– Welcome back to sunny Naples, Florida. Adam Bazalgette here, two
time PGA teacher of the year award winner, founder
of Scratch Golf Academy, today’s subject, it’s a
request from several people, at least we hope we’ll touch on it, golf course strategy, irons. Especially for irons. Stay tuned. (upbeat music) So, golf course strategy, irons. We’re going to focus a little bit today, a little bit on how to
hit in between shots, but especially on some of the strategies when you might
want to pick the longer or shorter club. If you like this video please
subscribe to the channel, or leave a comment, would love to get you more of the free content
that we hope to have coming your way.’s my
website, you’ll find all sorts of courses there, including
a whole course on irons, and you can also go there
to learn how you can get a one on one video lesson with me. Let’s get started. – Okay so in this video,
let’s focus on when you’re in between shots with iron clubs. A little too long with the long club, not sure you can reach
it with the short club. And let’s focus mostly on
strategy, although we’ll touch briefly on how you can
take a little yardage off a shot. Let me start
with a little anecdote, friend of mine many, many years
ago worked at Indian Creek in Miami, which is the home
of Ray Floyd during his playing career. One of the
great players of all time. And he used to hang out
with Floyd because they had a little relationship
through this guy’s dad. In any case, Ray Floyd, one
of the things he used to do, was he said he practiced in between shots, and as I’ll touch on later
he would actually pick a flag out and hit
different clubs to that flag in terms of distance.
Now, certainly he had a lot of practice time
on his hands as a pro, but what he used to tell
my friend Joe was that, listen, when you’re playing
golf and you’re in competition you are gonna have quite
a few in between shots in your bag, and most
times, you’re gonna be going with the short, with the
longer club I should say, and taking a little yardage off it. But he said, it’s just something
that people don’t practice and I found, when I heard the anecdote, that was really true of me,
hey, once I get a chance to hit some balls, kind of get loose, get the blood pumping and
get warmed up, start to hit it even further, which is fun, and you tend to camp out on
just plowing the ball out there and pounding it, which again is fun, but you don’t learn that
feel for in between shots, and as Ray said, you get a
lot of them in a given round of golf. So let’s look at some situations where you might want to
take the long club and take a little bit off it. – So more typically if
we’re between clubs, we’ll choose the longer club
and take a little bit off it. And what would be the reasons for that? Well, first thing, many
golfers, unless they’re fairly highly skilled, when
they think I’ve gotta really get all of this club, in
other words, they’ve chosen a shorter one, they swing hard. They often don’t make as good a contact, they just don’t make as good
a swing, so it often produces better contact, a little
more control in the swing. Secondly, you’re just gonna
have more control when you take a little bit of speed
off it, and I especially think that’s true of the wedges and short irons. Best players bring those
wedges and short irons, reasonably low in there, gives
them good distance control, and if you’ve got a nine
iron or a pitching wedge, you should have plenty of
swing, if you’re playing a quality ball, to stop
the ball, even without swinging super hard. The other situation of course
where you typically choose the longer club, in fact
exclusively you would, would be against the wind.
I’ve got a little bit of wind against me here,
but really nothing to bother me in that sense,
but if it’s a decent sized wind, choose the longer club. One, couple of things,
when you swing smoother, the ball will come off
lower, and with less spin. The ball’s gonna stop
fine against the wind, the last thing you need is
to beat it up in the air with a ton of back spin and
have it balloon up on you so take less club, and
if it’s a strong wind, a couple less clubs or more, and take some of that spin off it. That will have a second
benefit, not only will it keep the ball down, and keep
it from ballooning, but when you hit the ball a
little bit lower with less spin, the ball won’t curve as much. Against the wind, will tend
to push the ball sideways and make it curve, so you’ll
just have more control if you pick the longer club,
and swing a little smoother. – Okay, so before we look
at when you might choose the shorter club, a
little bit less common, let’s at least touch on
how you’d take length off an iron shot. Now, what’s gonna make the difference, let’s assume solid contact for a minute, is club head speed, the
less speed of course the shorter the ball’s gonna
go. But the three ways you might touch on that
would be shortening the club, a shorter shaft will produce less speed, shorten your swing, in
all likelihood unless you really jump on it, that’ll
take a little speed off, and of course finally,
if you’re so inclined, you can just smooth it
out, take a little bit out of your rhythm, or you can
do a combination of any one of them, or any two of
them. So pick between them, shortening up, shortening the swing, or smoothing out the swing, and
fine tune it a little bit. Now, as I said at the
beginning, Ray Floyd was an advocate for this, he practiced this, and what he would do, is he
would get a flag out there on the range, that he would
hit to in terms of distance, and then he would practice
it with the less club, and even sometimes with two
less clubs until he could work it out, and that
would be a way you could fine tune this a little bit. Alright, let’s have a
look at when you might use the shorter of the two club choices. – So finally, what might be
a couple of situations where, if you’re between clubs,
you’d take the shorter club and swing a little bit harder, and again we’re gonna assume for a
second here you can contain yourself and keep a decent
rhythm and just swing somewhat harder. Well here’s
a couple of situations I would see. If you’ve got
a front pin, and you need to get the ball up in the air and spin it, you need to be able to stop
the ball quickly when you get up there, it’s an ideal
situation, but depending on your skill level I
probably would only try that, in a case of a shorter club,
and when the lie is good, when you feel it’s a real
green light, contact is gonna be a cinch, with the
lie, it’s a great time to try, go ahead and rip it a
little bit, it’ll go higher, it’ll spin more, you’ll stop
it a little more easily. And possibly the other
case, this green here may be a little hard for you to see,
has a really steep drop off at the back, if you’ve got
a back pin, and hey you go ten, twelve, fifteen feet
too long, you’re down a gully with a nearly impossible
comeback shot, just take a good strong swing with the shorter club, and you’ll likely come out
fifteen, twenty feet short, little bit nearer the middle of the green, takes a lot of control
to take the longer club and not accidentally cream it,
and knock it down the hill. – Well, I hope you found that helpful, on golf course strategy for irons, and if you like the video
please subscribe to the channel, leave a comment,
maybe a request, happy to get to that again’s my website, got all sorts of courses,
all sorts of content for you there, and you
can also learn how you can get a one on one video lesson with me. Appreciate your time as always. (mouse click) (mouse click) (mouse click)


