How to Hit a 6-Iron Guide – The Science Behind This Mid Iron

The problem is that maybe you’re struggling with the 6-iron. By the way, if you’re a mid-handicap golfer, it’s only common, so don’t feel so bad about it. The 6-iron is a longer golf club, after all, with a lower loft than mid-length to short irons. Hence, it can be tricky to use it for hitting yardages.

With the 6-iron, what’s also rocky is achieving a reliable shot shape. You could be producing hooks, slices, fades, or even hitting the golf ball straight without knowing which shot shape is going to come out.

So if you wish to get to a point where you want to feel so confident with your 6-iron that you can hit the club from just about any lie and still be able to get your shot to land near or on the green, then just follow along. This article is all about how you can make it with the 6-iron and turn it into your go-to or one of your favorite golf clubs.


Get to Know the 6-Iron Better

What Is a 6-Iron in Golf and What Is It Used for?

Based on their loft angles and shaft lengths, golf irons are divided into long, mid, and short. The 6-iron falls under the mid-length iron category whereas the 2-iron, 3-iron, and 4-iron are long irons and the 8-iron and 9-iron are short irons. That leaves the 5-iron, 6-iron, and 7-iron as mid-range irons.

To sum it up, the 6-iron is a mid-iron that is used to hit all types of shots (short and long distances) as it delivers the perfect combination of power and accuracy. It’s one of the most suitable golf clubs for chip shots (around the green) and also for tee shots in certain scenarios.

Top 3 Advantages of the 6-Iron

Agreed that it’s one of the difficult-to-hit golf clubs, but the 6-iron is a very handy club when you know how to hit it. Here’s what you can get out of it…

  • High Launch – The loft of 6-iron makes it so much easier for you to produce high-launch shots.
  • Improved Accuracy – In comparison to other irons in your golf bag, the 6-iron is better for increasing the accuracy of shots into the pin.
  • More Playability – Thanks to the loft configuration of the 6-iron, it’s very useful to get out of tough lies or the rough. Because of the same loft setting, you can get your 6-iron to cut through harsh winds and unfavorable weather conditions – it minimizes wind drag.

6-Iron Distance

There are many factors that decide distance – your swing speed, age, strength, skill level, and things like that. Along with playing conditions.But just to give you an idea, here are the average distances generated by golfers across all skill levels, and the table below shows the average distances produced with the 6-iron.

Men (average distances)Women (average distances)
Low Handicappers160 yards163 yards
Mid Handicappers150 yards100 yards
High Handicappers130 yards70 yards

6-Iron Loft

With golf clubs, a higher trajectory is accomplished with a higher loft angle. Ball spin and direction also depend on the loft. So every iron is constructed to create a certain kind of launch trajectory.

In the case of 6-irons, they are usually designed with a loft angle of anywhere between 24 and 31 degrees. The loft is what makes these clubs perfect for approach shots. They’re also very helpful each time you want to escape tough lies.

6-Iron Length

What is the average shaft length of a 6-iron? For women, the steel shaft length is 36.5 inches. And for men, it’s 37.5 inches. As for graphite shafts, for women, the length is 37 inches and 38 inches for men. Women golf club shafts are an inch shorter than those of men – one of the main differences between men and women golf clubs.

Also take into account your height even though there are standard lengths. This is why getting fitted is so important. Bear in mind that the shaft length has a direct impact on trajectory and distance.

The taller the player, the longer the 6-iron shaft should be, and vice versa.

6-Iron Swing Speed Chart

Your swing speed will and does affect your performance on the golf course. Further on, swing speed is influenced by age, handicap, skill, and other factors. More often than not, better players have a faster swing speed and beginners have a slower swing speed.

Here’s the swing speed chart for average distances achieved by the 6-iron.

Swing SpeedPotential Distance
95 mph (PGA Tour Golfers)Between 195 and 200 yards
85 mph (Low Handicappers)Between 172 and 175 yards
75 mph (Mid Handicappers)Around 150 yards
65 mph (High Handicappers)Between 125 and 130 yards

How to Hit a 6-Iron – 5 Very Useful Instructions for Better Play

What Is A Stroke In Golf
How to Hit a 6-Iron

Tip #1 – Aim at a Small Target

Select your target like a window of a house far away, a leaf on a tree, or just the tiny tip of the flag – it shouldn’t be within reach of course, that’s just an imaginary target you create inside your head to narrow your focus so you can concentrate on your target and block out the background noise. The background noise being worrying about your golf swing movements and other technical aspects of the game.

The goal is to pick that small target in the distance and swing away with your 6-iron, which has the potential to be one of the most versatile and accurate golf clubs in your set.

Tip #2 – Control Ball Position

Be it hitting a driver or putting or chipping, golf ball position is crucial to each shot you hit. Don’t let the ball slowly crawl back into your stance closer to your back foot. If you really want to establish solid control on the low point of your swing so you make contact with the golf ball first instead of the ground, then control the ball position with the 6-iron.

Having a more consistent golf ball position gives you more consistent contact and connection point. This results in the clubhead of mid-irons, such as the 6-iron, hitting the ball at the base of the arc produced (inside your left heel by 1 to 2 inches).

