If you are an avid golfer, you likely understand that every golf club in your golf bag has a specific purpose.
Using the right club at the right time can result in shots that can give you a distinct advantage when playing competitively or with friends.
One such club is your handy 6 iron. If used correctly, this can be the perfect club for those aggressive mid-range shots that land just shy of the cup.
However, learning how to use a six iron is trickier than other golf clubs as you don’t get as much loft or distance unless you hit the ball exactly right.
In this article, we will look at how to hit a 6 iron in a manner that yields the best results and helps you improve your game
Here's What's In Store For You...
Hitting A 6 Iron Better: Key Takeaways
Here are the key takeaways to help improve your 6 iron shots
- Always aim or focus on a small target way out in the distance
- Make sure your golf ball is positioned correctly
- Maintain a consistent and fluid golf swing
- Practice your descending divot game
- Know your ball flight, carry yardage and curvature
How To Hit A 6 Iron Harder & More Consistently
The 6 iron is considered a ‘middle iron’ that is slightly longer than your short irons in your iron set.
A short iron is the 8 and 9 club in your golf set, along with the pitching wedge.
Mid irons are your 5,6 and 7 clubs, with the 2,3 and 4 clubs being your long irons.
For most golfers, the 6 iron makes for the best club for aggressive mid-range shots within the 140 – 175 yard range.
However, with a quality swing and the right connection, you can launch a golf ball over 180+ yards with relative ease.
The most famous example of this was seen in the 2000 Canadian Open when Tiger Woods launched the ball over water, some 218 yards using a six iron, with the ball landing just a few feet from the cup.
This legendary shot secured him the win and showed the world just how incredible 6 iron golf clubs can be when used correctly.
While the best golfers can get killer distances with a six iron, what we will be focusing on here today, is understanding the basics.
This way, even recreational golfers can learn how to hit consistently and with enough speed to send the ball further than they ever could using a 6 iron.
Focus On A Small Target
Most senior golfers and even pros will always recommend focusing on a very tiny target when practicing your golf swings.
However, with a six iron, this is even more important.
The smaller the target and the further away it is, the better.
Well, setting up an impossible target in your mind helps you relax as you know that you will never strike the ball that far or that accurately.
More importantly, by focusing on a very tiny target far out in the distance, you are essentially blocking everything else out and are solely focused on hitting the ball as close to that mark as possible without over-complicating the game.
Sometimes, it is best to just forget all the technical jargon and hit the ball as cleanly as possible using your natural movement!
Having the golf ball placed slightly forward from the center of your stance (maybe an inch at most) will allow your six iron club head to strike the ball right at its low point.
By correctly positioning the ball, you will hit it more sweetly, reducing the chances of you hooking or slicing the ball.
This will allow for more control over loft and distance.
The best way to practice doing this is to pay attention to where your club head is hitting the ground in relation to your stance.
Note this point as the low point of your golf swing and position the ball to be exactly at that spot every time you swing a six iron at the golf course.
Remember, the greatest difference between a low handicapper and a high handicapper is their ability to control where their club head hits the turf.
Once you have this control, the six iron will quickly become your favorite golf club.
Swing Through The Ball & With Confidence
When swinging a six iron you must always hit down and through the ball.
Doing this will allow the golf ball to loft easily, something most amateur golfers seem to struggle with.
You must also have trust and confidence in your swing. Trying to get the ball to loft by reducing your swing speed or using your wrists will worsen things.
It is essential to swing through the ball with a full follow-through and plenty of right-hand releases.
Don’t be shy when it comes to hitting hard if you feel you have good stability, form, and tempo.
As long as you can hit that center strike on your club face consistently with decent swing speed, your ball should travel far, and in the direction you want it to go.
Swinging down and through the ball will result in the following improvements that can greatly benefit your overall game:
- It will allow the grooves on your six iron to come in full contact with the ball, launching it and giving it much-needed backspin.
- It will allow you to hit the ball at its lowest point, which will result in more loft and greater distance.
- It will help transfer weight forward onto the front foot instead of the back foot resulting in more power, and a fluid follow, allowing you to finish high and release the club in one athletic motion.
Learning How To Divot
Learning this skill will allow you to become a true master of the six iron.
To take a divot means swinging with a descending strike that allows your club head to hit the top layer of turf just as it is making contact with the golf ball.
What purpose does this serve?
By taking a divot, you can impart a lot more spin on the ball, which will make it a lot easier to keep the ball in line with the target.
Getting backspin when using a 6 iron is essential for control and accuracy.
A six iron is also designed with divots in mind.
They have what is called a leading edge that is rounded to allow you to take a chunk out of the turf as you strike the ball on your downswing.
Divots allow you to get optimal results from your 6 iron and should be something that you should practice doing with every swing.
If you are having trouble striking the ground consistently in the same place, you are likely not getting enough weight onto your front foot.
Be conscious of transferring your weight over as you swing through, as this is what gets you the power and the loft you need to get the desired iron distance.
Ball Flight, Carry Distance, & Curvature
It is vital when using a 6 iron to have a fair idea about what kind of ball flight, carry yardage, and curvature you can get on your golf shot.
