9 Iron: What Is It and How to Hit One?

9 iron on black background

The 9 iron should be one of your favorite clubs in your golf bag. However, if you don’t have the proper technique down to properly hit a 9 iron, the process is really difficult.

If you can learn how to hit a 9 iron well, chances are you will learn to hit the rest of the irons in your new golf set, especially the pitching wedge, eight iron, and seven iron. 

In our guide, we will give you a step-by-step guide on how to hit a 9 iron, some information about what a 9 iron is used for, and whether or not this is a club you should have in your golf bag. 

What Is A 9 Iron? 

A 9 iron is a golf club that will fit between your pitching wedge and your 8 iron. The 9 iron will vary in loft depending on the brand and manufacturer, but typically the loft will be between 40 and 43 degrees. 

The 9 iron is one of the shorter golf clubs in the bag, and the length is typically around 35.5 inches. The 9 iron can be ordered custom to a player’s needs, but these are the standard specification. 

9 iron on grass

With a 9 iron, golfers are going to hit high lofted shots that typically land very softly on the green.

Since the 9 iron is very similar to a wedge, many golfers will also use a 9 iron for chipping and pitching around the greens. 

How To Hit A 9 Iron 

When learning how to hit a 9 iron, it is good to start with the full swing and then learn how to hit pitch shots or half shots using the 9 iron.

We will go through all of the fundamentals that must be in place to work out a full swing 9 iron shot, and then from there, you can modify for your own golf game. 

Step 1: Proper Grip and Stance

The first and most important step of hitting any golf shot is to ensure you have the proper grip and stance.

The best grip for a 9 iron golf shot should be very neutral. Some golfers will take their left hand and rotate it to the left to help square up a club face on a drive. 

golf iron behind ball

The 9 iron club face is very easy to square up, and you are much better off having the left hand more centered with the thumb pointing down the center of the shaft.

The grip should not be tight as this can increase tension in the golf swing and cause poor or inconsistent shots. 

The stance is another important consideration for golfers hitting a 9 iron shot. Your feet should be no more than shoulder width apart as the 9 iron swing does not need to be extremely strong and powerful.

This is a high lofted shot that should land easily. 

The ball position is directly in the middle of the stance.

If your feet are slightly narrow and the ball is in the middle, you will help yourself get a higher and more accurate golf shot. 

Step 2: Takeaway 

Once your setup is exactly as it should be, it’s time to start taking the club back. The takeaway of your golf swing is the first few feet behind the ball, where you start your motion.

With a 9 iron golf swing, you will want your arms and body to work together. 

The takeaway should start low and slow, and it should allow the face of the 9 iron to naturally rotate as you swing.

practicing approach shots with 9 iron

When the club is parallel to the ground, and even with your hips, the toe end of the 9 iron should be pointing to the sky. 

If you start your takeaway with your hips turning and creating a good pivot, you will end up getting the 9 iron set in the right position without too much extra effort. 

Step 3: Complete Back Swing 

The setup, stance, and take away all need to be in a great position before completing the backswing.

Once these are in place, you can start to take the 9 iron back to the top of your swing. There is never a reason to take a 9 iron club past the point of parallel at the top of the swing. 

With a 9 iron shot, you are looking for accuracy and control. A very full and complete swing that is designed for power is simply not necessary with a 9 iron in your hand.

If you need extra power or more distance, simply switch to an 8 iron. 

Golfers should be in complete control of the club with no lack of balance at the top of the swing.

Weight will have transferred back to the right side (for right handed players) and then will transfer to the left side on the downswing. 

Step 4: Impact Position & Divot

 All golfers should have a visual image of what the perfect impact position looks like.

A few of the key things that will stand out when impact is perfect are that the hands will be in front of the club head, the club head traveling down and through the ground, and the club face is square to the target. 

A nine iron is a club that is hit on the downswing.

golf iron behind ball in grass

If you try and lift your 9 iron up into the air, it will not go. Instead, you need to hit down and through the shot, and this will create spin and compress the golf ball enough to launch it. 

At impact, a good portion of your weight will be transferred to the left side, and the club face should still be traveling at a very high rate of speed.

