The the middle irons are what many players find themselves practicing the most on the driving range. Good middle iron players possess a blend of power found with the longer clubs, combined with the precision and distance control needed with shorter irons.
With these clubs, we’re still hitting the ball a fair distance therefore our stance should be about shoulder width. The ball is normally positioned just forward of the center of our stance depending on the club being used, the intended shot, and the circumstances of the lie.
That being said, middle irons present us a lot of opportunity to get creative, to change our stance, and to hit different types of shots. We have enough control with these clubs where we can hit the ball high, hit it low, and even curve the ball if necessary. Check out our shot shaping lessons to learn how to do this.
For regular shots, the first thing to do is to assess your lie. Practicing and experimenting will help you learn about what shots you can likely pull off and others that may not be worth the risk. If the ball is sitting down, with grass around the ball, or limited access to the back of the ball, we may want to consider using a shorter, more lofted club. When the lie is not good, choke down on the club and push the ball back an inch or two in our stance from what is considered normal for a particular club. Choking down and moving the ball back in our stance will provide more control of the club head, promote a descending angle of attack, and increase the chances of solid contact. If the lie is good, you can set up normally with the ball just forward of the center of your stance and perhaps take a more aggressive line at your target.
With middle irons, the focus is perhaps more towards precision than power. Make sure that the club face is aligned squarely, our body is parallel left of the target line, and our posture is athletic and balanced. Remind yourself to swing with your comfortable rhythm and maintain balance at all points of the swing.
We turn our body away from the ball in one piece and load onto the inside of our right leg with back facing the target. From here, starting from the ground up we shift targetward, approach impact from the inside, strike the ball in a slightly descending motion just prior to the swing bottoming out. Allow the loft of the club to get the ball in the air, never hitting up on middle iron shots. Finish in good balance on our left side, with belt buckle facing the target and right heel completely off the ground. Get into the habit of holding your finish position and watching the shot to completion until the ball comes to rest.
In summary, middle irons are played with a blend of power and precision. Take an athletic stance with your feet shoulder width apart. Position the ball just forward of the center of your stance. It’s always important to assess your lie and to accordingly make accommodations in your set up, choking down or moving the ball back in your stance in poor lie situations. With a little more emphasis on precision, be sure you are aligned correctly and balanced at setup. Swing with control and strike the ball with a descending angle of attack as you shift your weight toward a full finish on your left side.