If you have ever been on the golf course and faced a shot just beyond your comfort zone for a 7 or 8 iron, then you know how important it is to be able to hit a good 9 iron. Hitting a nine-iron correctly takes precision, timing, and the proper technique; but don’t worry – if done correctly it can become one of your go-to clubs!
In this blog post we will discuss the proper steps that must be taken in order to hit this club effectively and make sure that your ball lands exactly where you intended it. With some practice, soon you’ll experience all the benefits of executing this shot with ease every time.
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Why is your 9-iron important?
Just like every other club in your bag, the 9-iron is designed to help you hit the ball a certain distance.
For every golfer this will vary, but the importance of this club won’t. If you didn’t have a 9-iron in your bag, you would frequently be faced with either smashing a pitching wedge or taking a little off an 8-iron.
For beginners or high handicap players who struggle with chipping, the 9-iron can also be a lifesaver for you. Using a 9-iron around the green is a much safer option for most than using a sand or lob wedge to try to stick it close to the pin.
What you should do when hitting your 9-iron
Hit down on the golf ball
It is very important to remember to hit down on the golf ball when using your 9-iron. The loft of the club is designed to launch the ball when it is compressed, resulting in optimal launch and spin to boost your distances.
This is why it’s important to remember to hit down on the golf ball and make sure you take a divot after you made ball contact.
It’s recommended to meet with a professional instructor to help correct your swing, but many of us don’t have the time or money to do so.
A few tips I would recommend are to keep your lead arm straight through your swing, keep the club behind you, and flex your wrist to deloft the club.
Put your weight forward
Making sure your weight is forward in your swing is so crucial for a great swing. If your weight isn’t going down and into the golf ball, you’ll end up duffing your shot terribly.
Nobody likes thinning or fatting a golf shot, and putting your weight forward will help eliminate these shots from your rounds.
Now you’re probably wondering how you should go about doing this. Firstly, you should take a few practice swings and feel your weight going to the inside of your back foot in the backswing. At the start of your downswing, make sure to feel your weight shift back to the outside of your front foot.
Almost all of your weight should be on the front foot at the end of the swing, so you should be able to lift your back foot off the ground while maintaining your balance in your follow-through.
Line the ball up in the middle of your stance
Having a proper ball position is crucial to being able to make great contact with the golf ball. Having the ball placed too far back in your stance will lead to lower-launching shots that don’t fly as far.
On the other hand, if the ball is too far forward you’ll notice that you are making contact with the ground before the ball, resulting in fat shots that don’t go far – or nowhere.
Keeping this in mind, placing the ball in the middle of your stance when using a 9-iron will help you make correct contact. When you’re on the range getting some practice in, try this:
First, lay down an alignment stick facing the golf ball. Now, set yourself up with a stance that is shoulder-width apart. As you do this, position yourself over the alignment stick so that it is directly in the middle of your feet.
Finally, grab a golf ball and line it up with the alignment stick. Go ahead and take a swing, then repeat until you feel you can properly judge the ball position.
When chipping with a 9-iron:
If you are using a 9-iron to chip from around the green, you’ll want to grip down on the club. This gives you more control and stability during your swing.
Since this is similar to a bump-and-run shot, you’ll want to position the ball somewhat similarly to when you are putting. Finally, swing the club relatively flat (like a putt) and keep your weight forward.
This will help you make solid contact and improve your short-game.
What you shouldn't do when hitting your pitching wedge
Don't lean back
If you lean back in your swing, it will end in nothing but catastrophe. Leaning back is essentially the same as keeping your weight back in the swing, and we already know what that can do to our shots.
Make sure to utilize the tips above to get that lead shoulder down and into the golf, resulting in a downward attack angle that will launch the ball and get you the distance you’re seeking.
Don't swing out of your comfort zone
It can be so tempting to try and smash every shot and pull off impressive yardages, but 99% of the time this will end poorly. When you swing too hard or too fast, the chances of making great contact are minuscule.
