The 9-Iron: What Is It and When Should I Use One?

A big part of playing a round of golf is the right technique. With the right technique, you’ll be able to swing the club just right, hit the ball in the ideal spot, and have it land right on the spot you want it to. But another thing that golfers need to learn when getting into the game is which clubs to use for certain situations.

And in this article, we’ll look at one very important club that belongs in everyone’s carry-bag: the 9-iron. This is one of the clubs in the short-iron category and is the weakest lofted iron in a club set, which means it’s the last short-iron club before you go on to the wedges.

Today, we’ll discuss what a 9-iron is when you should use it, how to hit it, the degree of loft, and all the important things you need to know about using this club. We’re also going over a couple of 9-irons that we found to be the best options on the market to help you complete your set.

Read on to learn more.


What Is a 9-Iron?

The 9-iron is part of the short-iron family of clubs. The short irons generally encompass the 8 and 9 irons in the set. This club has one of the heaviest mass on the clubheads while having one of the shortest shafts in the entire club set. This makes it ideal for short and moderate distances when players need a fair amount of loft in their shots.

These clubs have a weakened loft on the iron. This is what makes it a popular choice for players who need to launch their shots high but ensure a soft landing, so the ball doesn’t roll too much when it lands. When used properly, this could be one of the most useful clubs in your arsenal, especially when in tight situations.

For more information about the 9-iron, check out the table below:

Standard Loft Degree41°-43­°
Ideal Distance for the ClubBest for 130-yard or shorter shots
LengthAround 35.5’’
Type of ClubShort Iron

What Should I Use a 9-Iron For?

A 9-iron is best used for shots that are 130-yards or shorter. The design of the club, with its high-mass club head and relatively short shaft, are what make it great for short-length or moderate-length shots. Players also use these clubs for hitting their golf balls really high with a soft landing.

So, you can use this club to get as close to the green as possible without rolling once it lands. This is the weakest lofted iron in the set before the wedges, which gives it a higher trajectory than stronger lofted irons.

These clubs are generally used on par 4 and 5 holes. However, it’s also common for you to see this club used on par 3 holes, but it won’t be as common as par 4 or 5 holes.

How to Hit a 9-Iron

How to Hit a 9-Iron

Using a 9-iron in the right situations can help you improve your golf scores. However, knowing when to use the club is just half the journey. To get the most out of your 9-iron, you need to know how to use the club properly. So, let’s take a look at the 5 steps that you need to keep in mind when taking a shot with a 9-iron.

Getting the Right Grip

Regardless of what club and what kind of shot you’re hitting, getting the right grip and stance is crucial. For drives, some golfers take their left hand and rotate it a bit to the left to square the ball up better. However, for most situations, a 9-iron works best with a neutral grip, which is important to keep in mind.

The thing about 9-irons is that they are very easy to square up, which is why it’s best to center your left hand and face your thumb down. Additionally, it’s best to keep a relatively soft grip on the club, as stronger grips can lead to inconsistent shots.

With 9-irons, your swing doens’t have to be that strong. That’s why it’s best to have a stance that’s as wide as your shoulders at most. While wider stances work great for stronger swings, 9-irons aren’t designed for that, so keep it as close to shoulder width as possible.

The Takeaway

When starting out, a lot of golfers prioritize the backswing. And while the backswing is important, there are many people that argue that the takeaway is even more important. This is because if you misalign your clubhead during the takeaway, your shot will go in the wrong direction, which is the last thing you want on the golf course.

When hitting with a 9-iron, you want your body and your arms to be in sync and work at the same time. Ideally, you want a slow and low takeaway, keeping your club parallel to the ground. During the takeaway, you should be able to naturally rotate the face of your 9-iron while swinging.

It’s best to establish a good pivot and move your hips during the takeaway, as it will make it much easier for you to align the clubhead with the target without exerting too much effort.

Finish the Backswing

When you establish the right stance, get the right grip, and start your takeaway, you build the foundations of your backswing. If you have the right foundations, it’s much easier to continue your backswing. With the 9-iron, you should never get past the point of the club being parallel to the ground, which is important to keep in mind.

9-irons are meant to be swung with accuracy and control. Power and distance shouldn’t be your concern with the 9-iron, as that isn’t what this club is for. If you’re looking to get more power in your shot, then an 8-iron would be more fit for the purpose.

During the backswing, your goal should be the transfer the weight to the right side (if you’re right handed), then have it go back to the left side on the downswing.

Visualize the Impact Point and Divot

When taking a swing, it’s very important for all golfers to have an idea of where they plan on hitting the golf ball, known as the impact point. With a 9-iron, you’re supposed to hit on the downswing. If you hit the ball while the club is in the air, it won’t work. When you hit it on the downswing, the club generates the right spin on the ball which causes it to climb up and land softly on the ground.

Finish Your Swing

When hitting a 9-iron, you should always have a full finbish on your swing. The loft of these clubs allows you to get a fair amount of distance and height without too much power. This makes it an ideal option for golfers looking to practice a controlled swing.

The finishing position of a 9-iron swing should have your hands near your face, your body facing the target, and all of your weight on the left side. If you hit it right, then you should be able to see the golf ball travel towards your target after hitting it with the 9-iron.

How Far Should a 9-Iron Go?

A 9-iron club isn’t designed to hit the ball too far. As mentioned earlier, these clubs are generally used for short to moderate distances. The average distance on a 9-iron for men’s golf is around 120 yards, while it’s around 100 yards for women.

