Struggling to get distance out of your irons? Wishing you could add yardage and leave yourself easier club selection decisions?
You’re not alone. Many golfers have this same question “How can I hit my irons longer?”
In this article, we will walk you through the the best process for adding 10-20 or even 30 yards to your iron swing every time you apply these tips. There is no one solution fits all. Below you’ll find several different methods you can add yardage to your irons so it’s a matter of testing each out and seeing which works best for you.
Your golf performance is a result of your preparation, both mentally and physically, to perform at your optimum level. Let’s start off talking about tweaks you can make to your mental game that will help you hit your irons longer.
The Mental Game
How you approach every golf shot sets the stage for how you are going to perform when playing a round of golf. The mental game is half the battle, the other half is your technique. Use these tips:
Step 1: Breakdown your approach
When you start playing poor golf, you instantly look for ways to adjust your swing and technique.
In reality, many players don’t have a solid understanding of how they actually look or swing from posture to follow through. Therefore, it can be of great help to have a third person perspective by seeing video of your golf swing, chipping stroke, and putting stroke.
This third person view permits you to objectively see where you are succeeding and failing from beginning to end and make more concrete adjustments. You’ll feel more confident in yourself as you approach the golf shot.
Not only should you video tape yourself but even having a professional swing instructor take a look at your mechanics can reveal improvements that will help you hit your irons longer.
A swing coach will be able to help you assess the current distance each of your clubs are going and compare it to the potential you could be hitting your irons.
When analyzing your swing you’ll want to start by observing your back swing and posture. These two aspects are important in helping your golf swing be fluid and function properly throughout the swing motion.
The best chance if you don’t have a trainer or more experienced golfer to work with, is to record yourself either via a camera on your smartphone. You can review your videos as well as keep track overtime as you progress or worsen and can pinpoint adjustments that achieved higher successes.
Once you’ve seen your golf swing and/or worked with a teaching instructor, you’ll begin feeling more confident which in turn will lead to better ball striking. Better ball striking results in you hitting your irons longer and feeling satisfied with the distance your clubs go.
Step 2: Relax
Thinking too much makes your swing stiff and choppy, which leads to shorter distances, less control, wide shots, a high amount of backspin and even side spin (slicing). Your focus needs to be entirely on just relaxing and concentrating lightly on the task at hand.
Take a deep breath as you set up to your golf shot.
The more relaxed you are, the smoother your stroke will be and the more likely that you will be able to hit your irons longer. Being relaxed will allow you to release the club faster, thus generating more swing speed compared to a tense release of the club.
Our Best Mental Game Tips
The Physical Game
Another component that helps you hit your irons longer is your physical make up. Take Dustin Johnson for example.
The guy can slam a ball 350 yards with a 3 wood! But when you look at his physical build you can see why. He’s tall, strong, and can generate insane whip with his club leading to an insane club speed at impact with the golf ball.
Unfortunately, we can’t all be 6 foot 5 inches tall and have muscles that attract the ladies. It’s not your fault that genetics let you down in this sport.
But you can do some things to improve your physical game so that it combines with your mental game to provide you increased distance for your irons and drives off the tee box.
Being more flexible is important for two major reasons:
- Preventing injury
- Greater swing motion
A great way to add distance to your irons and hit the ball further is to improve your range of motion by stretching. Consider the fact that as we age our distance seems to disappear.
For example a 70 year old won’t hit as far as a 25 year old. One of the big reasons is the limited range of motion the 70 year old has compared to the young and flexible 25 year old. Stay loose, stay flexible!
As a golfer, you are an athlete and should train your body for the movements required by the game of golf. Core strength will increase your stability and thus lead to hitting your irons longer.
You should also implement a strength building program that focuses on leg strength as this is where you generate the bulk of your power in the golf swing.
As a caution, don’t get to bulky from weight lifting or else you’ll limit your range of motion and flexibility.
You’ve likely heard the rumors and conspiracies that Tiger Wood’s performance began declining due to over lifting and working out too much. People are also starting to keep a closer eye on Rory McIlroy who has been big into physical fitness and lifting.
Don’t get me wrong though…working out has many positive benefits.
