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Iron Play

Every golfer should learn 

her own distance capabilities 

for each iron club under all conditions


Many golfers, particularly women, whose tee shots are somewhat shorter than those of their playing companions, need to become so accurate with their iron shots that they are consistently able to hit the ball close to the flagstick for an easy par or even a birdie, while their longer-hitting friends are spraying their slugged shots in all directions.

Accordingly, the more time you can give to the study and practice on the science of Iron Play, the sooner you will find yourself listed in the low handicap bracket. Iron clubs are designed more for accuracy than for long distance. A good golfer, therefore, finesses. She carefully plans out each iron shot, sticks to a set pre-swing routine, and swings smoothly, using only 80 to 85 percent of her power to propel the ball targetward.

The Nos. 2, 3 and 4 irons are called the long irons, and are the ones to use when the lie on the fairway does not permit the use of a wood club, although a maximum distance is required. Also, under windy conditions it is far safer to use a long iron than a wood club such as the No. 3 or No. 4.

The middle irons (Nos. 5 and 6) and the short irons (Nos. 7 to 9 and both wedges) are the ones which help you to send your ball straight to the flagstick, within easy putting distance. Accuracy with these clubs helps many players to score well, though they may not be able to hit the greens in regulation strokes.

Every golfer should learn her own distance capabilities for each iron club under all conditions. To start with, it is a good idea for you to use at least one number lower than you think for various distances, particularly where a full shot is required.

The following chart shows the average distances for male players expected under normal conditions. Check your own distances for each club, and record them in the space provided below. Then choose the club that will send your ball to the target without having to force the shot.

Club Used Average Distance Your Distance
No. 1 Wood 220 Yards ______________
No. 3 Wood 200 Yards ______________
No. 4 Wood 190 Yards ______________
No. 5 Wood 185 Yards ______________
No. 2 Iron 180 Yards ______________
No. 3 Iron 170 Yards ______________
No. 4 Iron 160 Yards ______________
No. 5 Iron 150 Yards ______________
No. 6 Iron 140 Yards ______________
No. 7 Iron 130 Yards ______________
No. 8 Iron 120 Yards ______________
No. 9 Iron 110 Yards ______________
Pitching Wedge 100 Yards ______________
Sand Wedge 80 Yards ______________


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