  1. I often find it easier, when I'm between clubs, to take the shorter club (i.e. a 9 iron vs an 8 iron) and play it back in my stance and de-loft the club. I don't like swinging easier with a longer club as this upsets my natural rhythm. I also find the longer club is more likely to curve a bit more, especially into the wind. About the only time I take more club is when there's a definite head-wind or if I need to play a fade, which will generally cost me a club-length in distance.

  2. great subject & video Adam, would love to see more videos on golf course strategy, very overlooked part of the game for us weekend warriers.

  3. Any videos on how to hit drivers consistently straight. Also i slice to the right sometimes. And one more thing how high should the tee be? Thanks great video!

  4. thank you for great videos. can you Please upload a video on feet alignment to target line and drills to correct them. My stands are pointing right of the target line. Thank you in advance.

  5. These videos brought me out of the 100's down to low 90's. Hoping to break into the 80's within the next couple months. Very helpful…thank you so much. Also makes practice more purposeful and fun.

  6. Very helpful as always and thank you Adam. I sometimes try to match longer club distances to shorter clubs at full swing at the range but nowhere near enough. For me I have to be aware of lie angles when I play around with shortening the club. Will focus on this tomorrow! Many thanks from Sydney, Aust – Dave PS. Those fairways look absolutely perfect. I've played some wonderful courses around the world but rarely have I encountered such quality!

  7. I watch an awful lot of golf videos and they've made quite a difference in my game, but this channel is easily one of my favorites.

  8. Thanks, Adam! What about strategy in the sense of plotting yourself around the golf course? as in this video and with this ball position, should a handicapper of 90s or 100s play it short and to left of bunkers and then chip it, or fly it over the bunker? And how many yards should you leave yourself to green, e.g., a full club length of a 9i or PW? Would be great to get your thoughts on strategy and maybe seeing you take us through a few holes. Thanks!

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