The 8-iron is one of the clubs a beginner should carry for their full-swing practices. This club is also ideal around the green for chip and run shots. But as a less experienced player or a beginner: how do you hit an 8-iron more efficiently?
There are several ways properly hit an 8-iron. And they are all easy to do if you put your heart into them. One efficient way is controlling your low-point golf swing.
This article teaches you other effective ways how to hit an 8-iron like a pro!
How To Hit An 8-Iron? Prompt Tips
The average distance an 8-iron can hit ranges from 150 to 175 yards (the 8-iron distance PGA Tour reports). This data is an average distance for professional players. You will never be wrong hitting an 8-iron when you follow our simple steps below.
1. Take an adequate divot
A divot is a mark or a small borehole in the turf caused by the strike of a golf club: The mark indicates solid contact between the club and the ball. Here are the steps in taking a better divot.
Steps in hitting a divot in front of the ball
Here’s how to take a divot with your 8-iron:
- Go to a place near you with small grass (like your lawn).
- Get your 8-iron golf club or any old club similar in the loft to an 8-iron.
- Practice swinging this club without a golf ball as many times as you could, until you attain divots.
- Use practice golf balls (like a Wiffle ball) and strike them using your club. This time, the focus hits the front of the golf ball to have a divot, the part facing the target.
- Do this drill occasionally in the rough when nobody is playing. Your rehearsed shots should aim for a shallow dent before doing your actual shot.
2. Understand your shape shot or ball curve
Before you hit a shot, you should know your intended ball curve or shape shot. Beginners may not know this initially, but they should learn the ropes as they progress. High-handicappers may always try to hit the ball straight. But more often, you need shaped shots to reach your goal.
3. Direct the clubface of the 8-iron and your body
Once you decide what ball curve you need to do, point the club to your target line. For example, if you want a fade of about 10 yards, train your sight 10 yards to the left. Consequently, if you aim for a 5-yard draw: concentrate five yards right off the target.
4. Low Point Control
You should always control the low point of your swing, whether using a pitching wedge or an 8-iron. It is to make more solid contact with the ball instead of thin or fat shots. Low-handicap golfers do this technique more frequently, resulting in lower scores.
Steps on low point control drill
- Make a marking (quick-drying and water-based paint is recommendable) on the ground, about a 3-feet long line. Ensure that the surface is flat.
- Using Wiffle balls as your practice medium lay them on the marked line (five or six balls at a time) about five inches apart.
- Aim for a target side of the marking for a divot.
- Do the shots one by one (18 to 20 balls are ideal) with your usual swing speed while you control the low-point swing.
- Record your performance (success rate), so you can access it if you have an accomplishment. Do this drill for at least 2-3 weeks, and take note of your performance on an actual golf course.
5. Start Line Control
Becoming a good golfer means you have a foreseeable ball shaping or pattern. One way of achieving this is by controlling your start line. Here is what you have to do.
Steps on start line control drill
- Lay down an alignment line (a stick will do) about 15 feet from your target that faces you.
- Again, lay an alignment line about four feet away from the first line (another stick will do).
- Make 18-20 shots using your Wiffle ball inside the two alignment lines. Record the times you make start line control in this manner.
- Do this drill over and over until you become more used to it.
6. Keep up Being Steady from Hole-to-Hole & Round-to-Round
Practicing more often keeps you more consistent in hitting your 8-iron. A golf simulator will help you advance golf ball shot patterns and their effects on distance: Mastering your 8-iron hits with accuracy lies with precise ball strikes at any time.
7. Know the carry distance of your 8-iron
Do not look into others how far they hit an 8-iron. Individual skill suggests that anyone could have a different carry distance when hitting their irons. Beginners and high-handicappers can hit an iron at an average distance between 120 and 150 yards.
But your distance may vary from this average range. The point is: you must know your carry distance when hitting your 8-iron.
8. Have confidence with your 8-iron loft
You better trust in the loft of your 8-iron when you play. The 8-iron golf clubs usually have 37-39 degrees of loft. One technique we used to hit this club effectively is putting 60% of your body weight on the front foot.
Putting your weight on your front foot (if you are right-handed) compresses the ball more effectively. Thus, the ball generates spin and speed.
9. Hit chip shots with an 8-iron
Many pro golfers do this: they hit chip shots using an 8-iron. You can try drills swinging this club and observe where the sweet spot is.
10. More forgiving irons are the best!
One of the most forgiving 8-irons we recommend for beginners is the Cleveland Launcher XL Halo 5-DW Iron. The set is budget-friendly with lots of high-tech features.
We also have the best recommendation 8-iron for high-handicappers: the Callaway Golf 2020 Mavrik Individual Iron. The Mavrik 8-iron provides you with optimum launch and ball flight.
How Long Should You Hit An 8-Iron?
Average players hit their 8-iron with a mean distance of 136 yards. Young golfers in their 20s usually hit 8-iron at almost 150 yards. Septuagenarian golfers (60 and above) can still do it close to 120 yards.
The 8-iron is similar to an 8-hybrid. We observed, however, that the 8-hybrid typically goes 8-12 more yards than an 8-iron.
What Is A Good Swing Speed For An 8-iron?
Less experienced and high handicap golfers should learn to swing 89mph to attain the longest distance for an 8-ion. It is the average speed many pros swing their 8-irons. However, the average golfer has a 74mph swing speed for an 8-iron.
8-Iron Swing Speed Chart
So, you have seen above that an 8-iron distance is dependable on your skill (swing speed). The other factors affecting range are the type of ball you used and the loft. The table below shows the swing speed and distance equivalent (averages) for different golfer skills using a 36-degree 8-iron.
|Golfer Skill Level||Swing speed (mph)||8-iron distance (yards)|
|PGA Tour professionals||87-89||160-200|
|Low to mid-handicappers||70-80||140-165|
|Beginners & High-handicappers||60-70||120-150|
Where Should An 8-Iron Be In Your Stance?
Your 8-iron should be at the center of your stance every time you hit. Consequently, your lead hand should sit partially in fingers and palms while the heel pad sits on top. The V-shape created by the thumb and forefinger of your lead hand should trail your shoulder.
Regular 8-iron for male golfers typically ranges from 36.50 to 37 inches in length. For female players, the length varies from 35.50 to 36 inches.
The standard lofts for an 8-iron vary from 37 to 39 degrees. Extreme game improvement irons typically come with lofts as low as 32 degrees.
Yes, you can pitch with an 8-iron. Chipping with an 8-iron requires you to play the golf ball center to the back of your stance.
Average amateur golfers can hit an 8-iron as far as 145 yards. More experienced amateur players can do it at more than 150 yards. Those considered weaklings may hit an 8-iron between 110 and 125 yards.
It is not useless owning an 8-iron for beginners and high-handicappers. Learning how to hit an 8-iron is not too difficult, after all!
It is just a matter of practicing and remembering the drills we told you about. Also, what matters most are your swing speed, ball position, stance, skill, and lots of confidence!
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Matt Stevens is the founder of Golfrough.com. He holds a Postgraduate in Sports Marketing and has played golf since he was four years old. Having experienced every high and low golf has to offer, his writing helps the average golfer avoid the mistakes he has made in 28-years on the course.