By Paul Myers
For most golfers, getting a 9 iron shot mostly on-line with the target is not too challenging. You probably won’t have as much of a fade or draw with a short club like a 9 iron, so as long as you hit it correctly, the ball should head generally toward the target you have picked out. However, getting the distance right can be a whole different challenge. This is where some amateur golfers struggle, and can stand to improve. When you are able to control the distance of your short iron shots, you can quickly notice your scores start to come down.
How Far Should Your 9 Iron Fly?
You can estimate the distance that you should be able to get from your 9 iron by using the swing speed you achieve with your driver. If you are able to swing your driver at an even 100 MPH, a modern 9 iron shot should travel around 132 yards under normal conditions. While you might be able to hit the ball a little farther or shorter than that mark depending on the specific mechanics of your swing, you should find that you fall in that general range. Of course, the important thing isn’t achieving maximum distance with your 9 iron – rather, you want repeatable distance that you can rely on shot after shot.
Learn to Control Trajectory
In addition to managing your distance with a regular swing, you also may want to have some other shots available to you with the 9 iron. For example, when facing an approach shot where the hole is located in the far back of the green, it can be helpful to hit a lower shot that will bounce and roll before stopping. Likewise, when looking at an approach to a front hole location, a higher shot that stops quickly can be useful. Spend some time on the practice range working on both higher and lower trajectories with your 9 iron so you can call on those shots when the situation presents itself. Part of the challenge in this process is being able to hit the various shots and also know how far they are going to fly when you change the trajectory. That is something that can be learned with experience, so put in the practice time and you may be rewarded.
Hopefully, you feel good on the golf course when you get to pull a 9 iron out of the bag in the fairway and take aim at the flag – because this is place where birdies can be made. Most golfers will be able to hit a 9 iron when they are inside of 120 yards or so, meaning they should have a good chance to be aggressive and set up a short putt. Spend plenty of practice time with your 9 iron if you hope to see more short birdie putts during your next round.
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