But if overdone it can strain your body leading to injury. Make sure to select a plan for golfers that builds strength but also keeps your range of motion and flexibility intact.
Your Golf Swing Technique
Along with the mental game, and physical game, you should work daily to improve your swing technique.
It can be the difference of 20 yards on your iron swing. More often than not, golfers agree that nailing the iron’s swing technique is one of the more difficult parts of golf.
For that same reason, spending extra time on harnessing your technique will greatly improve your golf game and give you a solid advantage over competitors.
Keep it simple
When practicing, focus on improving one aspect of your swing at a time. Think of your swing as a machine. You have to take it apart and build it back up piece by piece.
If you attempt to rush it or fix too many things at once, it ends up being worse than before and slows down your improvement time. Learning to isolate one aspect such as wrist control or arm positioning on the strike will make the process easier and quicker.
There is no one correct approach
While certain aspects barely change on what makes an iron swing better, such as fluidity and control, others such as particular postures or club choice can vary. Every player is different and requires a different approach depending on not only the mechanics of how they swing but how their body functions.
Some have better balance whilst others have better hand eye coordination and strength. Adjusting and building upon your weaknesses makes for a more dynamic player but playing to your strengths allows you to excel at what you are already good at.
Understand the arc of your swing
Many players lack width in their swing due to focusing on the positioning of the lower arm independent of the club itself despite the fact the club is essentially an extension of your hand. Being aware of how your swing breaks down gives new perspective on nailing your strike. Many players focus on the wrong aspect of what makes width work for a player.
Focus should be on the head of the club as opposed to the hands. Your wrist hinge is one of the main centerpieces of what generates motion and controls the direction of your strike. When we talk about release, we are referring to this wrist hinge that gets released right before impact, thrusting the golf club into the ball at a high speed.
Ideally your wrist hinge should be between 75 and 85 degrees and always with a straight lead arm. This creates more width in the swing and can lead to a more fluid arc that increases ball speed and thus distance.
Width generated by proper arm positioning and wrist hinge will create the width necessary to increase distance. Whilst some golfers have a slightly bent lead arm to compensate for comfort it can lead to an awry strike.
Your posture can make or break your shot. While comfort is important to ensure maximization of fluidity and prevent a choppy disoriented swing, control is also necessary to perfect technique.
Having good posture takes time to build. Work on correct posture daily at home in order to make it become second nature and muscle memory.
During pressure situations your body reverts to what it does naturally unless trained otherwise so having good posture muscle memory will be key to avoiding breakdown mid swing.
Grab my golf skills assessment challenge and see how good your golf skills are in different areas of the game: Driving, Iron Play, Chipping, Putting, etc.
As mentioned before, there is no one perfect way to swing.
Some follow the Ogilvy method which requires a wilder back swing that generates power and generates a more pure strike despite less control.
If you favor power coupled with the weight and deep center of gravity an iron offers, your shot will initially be less consistent as it requires greater balance and hand eye coordination but can increase distance.
Natural power most often comes from the pivot and turn, and taking the time to ensure your club head is squared with the ball upon impact is essentially when the power transfers and distance is created.
One thing that impact the quality of your shot independent of your striking process is the smoothness of your club head.
A well polished club head that doesn’t generate friction when coupled with a powerful directed swing will go a further distance. The smoothness directs full power to the center of the ball whilst avoiding friction which if present can cause variations in how the ball rotates and lead to curving of ball trajectory.
- Breakdown Your Approach And Record Yourself
- Relax and focus on the task of hand
- Keep It Simple When Improving Your Swing
- There is no one correct approach, so experimentation is key
- Understand the spacial distance of your swing.
Do these 5 things and you’ll start hitting your irons longer.
Golf Practice System for Lower Scores
Learn the exact golf practice routines thousands of students at Foy Golf Academy are using to lower their golf scores.
Follow these step by step practice plans and watch video lessons to learn how to improve your golf swing, chipping, and putting fundamentals.
Get access to hundreds of golf drills to practice as well as content on the mental side of golf, fitness plans, worksheets, and many more resources. This is a complete golf practice system.
Nick Foy, Instructor