Golfers will always want to accelerate through golf shots that they hit to ensure that they are getting the power and distance they are capable of. 

Step 5: Full Finish 

When you swing through your golf shot with your 9 iron, you will want to ensure a full finish. The 9 iron is one of the best golf clubs in the bag to help practice swing tempo and control in the swing.

The loft helps you get a good amount of distance and launch without being too concerned with overall power. 

hitting golf shot with 9 iron

When you complete a 9 iron golf shot, you will want to have all of your weight transferred to your left side, be facing your target, and have your hands finished high and up by your ear. The full finish should be entirely in balance. 

From this position, you should be able to see your 9 iron travel towards the hole and land near the pin. 

When To Hit A 9 Iron

Several times throughout the course of your golf round, hitting a 9 iron can make sense. For instance, golfers looking to hit an approach shot into a green, and those that are close but may not want to hit a wedge, have a great alternative with a 9 iron in their hand.

Here are a few times that it is appropriate to hit a 9 iron golf shot. 

Approach Shot

The approach shot into the green is the most common time to use a 9 iron. Your approach shot with a 9 iron is probably going to be between 110 and 140 yards depending on your club head speed and your strength. 

The great thing about the 9 iron approach is that it will be very high lofted and help the ball stop on the green.

The angle at which the 9 iron flies is relatively high, and the ball will typically only roll out a few feet. 

For those that have a faster swing speed or plenty of backspin on their golf shots. These approach shots may even spin back a few feet.

Remember that golf shots with a 9 iron are more about control than they are distance. The ball stopping on the green when it lands is a good thing. 

Short Par 3

A short par 3 is another time you may want to use a 9 iron golf shot. In this instance, it is important to ensure that you just barely tee the ball up. If you tee it as high as a fairway wood or driver, you may end up missing the sweet spot on the 9 iron. 

Ensure that your stance and setup are exactly as we explained in our guide on how to hit a 9 iron.

When your stance and setup are good, focus on swinging through the shot and finishing with your club up high and your body facing your target. 

Chipping From Fringe 

Another great time to use a 9 iron is when you are chipping from the fringe. When you hit a shorter shot like this, it is essential to remember to plan for some roll.

The 9 iron has between 41 and 43 degrees of loft, and many of your other wedges will have 50 or even 60 degrees of loft. 

This means that when your 9 iron chip lands on the green, it is going to roll across the green.

Most golfers try to plan to hit the ball halfway to the target and then have it roll the rest of the way. 

Chipping from the fringe with a nine iron is typically very consistent and something that many golfers will learn to get quite accurate with.

The only time it may be best to use a higher lofted club is if the greens are very fast and you have more of a downhill run to the hole. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

There are quite a few questions that golfers have about hitting a 9 iron, and it is important to learn as much as you can about this club and really start to incorporate it into your game. 

Is a 9 iron hard to hit?

A 9 iron is not hard to hit if you have the proper setup, stance, and takeaway. In addition, as long as you are balanced and get your golf swing to a controlled impact position, the 9 iron will likely end up being one of the easiest clubs to hit. 

Where do you hit a 9 iron?

A 9 iron is an approach iron that most golfers will use on a par four to hit the green in two shots or on a par 5 to hit the green in three shots. The nine iron distances that golfers can get will vary from around 110 yards to more than 140 yards. 

How long should you hit a 9 iron?

The 9 iron shot should fly about 120 yards for an average golfer. Those with higher swing speeds can get 140 yards and more. Those with slower swing speeds can expect close to 100 yards. 

The distance you hit your golf shot is directly related to the club head speed and ensuring that you hit the ball in the center of the clubface. If you can get good at those things, you will have a much easier time getting distance from your 9 iron. 

For golfers that can’t hit the 9 iron far, simply take out an 8 iron. With iron shots, distance is not the most important factor to consider. 

You should now feel a bit more confident in your ability to hit a 9 iron.

The 9 iron golf shot is one that comes up fairly often and will ensure that players are able to get the accuracy they need on approach shots.

Once you have things under control with your 9 iron, it is easier to hit both the 8 iron and the pitching wedge. Learning how to hit a nine iron is essential for all golfers. This is a club that will be used quite often during a typical round of golf.

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