Are you struggling with those pesky long irons in your golf bag? You’re not alone! The increasing popularity of utility clubs and hybrids is a testament to golfers recognizing the challenges of mastering long irons.

Everyone has that one club they consider the most difficult to hit.

In our comprehensive guide, we reveal the toughest irons to conquer and share expert tips on how you can effortlessly adjust your game for optimal performance. Don’t let a difficult club hold you back – explore the myriad of options available and transform your golfing experience!

Unlock your true potential with our game-changing advice!

What are the hardest irons to hit?

The long irons, like the one, two, and three iron, are the hardest golf irons to hit. These clubs have less loft than other clubs, require a fast swing speed to hit them well, and a smaller sweet spot makes off center hits more common.

This is why so many players, especially those that play game improvement irons, have decided to switch to a utility or hybrid. If you are trying to decide if longer irons make sense to keep in your bag, here are a few things to consider.

What to use instead of long irons?

Deciding that long irons are just not a match for your game is very common in the modern golf world. With all of the technology in the golf market, it doesn’t really make sense to keep a difficult club in your golf bag.

Clubs nowadays can be fitted specifically to a player so they can consistently get the performance that they need.


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Hybrids are the most popular replacement for a long iron. In fact, many golfers end up switching to a majority of hybrids when they notice how well they can hit these clubs.

The hybrids are one of the easiest clubs in the bag to hit, especially when you are trying to hit out of the rough.

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A fairway wood is a great option when distance is your main concern. The fairway wood is known to offer both distance and forgiveness, but distance is the strong point.

The great thing about having a solid fairway wood in the bag is that you can use it when you are playing from the tee as well. This is an excellent alternative to the driver.

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Utility irons are one of the most popular replacements to a long iron. These will have quite a bit of the same feel that long irons have and a similar look, yet they will be easier to hit than a long iron.

Utility irons allow you to hit the ball higher, and they have a wider sole for hitting the ball out of the rough. In addition, you will hit utility irons with a slightly descending blow similar to the way you hit long irons.

Just so you are not confused, a utility iron is not the same as a Driving iron.  We reviewed the Best driving iron here. 

AEC Info reviews on Golf irons:

What Makes A Longer Iron More Forgiving?

If you know that utility irons are not the best match for your game or that a hybrid is a bit too thick looking, then you may want to consider using a long iron.

Even though these are demanding clubs to hit, there are some golf manufactures that make more forgiving long irons. Here are the things to look for in a forgiving long iron.

Large Sweet Spot

A long iron is usually the most challenging golf club in the bag to hit when the sweet spot on the club is very small. This happens quite often with blade style irons where players are trying to work the ball and hit very specific and accurate golf shots.

The large sweet spot allows the golf ball to make contact with the club face in various locations so that the forgiveness is much greater. The writers at AEC Info are big fans of forgiving golf clubs and how they can help golfers of all levels.

You can see what we consider a forgiving golf iron here. Be sure to also check out our Most forgiving iron review.

Long irons are one of the most difficult clubs to hit out of the rough or a poor lie. If you find yourself in this situation, it may make sense to use a different type of club.

Wide Sole

The wide sole of a golf club can help to make it more forgiving. Typically a wide sole allows for better turf interaction, even if the lie is not a good one. Think about the ease of use in hitting a sand wedge as compared to hitting a three iron.

If you look at the sole of the sand wedge, it is considerably wider and helps golfers to make the contact that they need with the ground. If you have played golf for many years, you have probably seen the progression in golf club style and the way it has changed so that long irons can have wider soles than ever before.


An offset golf club helps to ensure that the ball can stay straight. Since most golfers struggle with the swing speed necessary to hit a long iron straight, it makes sense to find something with a bit of offset. The offset mostly works to straighten out the ball flight from left to right and starts to slice.

This is the most common miss for a golfer that struggles with long irons, and it can easily put you out of play.


Don’t be afraid to go with a more lightweight and flexible golf shaft on the longer irons. Even some professionals will change to an easier to swing golf shaft when they are looking at their long irons. Don’t be afraid to change up the shaft to make a long iron more forgiving.


We hope you now feel more knowledgeable about the most difficult club to hit. If you are an average golfer but still carry around a one, two, or even three iron, it may be time to move along.

There are so many other options on the market to choose from it doesn’t make sense for high handicapper and mid handicappers to be struggling to get the distance and forgiveness they need.

Lower handicap players sometimes still like the long iron in the bag, and as long as it is performing correctly, it should keep its spot.