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Types Of Golf Irons (Defining What’s Right For You)

One of the most crucial pieces of equipment in golf is an iron. It not only makes it easier for you to strike the ball farther, but it also makes it easier to control the golf club and add spin to the ball. The iron play can also determine a hole’s success or failure. So, what are the different types of golf irons in a golf bag?

The different types of golf irons that make up a typical, traditional set range from the driver iron through to the wedges. Golfers often split them into three categories: long, mid, and short irons. The long irons are from 1 to 4, mid-irons are the 5 to 7, and short irons are the 8 and 9, including wedges.

Irons play an essential role in golf. Here is what to know about the different types of golf irons and their uses.

Types of Golf Irons

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What Are The Different Types Of Golf Irons?

Each of the 14 clubs golf players carries in their bags has a different loft, which affects how far it travels. The driver’s loft is typically between 8 and 12 degrees, followed by hybrid clubs and woods.

Irons are numbered from 1 to 9, with 9 having the highest loft and 1 having the lowest. Consequently, the higher the loft number, the shorter the length the golf ball will travel.

Type of IronCategory
1-Iron (driving iron)Long Iron
2-Iron (driving iron)Long Iron
3-IronLong Iron
4-IronLong Iron
5-IronMid Iron
6-IronMid Iron
7-IronMid Iron
8-IronShort Iron
9-IronShort Iron
WedgesShort Iron
Different types of golf irons

See also: What Do Golf Club Numbers Mean?

Long Irons

The driving iron is the first iron falling in the 1 to 4 category. Regarding playability and adaptability, driving irons are last on the list for that range of distances. Driving irons are no longer necessary because hybrid clubs have been developed.

The driving iron, typically known as the 1 iron, is the iron with the longest shaft and, therefore, the lowest loft. It has a loft of 14 or 16 degrees.

Few people, possibly only traveling professionals, can regularly hit driving irons. The smaller surface area on this golf club’s face makes it a challenging club to hit successfully.

The ability to consistently hit it is an indication of a strong swing. Therefore, if players have a top-tier swing, they might make the most of the ball flight that a driving iron could accomplish.

Pro tip! Are you looking for a checklist to improve your swing? Check out this article, Golf Swing Checklist For Beginners.

In contrast to backspin, which shortens the ball’s post-impact travel distance, long irons typically contribute a little more to the overall distance. Like the driver iron, these have the longest shafts and, therefore lowest loft.

Pro Tip! If you’re a novice, check out my guide to how many golf clubs beginners need.

Golf Irons In A Bag

The only thing standing between a golfer and success on the course, assuming they can send a long iron instead of just a driving iron, is the mentality. Golfers must be entirely in control of their rhythm and swing to consistently hit the sweet spot.

This is because long irons have a reputation for being the most challenging to hit due to their low loft, which results in a much smaller striking area and sweet spot than higher-lofted irons. Therefore, long irons are usually utilized from the fairway and are also helpful in tricky situations, typically 180 to 240 yards.

Mid Irons

The mid irons are commonly regarded as the irons that range from 5 to 7. Essentially, there is more room for error because of their shorter shaft. They are also considerably easier to drive out the rough and fairway bunkers.

Because of their greater loft, which provides these golf clubs with more surface area, they can even be used as utility clubs.

These types of irons are frequently required for the 2nd attempt of a lengthy par-4, the 2nd or 3rd shot of a challenging par-5, and any time the golfer needs to lay up their tee, typically between 130 to 180 yards. Furthermore, they have a higher trajectory and more spin.

Golf Course With Lots of Bunkers

Short Irons

The 8-iron and 9-iron are generally referred to as short irons, and pitching wedges are frequently grouped alongside them. Short irons are those with the largest club head mass and the shortest shafts, making them the ones utilized for shorter shots compared to the other golf club irons in the bag.

Of all the irons, these clubs are the shortest. Because they are more upright, short irons require players to stand much closer to the golf ball because they are played on steeper planes.

They are helpful when the shot calls for a high loft or a moderate to close range, typically between 130 to 150 yards. Although generally thought of as the easiest to strike, short irons are commonly utilized in plays needing extremely high precision.


Golf Wedges

For varied purposes around the course’s green and from inside 100 yards, golfers frequently carry 4 different wedges. Wedges are known to hit the ball far higher.

The standard wedge is usually 46 degrees, followed by any combination of the remaining wedges: 50, all the way to 64. These are also known as sand wedges, gap wedges, or lob wedges.

Between the pitching and sand wedges comes a wedge similar to the pitching wedge called a gap wedge. The gap wedge is typically 50–53 degrees. Sand wedges are for bunkers or chipping if you feel confident using one.

They are 54–57 degrees and excellent at getting balls out of the golf course sand without becoming trapped due to their bounce angle. The pitching wedge is 46–48 degrees. The lob wedge is 58–62 degrees for soft landings during highly elevated shots.

A customized wedge called an auxiliary can be made for any loft.

However, it is typically 62–64 degrees. It is for players unable or unwilling to open their lob wedge for those flop shots. Wedges are practical because golfers can use just one swing to dodge a sticky situation. These clubs are also often regarded as the greatest option for scoring.

Let’s Wrap This Up!

As can be seen, there are different types of golf irons. But generally speaking, they’re all excellent for the typical golfer. There is less room for error with long irons because they are far less forgiving than short ones. The longer the irons, the more crucial it is to have a fluid swing and hit the ball in the sweet spot.

Being correctly fitted by a trained professional is the best method to determine what is best for you.

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