High handicappers are probably wondering what all of this means.
And that’s ok.
What’s important is forming an understanding of these fundamental concepts, as they will immensely help in improving your game.
Ball flight is the amount of height or loft you get on your golf shot.
The carry distance is how far the ball travels in the air before landing on the green or the fairway.
This is not to be confused with total distance, as that includes the distance the ball has rolled once it has landed.
Curvature is how much the golf ball swings while in the air, depending on how your club face is lined up with your swing path.
Matching your club face with your swing path on every swing is near impossible and that is why it is so difficult to hit a golf ball perfectly straight.
- So, ask yourself, how far can you hit golf balls using a six iron?
- What kind of shot shape do you end up with?
- What height of ball flight can you manage?
- And how much control do you have over the curvature of the ball?
The best way to find these answers is to head to the driving range and practice swinging your six iron, preferably with a golf sidekick who can take videos of your stance and swing.
This will allow you to get a first-hand look at what might be some of the basic things you might be doing wrong when it comes to your stance, ball positioning, swing speed, and follow through.
The Benefits Of Using A 6 Iron
Even though a 6 iron can be a challenging club to use for many golfers, it provides many distinct advantages over other clubs.
1) Shots Land Closer To The Pin
The six iron is an extremely versatile club as it allows you to hit a wide variety of shots.
You can use the same club to hit the ball from the teeing ground, from a golf tee, or from the fairway.
In fact, many golfers can get away with just using a driver, putter, and a 6 iron for the entire game without needing any other golf clubs.
Being a mid-iron golf club, it offers similar distance shots to that of a five or seven iron and is much easier to control than a long iron.
This makes it easier to attack the green, especially when you are playing off the fairway to set up that perfect birdie putt.
As a six iron allows for good yardage and loft control, it is very effective at launching the ball closer to the pin, encouraging you to play aggressively.
2) Works Well When Playing Into The Wind
If you struggle playing golf on windy days, using the 6 iron to hit those 100 – 170 yard shots can help make things a lot simpler.
The 6 iron is designed to hit the ball so that it cuts through the wind rather than being pushed around by it.
As you don’t get as much loft of a six iron as compared to other longer iron golf clubs, it gives you a lot more control over the direction and distance you want to hit the ball, even in windy conditions.
3) Allows For Greater Control On Ball Flight
When using a six iron, the loft you get on the ball tends to be much more predictable.
This makes hitting knockdown shots a lot easier with a six iron than a nine iron, for example.
Keeping the ball from going too high up can be advantageous in many situations, and the best control is offered by the six iron.
4) Can Help You Get Out Of A Pinch
If you find yourself in a situation where you need to punch the ball out of the woods, nothing works better than a six iron.
You could use a pitching wedge to get the ball out of trouble, but it will get you no closer to the green.
With a well-calculated shot from a six iron, you can still get the ball to the fairway and possibly even land it on the green allowing you to come back in the game even when things are looking bleak.
So many players forget how important it is to use the right golf club in the right situation.
Should You Carry A 6 Iron In Your Bag?
Yes, all golfers seeking to improve their game should carry a six iron in their bag.
Even though using a six iron can be difficult and tricky at first, as you improve, you will find just how useful and versatile this golf club can be in various situations.
Recreational golfers with high handicaps also stand to benefit greatly from using and carrying a six iron in their bag at the golf course.
The only golfers that should avoid using a six iron are seniors with low swing speeds that have trouble getting the ball off the ground.
In such a case, we would recommend using a hybrid club instead.
Thank you for reading thus far. Now that you have all the information you need, it is time to head to the golf course and put in the practice time.
With enough swing speed, a six iron can be used to hit some truly amazing shots and encourages you to play a more aggressive game, always targeting the pin.
By using the techniques and recommendations above, we hope that even recreational golfers can quickly learn how to use a six iron as it will result in a massive improvement in their game.
An experienced golfer will typically hit a six iron well.
Why give them the advantage when you can do the same?
Simply follow our guidelines and practice as often as possible, and you too can learn to take advantage of this must-have golf club.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why Am I Hitting My 5, 6, and 7 Irons The Same Distance?
The reason why you might be hitting your mid irons the same distance is that you're scooping the ball or hitting the ball thin, rather than hitting down on the ball and following through. Another reason could be that you are not generating enough swing speed.
If you continue to struggle with carrying yardage, try using game improvement irons instead of muscle back blades.
What Factors Determine Your Six Iron Distance?
There are many factors that can determine your six iron distance, but the most common factor is swing speed. Those with faster swings tend to get more distance on their shot than those with a slower swing.
What Distance Does An Average Golfer Hit A 6 Iron?
An average golfer can hit a golf shot between 140 to 170 yards using a 6 iron.
How Far Does A 6 Iron Hit?
How far a 6 iron hits largely depends on a golfer's swing speed and how well they connect with the ball. If you hit the sweet spot at a swing speed of 95 mph, you can expect to send the ball flying close to 200 yards or more.