would getting good with long irons improve overall iron striking?

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turkish

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I play AP1s so my 5 iron is 24 degrees which is basically a 4 iron in old money.

Have never hit it as well as I’d have liked. My iron play isn’t particularly terrible but mixture of good and bad (contact and direction) gives me about 30% GIR rate so could be better. Just wondering if getting really good with long irons would have a knock on effect on the shorter irons.

Thoughts?
 

duncan mackie

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Yes, if you are playing your long irons properly.

Not necessarily if you are talking about tee shots swept from a peg.
 

Curls

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How many approaches on your home course require a 5 iron or longer? How many times would you use that in a round if it worked as well as you’d be happy with?

Personally I don’t take a full swing until I get to 6 iron, 7 and down is more 3/4 (in my mind, I’m sure if I saw a video I may be shocked!) for control. My 5 and 6 irons weren’t really offering me anything consistently different so I just got a JPX900 5 iron and that’s a beast, so much easier to hit than the MP54. If you don’t get on with it why not experiment?
 
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turkish

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I'm not really talking about that tbh. I understand it's never gonna be as consistent as shorter irons. What I'm saying is will practice and getting really good with a 5 iron have a knock on effect and improve my iron play in the 6, 7, 8 and so on as it is essentially a harder club to hit with the lower loft and longer shaft?

PS I have already done a lot of tinkering on the longer irons- just recently settled on a 4 hybrid for a bit more forgiveness in that respect so won't get an iron longer than a 5.
 

duncan mackie

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I'm not really talking about that tbh. I understand it's never gonna be as consistent as shorter irons. What I'm saying is will practice and getting really good with a 5 iron have a knock on effect and improve my iron play in the 6, 7, 8 and so on as it is essentially a harder club to hit with the lower loft and longer shaft?

PS I have already done a lot of tinkering on the longer irons- just recently settled on a 4 hybrid for a bit more forgiveness in that respect so won't get an iron longer than a 5.
Imo yes.

Whilst I've gone to a 5H in my main bag this year, I have put the 3, 4 and 5i back in the bag for winter for exactly this reason (and generally use irons only round the course - I hit 2 woods in today's comp, in both cases lured by the 2s pot on short par 4s...).
The 6i is definitively easier, and the 7 feels like a wedge!

What I do not find works is integrating the long irons into range sessions - but that is probably just me.
 

patricks148

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in Theory yes, but personally i would try it with a 5 or 6 iron to start with.
when i started playing i got a blade 6 iron and would reg just play 9 holes with just that club and only hit that as practice on the range. taught me a lot TBH
 

MadAdey

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It will definitely improve your iron play. If you can crack a nice 4i off the deck, then your shorter irons will only be easier to hit. I have never seen anyone that can hit long irons, but not be able to hit shorter ones. When warming up before a round I will hit a lot of 4 irons, because if I can get my swing going with that then everything else will be easy.
 
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The great thing about practicing with long (low lofted) irons is that your results will not be influenced by backspin. In other words, the lack of backspin will allow every single flaw in your swing to show up. A higher degree of backspin will mask unwanted sidespin, produce a higher ball flight, etc. which hides the flaws you are trying to correct. Believe me, the better you hit a low lofted iron the better (exponentially) you will hit the higher lofted irons in your bag.
 

Crow

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(5 iron a 4 iron? Depends how old your money is, pre-decimalisation 24 deg would be a 3 iron ;))

As to your original question, I believe it will definitely improve your overall iron striking.
The longer the iron the more accurate your striking needs to be to get a satisfactory result.

I was Mr Shank a couple of years ago (unusually it was my longer irons I shanked rather than the more common shorter irons) and my bag was taking on a strange look with more woods and hybrids appearing, including a 9 wood....

When I started to go down the vintage route my set up necessarily reverted back to more irons and the most lofted wood generally available was a 5 wood.

Being forced to play longer irons I knuckled down and concentrated on quality of strike, primarily trying to find the middle of the face, towards the end of this year I started to feel a new confidence in my irons and will happily hit a 3 iron from the fairway and a 2 iron from the tee is a regular shot for me now, and off the fairway occasionally.
I'm not sure where that is in new money but for 2 iron read 20 deg and 3 iron read 24 deg (a 4 and 5?) but these are not high launching clubs and have a narrow sole so strike has to be good.
 

pauldj42

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Do you need to hit long irons to improve your short irons though?
I like yourself struggled with consistencey around the 4-5 Irons and had replaced them with 4-5 Hybrids, they were so much better for me that I then introduced the 3 & 6 Hybrid.
I have dropped from 13 to 10 since April and for the winter I’ve ordered the 2 Hybrid.
All summer when out practising I kept putting a 2 and 3 Iron in my bag to try off the tee and deck, hit some beauties but they were few and far between.
I now have no issue pulling the 3-5 hybrid out the bag for shots ranging between 170-200, my short iron play has improved by the fact I’m in better positions, closer to the greens and my confidence level is up, it certainly hasn’t suffered for not using long irons.
Good luck if it all clicks with only 1 hybrid in the bag, but there’s no harm in seeing what mix and match is best for you.
 

HomerJSimpson

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In theory yes. I tried something similar a few summers back and got some better player irons with smaller heads and less forgiving and was working on the principle that if I could learn to hit these, going back to my bigger I25's (at the time) would seem massive and be easier to hit. In isolation the plan worked but ultimately it was my technique that was to blame and the swing I was putting on each shot could be very good but the flaws could affect anything from a four iron to a wedge. I don't think it's necessarily the best way forward (in my opinion of course) and would prefer to learn to improve my strike and consistency throughout the bag with better technique through lessons and practice.
 

RandG

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There's no difference in the swing - any difference in arc should be purely related to the shaft length.
Well there is in mine, long irons I'm trying to sweep, I'm talking 2/4 and possibly 5, with shorter, I'm talking 9 and various wedges, I'm hitting down and through.
 
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