This is one I was looking forward to. I have seen this more times than I can count. People who drive the ball straight, are very accurate with fairway woods, have no long irons in their bag, are wonderful short iron and wedge players, but terrible mid iron players.
Mid irons are one of the most important sections of the bag for handicappers between 5-15 that are not long hitters and here is why. That is the section of the bag that gets the most use on approach shots to most par 3’s and medium length par 4’s, which is usually more than half the holes. This approach shot is with a 5, 6 or 7-iron.
If you are bad with those clubs, that can mean the difference between being a 5 and a 10 handicap.
OK, I have set this up long enough, now on to the problem and how to fix it.
The problem has nothing to do with swing mechanics and everything to do with perception of ability to hit these clubs close to the hole. I forgot the exact statistic, but the Tour average for the distance these clubs are hit from the hole is around 50-60 feet. However, I will see a 10 handicap hit a 6 iron in the middle of the green 40 feet from the hole and complain about what a bad shot that was. I will see a 5 handicap attack a tucked pin with a 7 iron, miss it 20 feet on the short side and be bitter about what a terrible shot he hit.
WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. If the average PGA Tour player hits those shots 50-60 on average, I would venture a guess that 5-15 handicaps would average well over 100 feet. That being the case, why are you complaining about one that is 40 feet and why are you aiming to a spot where a ball 20 feet from the hole is in a difficult up and down spot?
Now we are on the the point of this rant. Understand your abilities and you will shoot lower. If you are low to mid handicapper, you should just be trying to hit your mid-irons on the green. You may not hit as many balls 5 feet form the hole…which isn’t that many to begin with…but if you just try and hit your mid-irons on the green somewhere, you will see your handicap go down quickly.
As for high handicappers, your goal for mid-irons is even more modest. Know you limits, aim at the green and just try and hit the ball solid. As with the advice I gave the mid handicappers, you will see your scores go down.
The problem with golf is two fold. People watch golf on TV and get a jaded view of pro golf. Golf on the PGA Tour is not nearly as good as what you see on TV. You are seeing the players playing the best, hitting the best shots. Seldom do you see the guy shooting 78-78 and missing the cut by 15 shots. Part two is there is always the lure of the possibility of pulling off the great shot, as you have done it before.
If your goal is to enjoy the occasional spectacular shot, fine, I have no problem with that because I fall into that trap all of the time. If your goal is to lower your handicap, take my advice and have more realistic goals for your shots.