Is there anything more soul-destroying than your iron shots suddenly coming up short? You may have previously been confident in your ability with your irons, so what’s going wrong that leads to things not panning out like you thought?
The truth is that there are several reasons as to why you may be losing distance with your irons, and we are going to explore what those reasons are, as well as showing you how to correct things.
The first problem could be your age. As we get older, we lose a certain amount of our flexibility, speed, and power. That will only lead to one thing, a drop in distance.
Of course, there’s nothing you can do about age, but there are things you can do when it comes to fighting back against the power issue.
The best thing here is to look at increasing your swing speed. That will immediately counteract your drop in power and the best way to do this is to get lighter irons with a lighter shaft. Look for one that is specifically for seniors.
Another reason could be that you are suffering from an injury, but that will be a bit more obvious as you will be aware that something is not quite right.
A back injury, hip, shoulder, the number of areas of your body where you may be suffering from a muscle issue, or whatever else it may be, is extensive. However, no matter the actual area, even a slight injury can make it difficult for you to swing those irons like you used to.
Of course, in this instance it’s important that you let the injury heal. You need to accept that your shots will come up short but know that it is a temporary thing whereby getting over the injury will lead to normal service being resumed.
At least with this option you know that it is something you just have to contend with and that things will get better eventually.
A Poor Contact
Now we move onto things that are a bit more technical in nature, and a poor contact will undoubtedly mean your iron shots are not going to perform as well as expected.
The problem here can often be related to you hitting the ball farther away from the actual heart of the clubface. If your shot is coming off around the edges of the club, then a major drop in distance is the likely outcome.
The key here is in making sure your shots feel as if they are pretty solid. If not, then you need to look more closely at the mechanics of your swing as it does mean something is off.
Here’s an example.
If you discover you are hitting more off the toe end of the club, then it means you are standing too far away from the ball. Simply moving an inch or two closer to the ball will make a huge difference.
Basically, you are stretching too far to make the shot, and all that energy from the swing is lost as a result.
But here’s a final point regarding a poor contact.
You may think that increasing swing speed will sort of counteract what is basically a mishit, but that’s not the case.
Instead, it has been shown time and time again that a slower swing speed whereby the ball comes off the heart of the face will achieve a greater distance than a fast swing speed off the edge of the face.
Your swing is often being tinkered with, and you may have made changes to your swing that you are not even that aware of. Ultimately, a subtle difference can lead to a massive change in the end result you can achieve.
But for most people, a swing fault will lead to a loss of power. Also, we aren’t talking about a major swing fault either.
Look at your swing with your iron. If you come in on top of the ball, then you can end up creating more spin as a result. This leads to a drop in distance, and that applies for any club and not just your irons.
To counteract this, you need to shallow out your swing a bit. This should mean you then start to address the ball at more of a positive angle, and the level of spin will be reduced.
The other problem with your swing can be if you are going on an out to in path through the swing.
This will have a tendency to lead to you slicing your iron shots as you cut across the ball and, as a result, add a whole lot of side spin to the ball.
So what you need to do is to attempt to swing from an in to out path instead. Picture a dot on the inside half of the ball as it lies there, and imagine you need to hammer a nail through that dot with your swing.
By changing how you line up to the ball, you should start to strike it on that inner side compared to the outer edge that you were used to, and that can change the level of spin, as well as producing that slice.
Finally, it could very well be your equipment that is letting you down, and it has nothing to do with your own ability.
Using the same irons for a number of years will generally lead to them losing a whole lot of that all-important pop in the shot. But that’s not the only potential problem.
Over time, the face can become worn out. The grooves lose some of their ability, and it means there can be a reduction in the energy levels being transferred from the swing, to the club face, to the ball itself.
That will lead to a drop in distance.
Another problem can be the shaft itself being worn out. This usually means they lose some of their stiffness, and it’s that stiffness that will ultimately lead to you getting the distance with your shot.
Keep in mind that the shaft must put up with a lot of pressure over and over again. It needs to deal with torque in a shot, but when it becomes worn, that ability also drops.
So those are various reasons why you could be losing some distance with your irons, and any of them can be a possibility. What you need to do is work through each possible option, and see which one applies to you, and it should mean your iron shots get back to how they used to be.