RoboTest: How much distance do you lose when you mishit an iron?

Jon Rahm hits iron shot

Losing distance with your irons? The latest edition of GOLF's RoboTest highlights the importance of solid ball-striking.

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Unless you’re a robot and can hit the center of your irons shot after shot, it’s safe to say you’re going to hit at least a few poor iron shots during the course of a round. But minimizing those misses is the key to lower scores.

To highlight the fact that golf is a game of managing misses, we had the Golf Laboratories’ swing robot go to work to demonstrate just how much distance is lost when you mishit an iron shot. (We even recruited Top 100 Teacher Chris Mayson to offer a drill to promote solid contact.)

Using a 6-iron swung at 85 mph, we compared shots hit from the middle of the face to shots hit 1/2″ and 3/4″ toward the heel and toe using Foresight’s GCQuad. The results? Surprising. Check out the video below.


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Shots hit toward the toe: Toe shots saw the biggest drop off, with shots hit 1/2″ from center losing 7 yards and shots hit 3/4″ toward the toe losing a full 10 yards.

Shots hit toward the heel: Heel shots hit 1/2″ from the center only lost 3 yards on average, while shots hit 3/4″ toward the heel lost 7 yards.

This test demonstrates not only how important it is to make center-face contact, but also the best place to miss around the face. Thankfully the market is filled with great options to help minimize distance lost on less-than-perfect shots to help you hit more greens when you don’t quite catch it flush.

Want to overhaul your bag for 2023? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf. For more on the latest gear news and information, check out our latest Fully Equipped podcast below

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