On the other hand, if the golf ball is positioned far back, a steep angle is formed at impact, thus producing a hooked shot. And a too forward ball position results in a slice.

So how to find a great golf ball position for your irons? Here’s a video that walks you through the correct ball positions for both short and long irons…

[YouTube video]

For your 6-iron ensure that the golf ball is a little ahead in the stance so your weight is directed forward. You can easily use alignment sticks for creating either a T or cross shape with them to confirm the proper position.

Tip #3 – Trust the 6-Iron Loft

Scooping the golf ball to get it airborne is not an effective method. In fact, it’s going to generate a huge slice. Plus, the movement doesn’t feel very natural either. Given the loft angle of a 6-iron (between 24 and 31 degrees), you don’t really have to perform awkward movements to help the ball up into the air.

Likewise, do not also slow down during the impact moment, unlike what many high handicappers do with their 6-irons. You have to put your faith in the loft of your 6-iron when it comes to getting the golf ball to fly. Although not trusting the loft angle is justified because of the lack of confidence in your swing speed when you’re a high handicapper and/or beginner.

Nonetheless, focus more on swinging the 6-iron with moderate speed (hard not fast) and let its loft degree do the rest for you. Because of modern technology, golf clubs now are equipped with new features that get the ball airborne. In the case of a 6-iron, it’s the loft and clubface grooves that add backspin while also elevating the golf ball.

Tip #4 – Know the Trajectory or Ball Flight of Your Shot

Inconsistent results in the form of an inconsistent ball flight are because you don’t yet know your natural shot-shaping tendencies. Even as a high-handicap golfer, you will create a certain height and curve with a specific club. The idea, however, is to know which golf club generates which shape more consistently.

Beginning the game with slightly slicing or fading your shots is only common and completely fine too. But you can’t complain about slices and, at the same time, produce tighter shot dispersion. Instead, know how to hit a fade – there’s nothing wrong with that.

Tip #5 – Know Your Carry Distance

To find greens and fairways more consistently, be mindful of your carry distance. If you know that really well, you can actually make the most of the 6-iron, especially if you’re a high handicapper. So what is your carry distance or total distance achieved with your 6-iron? 150 or 175 yards? Don’t be under the false impression that your shot is traveling farther than it really is.

Once you know your distances from a variety of positions and lies, you get to take a wide range of shots with a 6-iron – tee shots, approach shots, punch shots, and fairway shots.

An Extra, Very Effective Tip!

Always purchase your irons depending on your skill level. For example, if you’re an amateur golfer, get the most forgiving irons perfect for beginners and high handicappers alike.

Much the same way, there are mid-handicap irons and also the best golf irons for senior players. Each features its unique advantages in the form of the most suitable construction for a particular set of skills, including technologies and components that compensate for potential weaknesses.

Why You Get the Same Distance with Your 5, 6, and 7 Irons

Losing distance and hitting the golf ball inconsistently are common errors among recreational and amateur golfers. Particularly with mid to long irons!

Now here’s why that happens all the time…

  • Your Swing Speed Is Not Fast Enough

With a slow swing speed, getting the golf ball to launch is tough, especially when hitting long irons. But you can solve the problem simply by switching to a hybrid golf club.

  • You’re Scooping the Golf Ball

Lack of trust in the loft angle of 5, 6, and 7 irons results in scooping the ball, meaning hitting up. The outcome of this is too much spin and distance lost. Rather you ought to be hitting down on the golf ball. Either that or move the ball slightly back in the stance.

  • You’re Using the Wrong Type of Golf Clubs

There are two different types of golf irons – blades and cavity backs. Choosing between the two depends on your swing speed and handicap. Generally, high handicappers and beginners perform better with the more forgiving cavity-back design and professional players with blades.

You could also try game improvement irons for figuring out if they boost your distance potential with long irons.

Frequently Asked Questions About the 6-Iron

Is the 6-Iron Good for Beginners?

Due to its mid-range loft (between 24 and 31 degrees), a 6-iron can be easier to hit than 4 or 5 irons, particularly if you’re a beginner.

The 6-iron is a very versatile golf club that is used for a wide range of shots, this includes approach and fairway shots.

Why Is the 6-Iron Hard to Hit?

It’s because the 6-iron is one of the longest golf clubs, which is the hardest to hit by default. When you transition from short and mid irons to their longer counterparts, the latter is not the easiest to play.

Moreover, it can be even more challenging when important factors like ball position, clubhead speed, swing mechanics, etc. also don’t align well.

How Far Does Tiger Woods Hit the 6-Iron?

The best player of all time, Tiger Woods has produced some of the most exceptional iron shots. Once he finds an iron set that feels good, he sticks with it for the longest time.

As for the carry distance generated by Tiger Woods with his 6-iron, it’s 195 yards.


When hitting a 6-iron, you have to be able to launch the golf ball high enough so it lands deep enough and rolls out. Making sure you achieve this means knowing your 6-iron distance potential.

If you want to master the 6-iron, you must be patient and practice hitting with it as much as possible.

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.

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