Short iron clubs

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Updated: 4/18/2007 11:42 am
When you hit a drive, you want the club face to be at only a slight angle, so the ball will go mostly forward. On short clubs, the eight and nine irons, plus various wedges, the club head is at an acute angle. This will drive the ball upward, as well as forward, and what you lose in distance, you make up for in height. Unless you have trees or such to clear, the height won't make as much difference as the lack of distance. This enables you to take a full swing without driving the ball past the pin. The average men's distance for an eight-iron is 130 yards, 90 for a sand wedge. Women generally average about 20 yards less. Don't worry about getting the ball airborne. The angle on the club head will take care of that. Just take your normal swing with ball position adjusted for the club you're using. If you're closer than the average distance for a given club, you'll have to take either a pitch or chip shot. These require a completely different swing, substituting wrist action for the power that your body movement gives you. The key to these shots is to have them hit the green short of the pin and roll. Practice, and a few lessons, can make your short game one of your strengths.
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