Club Selection

"That eight-iron strike sure felt solid coming off the clubface. It traced a rather high arc into the crisp morning air, up against a clear blue sky. A tiny fade, just as visualized. 

Full of anticipation, cautious optimism, and then....... Short. What? Short. That thing stopped dead, as it landed into the upslope fronting the elevated green. What??"

A crying shame


Well, let's not go there. Everyone knows there is no crying in golf, but sometimes we find ourselves on the verge. The aforementioned scenario could be one of those occasions. Hit a solid shot, as imagined. But no reward. Cases like these are often due to sloppy preparation, or gaps in due diligence. 


The eight-iron goes 125 yards, maybe 130 (or more on a "really good one"). Ball lies at 131 from the centre of the green. Flagstick about middle of the green. So.... Choose the eight-iron. And wind up short of the green, facing a tricky uphill greenside approach for your next shot.


Consider these factors:


  • Temperature - cool morning air: add 3 yards
  • Wind - gentle breeze against: add 3 yards
  • Lie - slight uphill - higher launch (into wind): add 5 yards
  • Elevation change - green higher than fairway: add 3 yards
  • Ground conditions - soft, reduced roll: add 3 yards

For this particular hypothetical, one would have to add a total of 17 yards to the 'raw' yardage to the centre of the green. Therefore, the 131 yards is playing like 148 yards

Since the eight-iron is a 125 yard club, we can use eight yard increments to extrapolate that the 5 iron would be (roughly) a 149 yard club. Do the math, hit the five iron, and get rewarded for solid swings.

Brian Hann

Lead Teaching Professional