Many people tend to think about long drives, spinning wedge shots and long putts when they think about making birdies and scoring on the course.
The 9 iron golf club is equally as important for scoring in many situations. It can be used in many different ways on the course.
This article will explain when and how to use your 9 iron whether it be from the fairway, rough or chipping greenside.
What Is A 9 Iron Golf Club?
A 9 iron is one of the shorter irons in the golf bag. The club is very forgiving to hit compared to longer irons such as the 5 iron or 4 iron.
The shaft of the club is shorter than the other irons and it launches the ball with high trajectory. The club can be used to knock the ball close to the pin due to its high spin.
What Is A 9 Iron Used For?
A 9 iron can be used for a variety of shots. The most common is from the fairway or rough.
Since the ball flight is so high, which makes the spin increase, the ball will typically land soft and stop on a dime without rolling out.
This is certainly the case when you take a full swing with it. In turn, it helps beginner golfers master the club faster and aids them in making pars and birdies.
You can also use the 9 iron from the rough since it is easier to hit than other clubs. Getting over trees and clearing high objects is another ideal use for this club.
Another situation is hitting out of fairway bunkers that are tall or over high mounds into elevated greens.
If you’re facing a long shot out of a tall bunker, a long iron will probably have trouble getting over the tall lip and the ball could roll right back to you. Using a 9 iron can carry the lip and give you a more desirable result.
When Should I Chip My 9 Iron?
Chipping around the greens is also a great situation to use the 9 iron. A golfer can employ a bump and run type of chip if they have a lot of green to work with and want to run the ball up to the hole.
It is easier to skull (mishit) a chip shot with a thin, blade-like wedge with more loft then it is a 9 iron.
Another type of shot you can employ with a 9 iron is a three-quarter pitch shot from around 80-110 yards. If you have trouble making the right contact with your wedges or have the dreaded shanks, it will be much easier to use a 9 iron.
What Degree Of Loft Is A 9 Iron?
Most 9 iron lofts will be 41-46 degrees but there are some that will be as low as 40 and as high as 47 degrees depending on the brand.
What Is The Lie Angle For A 9 Iron Golf Club?
The typical lie angle for a 9 iron is 64 degrees. A lower lie angle on a nine such as 62 degrees is flatter. A more upright lie angle will be a 66-degree lie angle for a nine.
Getting the right 9 iron angle is crucial for golfers with different types of swings. Having the wrong lie angle can promote a golfer to push or pull the ball more often.
Tom Wishon, a manufacturer and club designer, explained why the lie angle is so important.
“The lie angle is considered to be perfect for the golfer when the sole arrives at impact perfectly parallel to the ground.”
He added that it can negatively influence a golfer’s swing.
How Long Is A 9 Iron Shaft?
For men, the regular length for a steel-shafted 9 iron is 35.5 to 36 inches.
For a female it is 34.5 to 35 inches depending on the clubmaker. Graphite shafts will be about half an inch longer for both male and female irons.
How Far Should You Hit A 9 Iron?
For men, the average 9 iron distance is between 130-140 yards. A more experienced golfer who makes better contact and is longer, will usually hit it 135 yards and further. A tour pro will hit it closer to 150-160 yards on average.
For women, the average will be around 90-100 yards. Shorter hitters will hit it near 80 yards, while longer hitters will achieve closer to 110.
Elevation plays a role for the length in how far a 9 iron goes. If you’re hitting into a downhill green, it will travel further. If you’re hitting into an uphill green, it will be shorter in length.
Is A 9 Iron The Same As A Pitching Wedge?
Many people wonder the differences between a pitching wedge vs. 9 iron since both clubs go similar distances and one follows the other in the order of loft.
The standard yardage of a 9 iron will be about 5-10 yards further than a pitching wedge.
A pitching wedge will be about .25 to .50 inches shorter in length compared to a nine iron. The wedge will also have more loft such as 45 to 48 degrees.
This will cause the ball to spin more and allow it to be launched higher in the air.
You will be able to generate more swing speed with a 9 iron than a pitching wedge and get more distance from it as well.
Players who are longer hitters should probably reach for the pitching wedge if they are trying to score from the fairway and can reach.
A player who is shorter should reach for the nine. Although they’ll be less accurate with the nine with less bite on the ball, at least they will likely make solid contact and put the ball in play for a birdie look or two-putt par.
Newer technology will allow a golfer to hit a 9 iron and pitching wedge further than old technology.
For example, if you’re hitting a 2020 pitching wedge vs. a 2005 9 iron, there is a high chance the 2020 pitching wedge will go further.
This is due to the improved technology as well as clubmakers lowering the loft on newer clubs so the ball can travel farther and being able to advertise that.
When To Use A 9 Iron Or Pitching Wedge?
You can use a 9 iron or pitching wedge from inside 135 yards to greenside, depending on how long you are. The 9 iron can be used slightly further as well.
A golfer can take a full swing with either club from the stock yardage that they hit it or use either to pitch it with a three-quarter swing from closer, for example, 75-100 yards.
A golfer can also use a nine or pitching wedge to chip the ball onto the green from the fringe, rough, or fairway next to the green.
If you’re needing more loft on a chip and chipping uphill, a pitching wedge would be more ideal because it’s going to fly higher, stop quicker and won’t hit the mound or hill you’re chipping over.
If you’re trying to do a bump and run, the 9 iron will be the better option. It will roll out more and feed up towards the hole. If you hit it too hard though, it could race by past the cup.
There are different scenarios with taking a full swing, such as the wind or being in the rough. If the wind is against you, clubbing up to a nine is probably a good idea.
If you’re in rough that’s going to take some distance off your shot, switching from the pitching wedge to a nine would be smart.
How To Hit A 9 Iron
In the following video by Scratch Golf Academy, two-time PGA Teacher of the Year, Adam Bazalgette explains how to hit a 9 iron correctly to make solid contact and achieve desirable results.
Bazalgette explains that you need to tilt the club forward when swinging it to strike the sweet spot.
He also states to try and hit down on the ball rather than try and scoop it and give it loft. That is the job of the clubmaker.
He says practicing a nice, short and firm finish is another key to the 9 iron swing because if you have a long finish it can wobble. Tilting the club forward and driving into the ball are important attributes to correctly hitting the nine.
Best 9 Iron Overall And Best 9 Iron For High Handicappers
Check out our two articles below for recommendations for the best 9 irons available on the market. In our best irons for beginners writeup, we highlight the Callaway Big Bertha irons. They are dubbed as the “easiest to launch”.
In our best irons for mid-handicappers we showcase the Callaway Golf Rogue X irons for the editor’s choice pick as well as four other good 9 iron options.
Since the 9 iron degree of loft is a few degrees less than a pitching wedge, it can be used for a plethora of shots on the course as mentioned earlier. Finding the right set of irons will be crucial to a player’s scorecards and will impact their results.
It’s recommended to hit different sets using a trackman. If you’re having trouble hitting a nine, practice the techniques shown in the video featured in this article. Be sure to share your experiences in the comments.
The Editorial Staff at Golfible is a team of golfing geeks and enthusiasts led by founder Alec Rose. All have the same obsession with golf tech, equipment updates and avoiding rain on the course.