Hit Your Irons A Full Club Longer
Terry "The Wedge Guy" Koehler is in New Zealand this week speaking at a PGA Seminar. While he's out, we're going to feature a "Best of The Wedge Guy" article from the past. This article was originally published June 3, 2011. Enjoy!

I am seeing ads from a number of iron manufacturers this year which tout their new models of irons to be the longest ever made. Apparently, all these companies sequestered their mad scientists in top secret installations deep inside a mountain somewhere until they found the formula for increased distance with irons. And they tout that their new super-duper, kryptonite-loaded, pixie-dusted model "super game improvement" irons are going to give you tour-like distance.

Well, I've recognized that apparently the marketing wizards at the major brands have found out that golfers will buy anything if it promises more distance. So, I went into my lab and I found a way to help any golfer hit all his or her irons a full club further, too. And I'm going to give this discovery away complete FREE. No strings attached. Right here, right now.

All you have to do is take a piece of silver duct tape and cover the number on the bottom of each iron. Then you take a permanent Sharpie marker and write the next higher number on the tape. Your 5-iron now has a "6" on it, your 8-iron now has a "9", and so on. And voila, you are a full club longer than you used to be!!!

As silly as that sounds, that's exactly what these companies are doing, and then trying to sell that "advancement" as some kind of technology breakthrough. These new longer-hitting irons are all sporting specifications that are not much different from my totally FREE solution. The "P-clubs" have as little as 43* of loft, the 9-irons are what your previous 8-iron was in both loft and length. But you'll find that under close examination, the 4-irons in these sets are only a little stronger than your current one.

So, what these sets do to your golf game is compress the range of distances you get between your longest iron and your shortest, creating a large gap in distance between your "P-club" and your gap wedge, and leaving you a big hole right in prime scoring range.

And your scores will suffer. Trust me.

This obsession with distance is ludicrous in my opinion. I wrote a few weeks ago about every golfer's need to have a sequence of yardages from around 200 to 80 or so, where you know exactly how to hit a shot each distance. It doesn't matter what number is on the sole of the club. If you are 135 yards from the flag, you need a club that will deliver close to that distance consistently, right? There are no bonus points for doing it with a 9-iron over a 7-iron.

Luke Donald is the proof.

Congratulations to Luke Donald for capturing the pole position as the #1 player in the world. There's no question he's playing better this year than anyone. His stats for wins and top 10s back that up. And he proves that the game belongs to the big, strong bombers who hit it 300+ every time, and can stick a 9-iron from 165 yards.

Wait, that's not right. Luke Donald is 5'9" tall, and weighs 160 lbs. His driving distance is a full 30 yards behind Dustin Johnson's and 11 yards shorter than the tour average.

But Mr. Donald is 10% more accurate off the tee than the tour average, he hits almost 10% more greens than the average and his scrambling success is almost 20% better than the tour average. Hmmmmmm. Maybe the game doesn't belong to the bombers?

The moral of this story is that if you want to get better, an extra ten yards with your irons isn't the answer. Accuracy is. And that means distance accuracy as well as direction accuracy. If you are playing the right set of tees for your skill level, you'll hit the bulk of your approach shots with a 7-iron or less. You'll have a par four or two and a par-three that test your longest approach clubs, and you won't have a remote chance of getting home in two shots on more than one par five, if any at all.

But, if you hit your drives in the fairway, hit your approaches close to the green (regardless of what club you hit), and learn how to get it up and down a higher percentage of the time, your handicap will come down.

I promise.
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.

[ comments ]
RuffandReady says:
absolutely SPOT ON!!!! distance control is vital.
SanDiegoLee says:
There may be a bit of truth to the concept noted above.
I was a 15.0 Index golfer when I played the Bonita club in Chula Vista Calif some time ago with a full set of clubs and riding in a cart. I had a great day of golf, hitting 100 % of the fairways with my driver and making a bunch of Pars and two Birds. For me, the 81 was a huge game for me and well under 'My Game'.

Upon leaving the course, I took an opprotunity to play again, for free when a foursom had a pre paid player who couldn't stay. I walked that time, and using my hand carried "Club Caddie" of five all iron clubs (5, P, A, S & Putter) I again shot an 81! Streight is better than far and although the 115 course isn't the most challanging in the world, it proved to me, -again- that distance is ego supporting and under 100 yards to the pin is for scoring low.

Now, if I could only keep my ego in check in the last six inches of my down swing....
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Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

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