So, you aren’t using these clubs to hit the ball far, instead, you’re using them to get a fair amount of height to get close to the green while still getting a soft landing.

What Degree of Loft Is a 9-Iron?

A lot of people agree that the ideal loft on a 9-iron is between 41-43 degrees. That said, it isn’t uncommon to see brands and companies release weakened irons with stronger lofts.

For example, the Calloway Golf Rogue, which is one of our favorite 9-irons on the market has a loft of 36.5 degrees, which can be confusing for a lot of people.

These different degrees of loft on modern 9-irons are performance nehancers. As the technology grows and we learn kmore about the slight tweaks we can make to out gear to bring our game to the next level, we are going to see changes like this from time to time.

So, while the standard 9-iron loft is around 41-43 degrees, it isn’t uncommon to see options on the market with different degrees of loft.

3-Iron and 9-Iron: What’s the Difference?

The 3-iron is notoriously one of the harder clubs in the bag for golfers to use. This is because it has an average shaft but is one of the longer clubs. It also has a smaller club head, which makes it great for controlling spin and direction, but very hard for beginners to use. These clubs are best used for shots that fly low and travel far.

On the flip side, the 9-iron is used for the opposite. If you have a short approach that you want to hit with a lot of loft, the 9-iron is the one for you. So, none of these clubs is better than the other. Instead, they are different clubs that have their own purposes and techniques.

9-Iron vs. Pitching Wedge: Which to Bring on the Golf Course?

9-Iron vs. Pitching Wedge

At first glance, the 9-iron and the pitching wedge may look similar, which can be the cause for a fair amount of confusion among golfers. However, understand that these are two golf clubs that serve their own purpose and each of which would be useful on the course. So, it’s best for you to bring both of these clubs to the course if possible to give yourself the most flexibility.

The 9-iron, as we’ve explained in this article is ideal for shorter shots with a lot of loft. These are fairly long golf clubs with a short shaft. On the other hand, the pitching wedge is a bit shorter, only measuring in at around 35’’ and has a bit more loft than the 9-iron.

That said, both of these clubs are used for similar distances. The 9-iron will generally give you less height than the pitching wedge. This is because the 9-iron has a weaker loft than the pitching wedge. However, for most golfers, using a pitching wedge or a 9-iron usually depends on personal preference and the situation.

The Best 9-Iron Reviews

Here are some of the best 9-irons we found on the market today that can help you take your swing to the next level.

Calloway Golf Rogue

  • A high-end iron at a reasonable price
  • They offer a great feel
  • It comes with modern features to help improve your game
  • Ideal for mid handicap players
  • Thicker face for more feedback and better sound
  • Not the most flexible iron

This model has a weaker loft than traditional 9-irons but is designed for the modern game. This is one of the most durable and modern pieces on the market today.

It’s a fairly long iron but it helps get a very high shot with a soft landing for staying within the green. If you’re on the hunt for a modern 9-iron to improve your game, this could be the best option for you.

Taylormade M1 Single

  • Very consistent distance results
  • Very forgiving
  • Great for golfers with different styles
  • Increased flexibility
  • Doesn’t offer the best sound and feedback
  • Not the most durable model

This iron is designed for more experienced players looking to improve their game. And while there are many clubs designed for experienced golfers that come with sub-par designs, this isn’t one of them.

This Taylormade club features a great design that helps you look great on the course while still aiding your performance. It also offers a lot of forgiveness when your hits are off center and has great distance consistency.


Can You Chip with a 9-Iron?

Yes, you can chip with a 9-iron. However, keep in mind that you won’t get as much height compared to hitting the shot with a pitching wedge.

Should I Use a Hybrid or a 9-Iron?

For shots that are longer than 180-yards, we recommend a hybrid as a 9-iron won’t be able to give you as much distance. Many golfers find it much easier to hit consistent shots with a hybrid, but many also prefer the control of a 9-iron. So, at the end of the day it’s up to preference, but keep in mind that an iron won’t go as far as a hybrid.

Where Do You Hit a 9-Iron?

With a 9-iron, it’s best to hit your shots at the center of your stance. You want to hit the ball at the steepest angle and create a divot.

Is It Hard to Hit a 9-Iron?

Shorter irons are generally easier to hit than logner ones. This is why 7,8, and 9 irons are largely considered some of the most consistent clubs in a player’s carry bag.


Short irons are incredibly useful clubs to have in your carry bag. But if you’re looking to get a lot of lift with a soft and controlled drop, your best bet is the 9-iron. Granted, this is one of the harder clubs to use as it requires a lot of technique and can be difficult to use.

But for short and medium-distance shots that need to go high up, there aren’t a lot of golf clubs that can compete with it. So, next time you hit the golf course or driving range, don’t hesitate to take out your 9-iron and see how well it works in certain situations.

Photo of author

Jim Furyk

One of the PGA TOUR’s most recognizable and talented golfers, Jim Furyk was born on May 12, 1970 in West Chester, Pennsylvania. It seems like Furyk was born to play golf; his father Mike as an assistant pro at Edgmont Country club, and young Jim was raised into the game. Jim Furyk’s only golf instruction came from his father; and many note that might account for his unusual—yet effective—swing. In addition to Edgmont Country Club, Mike Furyk also served as head pro at Uniontown Country Club.

1 thought on “The 9-Iron: What Is It and When Should I Use One?”

  1. What do you think about a 1/2″ extension V.S. a 1/4″ extension for a 188 cm person? Do you put these in your clubs, you seem to have a flexed spine.


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