Learn everything you need to know about mastering a golf shot with an 8-iron. From the loft, when to use it, pros and cons, how far it should be hit, and more.
Golf is a game of precision and skill that requires players to use different types of clubs depending on the shot. One of the most commonly used clubs in a golfer’s arsenal is the 8 iron. In this article, we will explore what an 8-iron golf club is, its loft, length, when to use it, pros and cons, how far it should be hit, and how to hit it properly.
What is an 8 iron golf club?
An 8-iron golf club is a versatile golf club that can assist golfers in many different situations on the golf course. Its typical usage revolves around shots that require a higher loft and moderate distance.
Compared to other numbered irons, the 8-iron boasts one of the highest amounts of loft. This feature results in a higher trajectory, making it easier to achieve lofted shots with more precision.
Additionally, the 8-iron’s shorter shaft length significantly benefits golfers, as it can offer greater control when striking the ball.
What loft is an 8 iron?
The loft of an 8 iron is usually between 35 and 39 degrees. But the loft angle on newer golf clubs is less.
For example, the latest irons, like the TaylorMade STEALTH Irons, have changed the lofts of their mid-irons so that they are now the same as the lofts of long irons.
Understanding the difference between the lofts of clubs, including pitching wedge, 9 iron, and 8 iron, is essential for any golfer. This can help them make informed decisions on club selection and improve their overall game on the course.
What is the length of an 8 iron?
A standard 8-iron length is typically between 36 and 37 inches in length. This may vary based on your height and swing. If you get custom club fitting, you can adjust the length, lie, and loft to suit your game.
When should you use an 8 iron golf club?
You can play different types of shots with an 8-iron. Primarily, it is used for mid-distance shots that don’t require the full power of a driver but need to be accurate with some loft.
Here are the types of shots you can play with an 8-iron.
1. Approach shots
The 8 Iron is an ideal club for approach shots, providing the necessary moderate distance and high loft to get the ball closer to the hole.
Approach shots are typically played from the fairway or rough to set up a shorter putt for the next shot. It can also be used for chip shots around the green, as the loft allows for quick stopping.
2. Bump and run shots
The 8 Iron is also suitable for a bump-and-run shot, commonly used around the green to keep the ball low and avoid obstacles. To execute a bump and run, position the ball back in your stance and use a putting motion to hit the ball low and let it roll along the ground.
3. Longer bunker shots
When playing golf, hitting out-of-fairway bunkers can be challenging. It requires enough power to get the ball out of the sand while ensuring it stops quickly on the green.
To tackle this task, the 8-iron is an excellent club choice for longer bunker shots ranging from 30 to 50 yards. Its lofted design can help lift the ball out of the sand and provide enough spin to make it stop quickly on the green, allowing for a better chance at a successful shot.
4. Greenside Bunker shots
The 8-iron is a versatile club that can be used to hit a flop shot out of a greenside bunker. 8-iron provides a high and soft trajectory that will stop the ball quickly on the green. To execute this shot, open the clubface and take full swing.
How to hit an 8 Iron?
To hit an 8 iron effectively, it’s essential to focus on your stance, swing, and follow-through.
To set up for a standard 8-iron shot, place the ball in the center of your stance and position your hands just left of center, with the hands in front of the ball at the address. As with other irons, shift your weight slightly towards your left side for a right-handed golfer.
When swinging an 8-iron, aim to make contact with the ball in the center of the clubface. To achieve this, take a smooth and easy swing, focusing on swinging the clubhead rather than your arms.
Your arms should be relaxed and follow the motion of the club. Practicing club face control with small swings is essential to learn how hitting the sweet spot feels.
Remember that an 8-iron has a higher loft, making it easier to hit than lower-lofted clubs, so avoid swinging too hard.
When hitting an 8-iron shot, ensure that your weight remains on your left side and shifts towards the target upon contact with the ball. Finish your swing with the club above your head, swinging up and around your body. It’s essential to prioritize control over power to hit the ball straight.
How far (long) should you hit an 8 iron?
For most players, the average distance covered by the 8-iron ranges from 130-150 yards.
However, the exact distance depends on the individual golfer’s strength and swing speed. The 8-iron’s forgiving nature is another crucial aspect of its appeal, making it easier to hit straight shots than other clubs.
8 Iron Swing speed chart
On average, the distance achieved with an 8 iron varies according to factors such as swing speed, loft, golf ball type, and skill level.
Here is the average carry distance different golfers can expect with an 8 iron lofted at 36 degrees:
|Player level||Golf Swing Speed||Average 8 Iron Distance|
|Beginners and High Handicap golfers||60-70 mph||12-150 yards|
|Low to mid handicappers||70-80 mph||140-165 yards|
|Scratch golfer||82-85 mph||155-190 yards|
|PGA Tour professional golfers||87 mph||160-200 yards|
Pros and cons of 8 Iron clubs
8 iron clubs offer the necessary yardage and accuracy to clear obstacles on the course but have potential drawbacks. Let us explore the pros and cons of 8-iron.
|Versatile for various shots||Other golf irons offer more distance|
|Easier to control compared to other clubs||Challenging to hit from rough|
|Forgiving club||Difficulty hitting the ball squarely due to loft|
Can you hit an 8 iron 150 yards?
Hitting an 8 iron 150 yards is achievable with higher clubhead speed and proper ball flight. It’s important to hit the ball high in the air with a proper descent angle for consistent 150-yard shots.
While improper ball flight may increase roll distance, it won’t improve accuracy or consistency.
To reach 150 yards, golfers can work on increasing their club head speed, which is feasible for those who have already hit the ball 140 yards.
Tips for hitting your 8 iron further
While the 8 iron is typically valued for its consistency and accuracy, amateur golfers may prioritize distance. To increase carry distance with an 8 iron, consider these tips:
1. Improve stability in lower legs
Stability in the lower body is crucial to increase golf shot distance as it serves as the base of support. Work on leg strength through gym exercises or walking/running. Proper golf shoes with spiked designs also aid in the ground grip for more power.
Additionally, balance affects shot distance, so focus on keeping weight evenly distributed on the feet while playing golf.
2. Compress the golf ball
Understanding golf ball compression is crucial for high-handicap golfers.
Hitting down and through the ball is key to compressing it for optimal distance. Without proper compression, distance will suffer, especially if the ball is struck while still on the right foot or before a weight transfer is made.
3. Work on swing speed
To increase your distance with an 8-iron, focus on your swing speed. Swing speed is key to achieving distance in golf.
If you can generate more power with the same amount of effort, you will achieve a higher swing speed and more distance. Head to the driving range and practice hitting the ball with a smooth and easy swing to improve your technique and accuracy.
4. Ensure correct setup and ball position
Proper ball position and balanced weight at the start of your swing are crucial for maximum distance with your 8 iron.
Play the shot in the middle of the stance for consistency and easier ball compression. The ball position can shift slightly for lower lofted shots. Keep your stance stable but not too wide.
The 8-iron is a vital club in any golf bag, offering the ideal combination of distance and loft for approach and chip shots. Proper stance is key when using this club for stability and accuracy.
To get the most out of the 8-iron, it’s important to use it for shots that require control and a higher trajectory. Incorporating the 8-iron into your game can enhance your overall performance on the course. However, avoiding 8-iron for shots that demand more distance is ideal.