How to Use a 9 Iron

By Bill Herrfeldt

To many seasoned golfers, the 9 iron is their favorite club because it can be used under so many different circumstances. If you are a long hitter, your 9 iron can go as far as 180 or 190 yards. But if you need a club to get out of trouble from a much shorter distance, many golfers will turn to their trusty 9 iron to knock the ball close to the flag. Here are a few ways that a 9 iron can knock several strokes off your handicap.

Determine how long you can hit your 9 iron with your normal swing. You will find a 9 iron useful for many par 3 holes that can be reached with a well-struck 9 iron. Also, if you find yourself at a distance from the green that you can reach comfortably with a 9 iron, that club is indispensable.

Learn how to make a 9 iron shot stop, or even back up, when it lands on the green. By doing so, you will improve your chances of controlling the shot. Practice this shot by placing the ball toward the back of your stance, and strike it with a downward motion. If you hit it correctly, you will create a divot in front of the ball.

Practice chipping with your 9 iron for better control. Start by hitting a few shots from just off the green. There are several ways to execute this shot. For example, by keeping the club low as you draw it back, the ball will run further because it has less backspin. Now try it again by placing the ball further back in your stance, raise the club quickly as you take it back, and hit the ball with a downward blow. It will fly a bit higher and it will have more backspin.

Learn the “half-shot.” Practice by hitting shots from about 75 yards from the flagstick. First, visualize the flight of the ball, given the position of the hole and the amount of green you have with which to work. That will help you decide the distance your ball needs to travel and the amount of backspin it will need to stop near the hole.

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