All my scoring problems for the 2022 golf season could be traced back to having a horrible year with the irons. I would have my normal share of problems with putting and the short game once in a while, but even my yips were not as much of a problem. My driving continued to be the best part of my game, which amuses me now, because in my younger days it was the worst part of my game. I have been playing these irons for 2 and 3/4 seasons now. These irons are unique in two ways when compared with my previous sets. They are graphite, with regular shafts. I have always played steel shafts when it comes to irons and have used stiff shafts. The irons I have now are the Titleist AP 3 irons. They are investment cast irons, which most of my sets have been forged. They also have very strong lofts for the individual irons. I look at them as a 1/2 iron stronger. In other words, my 8 iron is more like a 7.5 iron. Because of their uniqueness and my problems, I thought of giving up on them and getting a new set of irons, every golfer’s solution. For the time being I have ditched that idea and will give them one more year.
During the season I had some really bad spells hitting irons. In fact, in one round, it was so bad that I did not hit one green in regulation. A record that can only be tied but never broken. There were other rounds where I hit the green only 2 or 3 times. This does leave you with many birdie opportunities. One problem, of course, was I did not make solid contact. I was consistently inconsistent. During the same round I would often hit irons thin and fat. I had some rounds where my contact would be good but had terrible direction. That would be inconsistent as well. All within one round I would hit shots left and right of where I wanted the ball to go. I tried many things to try a correct the problem, most of them were pre-shot. I tried to move the ball back in my stance, stand closer to the ball, and play my hands much more forward. None of these things seem to make any difference. One of the more frustrating aspects of this whole ordeal, was I would go through periods where I hit my irons well. These periods would be mystifying and would not last that long, but I would go maybe 2 or 3 rounds with some very good iron play. These rounds kept my index below 7. One method that seemed to work to some degree was aiming more left of the target. This got me to hit the ball on a more descending blow and I would make solid contact. This would work for a while but then I would eventually hit everything left, right where I was aiming. I also have developed a mental block that I have had with these irons, almost from day one, that I have not been able to overcome.
I am able to hit these irons a lot further than any irons I have ever owned, even for an old guy. This is the typical scenario that leads to a very bad iron shot. It really does not matter what iron it is. I will use the 7 iron for an example. I have a distance that I think is too far for the 7 iron. This may be due to the conditions, the lay of the land, or the lie of the ball. Simple enough, just use the 6 iron. Then for whatever reason instead of swinging the 6 iron easily I have this mindset that this may not be enough club, or if I really hit it will be too much club. Needless to say, the shot turns out to be a disaster. Sometimes when I am going through this bizarre thought process I will drop back to the 7 iron, really smoke it, and wind up short. Now once in a while the 7 iron will get there to produce a good shot. This scenario does not happen every time I hit a bad iron shot. I hit bad irons when I have had no doubt about the club selection. But that issue is strictly mental and no amount of swing or set up changes are going to correct it. So, what’s next.
This has been the worst ball striking issue I have ever had in over 50 years of playing. In my own brainwashed way, I have made a swing change. I instituted this in my last round, with some mixed results. That last round was my 75 caused by my best putting round in about 5 years. In my brainwashed mind I attributed most of my bad shots in that round, on trying something new with the swing. Because of the weather I have not played since, but it does look like we might be able to get out the next couple of days. Hopefully I can get two rounds in. I know the conditions will be far from perfect but that should not affect my iron play if I am striking it well. Hopefully I will see some light at the end of the tunnel on this horrific period of iron play.
One Reply to “Golf: Trouble With The Irons”
Bet, quite a conundrum. Sounds like you should go back to steel shafts. The graphite has a lower resistance to twisting. Okay for the driver but irons are for accuracy.