
If your objectives are lower balls, the optimum trajectory control and mastery of effects you should opt for an iron that will give you greater control and precision with the following.
- A thin sole will give you a lower trajectory and therefore greater precision.
- A forged/muscle back head has greater yield and requires more precision on impact. These heads are reserved only for experienced or highly skilled golfers. Uniform distribution of weight.
- A raised centre of gravity for greater precision.
- A steel shaft (rather heavy) for greater control and feel (better feedback) and therefore greater precision.