Try to maintain a fluid tempo that fits you and your abilities, and this will subsequently help you increase your distance. By achieving consistent and correct impacts, the spin and launch of the golf ball will increase, and so will your 9-iron distance.
As you get more comfortable, you can try to increase your swing speed, but make sure you can control your swing and keep a constant tempo.
What is the loft of a 9-iron?
The loft of a 9-iron is typically between 41-43 degrees, but can reach as low as 37 degrees in game improvement sets.
Game improvement iron sets have stronger lofts to help higher handicaps increase their distance, which is why the loft can be significantly lower.
However, your traditional iron sets will include a 9-iron that could have 41-43 degrees of loft.
What should my 9-iron distance be?
Your 9-iron distance can vary greatly when compared to other players for a range of reasons. However, the distance you hit your 9-iron can fall anywhere between ~110-150 yards.
First off, your distance can depend on your skill and experience. Advanced golfers are able to maintain a consistent swing that generates the ideal qualities, while if you are a new golfer or have a high handicap you’ll likely be less consistent.
Beginners and less-skilled golfers will be at the lower end of the spectrum, with distances usually falling between 110-125 yards with a 9-iron. As you become better and practice your swing, you’ll start to see your distance work its way up to 140-150 yards.
Another factor could be your swing speed. If you have a slower swing speed, you should expect lower distances, while a fast swing speed can create much farther distances.
As we know, the loft of a 9-iron can vary, and this can play a role in the distance of your shots. A stronger lofted 9-iron can help you increase your distance, while less-lofted 9-irons will require faster swing speeds to increase your distance.
Although it is beneficial to increase your distance, this is not something to stress over, especially as a beginner. It’s most important to prioritize a proper swing that will result in better spin and ball speeds.
Once you have become consistent with your swing, feel free to gradually increase your swing speed, and this will help your distance climb as well.
Wrapping it up
Your 9-iron can play a big role in lowering your scores on the golf course, so it’s important to work on this club just as much as any other.
When working on your swing, remember to try to implement the three tips above – hit down on the golf ball; put your weight on the front foot; and set the ball position in the middle of your stance.
While utilizing those tactics, remember to keep your head in front of the ball and swing at a smooth, controlled tempo. This will help you find all the elements of a great shot and lower those scores.
If you have any more questions feel free to reach out to me and ask or leave a comment! I’m always open to helping a fellow golfer shave off some strokes, as well as suggestions for what else I should include or write about.
Thanks for reading and I hope this article gave you some tips to help you lock in with your 9-iron!
How do you hit a 9-iron for beginners?
As a beginner, focus on hitting down on the golf ball. It is quite typical to try and help the club launch the ball, but this will only make your shots worse.
Make sure to swing with a controlled tempo, and focus on taking a divot out of the ground after you made contact with the ball. This will result in a proper launch, as well as ideal spin.
It’s also important to put your weight forward in your swing to remove the chance of hitting the golf ball fat or thin.
An in-to-out swing path will also help you hit your 9-iron well. If your swing follows an out-to-in path you are more likely to hit the ball in the heel, resulting in a slice or flat-out shank.
However, keeping your arms close to your body and swinging in-to-out will help you make centered contact, and maybe even a nice draw.
How do I hit my 9-iron?
The answer to this question is no different than the one above, so make sure to follow those guidelines.
Is a 9-iron easy to hit?
A 9-iron falls directly into the range of the easiest golf clubs to hit. It has an ideal loft that makes it easier to launch than some of your lower irons.
Wedges can also be difficult to hit due to how high their loft is, but the 9-iron makes it easy to hit and launch in the air.
How far should you be hitting for a 9-iron?
If you’re a beginner or have a high handicap, it is reasonable to hit your 9-iron ~110-125 yards.
As you improve your distance will go up, and more advanced players typically hit their 9-iron around 135-150 yards.