The 8 iron has always been my favorite iron.
Growing up, the 7 iron was of course the first club that was put in my hands. But there is something about the 8 iron and the way that I can manipulate the ball flight that makes it one of my favorite choices.
In addition, I have learned how to hit the 8 iron a variety of distances depending on the shot that I need to hit. However, it pays to know exactly how far your 8 iron flies if you want to make some great shots on the course.
How Long Should You Hit an 8 Iron?
The average 8 iron will travel about 130 yards. However, this does not give you the full story. The distance that an 8 iron flies has quite a bit to do with your swing speed. Faster swing speed golfers can hit an 8 iron considerably further than the low swing speed player.
High Swing Speed Player
High swing speed golfers should be able to get 145 or more yards from the 8 iron. In fact, some can get 155 or more. The PGA Tour Professional, with really fast speeds, should be able to see close to 170 yards with the 8 iron.
These golfers are almost always using an 8 iron with a steel shaft that is built more for accuracy than for total distance. High swing speed players are also known for their high ball flight on the 8 iron.
Low Swing Speed Player
Lower swing speed players are those that continue to struggle with distance in their game. The lowest swing speed players usually hit the 8 iron around 120-130 yards. Of course, some golfers may hit it less than 120 if they really struggle to get the clubhead moving fast.
The lower swing speed players typically use a golf club with a graphite shaft. This lightweight shaft helps increase total launch and improve the consistency in the results seen on the course.
Average Swing Speed
The average swing speed golfer is a player who hits the 8 iron about 130 yards. Players on the LPGA and PGA Tour generate considerably higher swing speed and ball speed than the average swing speed golfers, so expect to see more distance from those golfers.
Most average swing speed players use game improvement equipment which helps them hit the ball further. With modern lofted golf irons, some of the 8 irons in these sets are more like 7 irons.
If you are shopping for new golf irons and can suddenly hit your 8 iron considerably further than your 7 iron, chances are you went from a traditionally lofted set to a set with a modern loft.
Distance Based on Handicap
One of the things that I find most frustrating about determining golf club distances is when people talk about distance in relation to handicaps. It is assumed that higher handicap golfers can’t hit the ball as far as lower handicap golfers.
This is just not true.
Research has shown us that the further you can hit the ball, the easier it can be to score. However, there are plenty of players that go low without hitting an 8 iron any further than 135-140 yards.
Try to remember that the distance you can hit your irons has more to do with speed than anything else.
How Far PGA Players Hit an 8 Iron
PGA Tour players can hit their 8 iron anywhere from 150 to 170 yards or more. At some point, it becomes difficult for PGA players to hit the shots they want to hit because they hit the ball so far. With an 8 iron for PGA Professionals, the loft angle is generally a little lower.
These players use a blade style 8 iron for the most part, and although it may take away from total distance, they often have more accuracy.
On average, female golfers on the LPGA Tour can hit the 8 iron about 140-150 yards.
Can You Hit an 8 Iron 150 Yards?
Hitting an 8 iron 150 yards is entirely possible. In order to do this, you will need quite a bit of clubhead speed. With higher club head speed, the 8 iron will fly 150 yards. Remember that to hit an 8 iron consistently 150 yards; you should also be hitting the ball high in the air with the proper descent angle.
Some golfers don’t get the proper ball flight, and it may increase roll distance, but it won’t help with accuracy or consistency.
If you want to learn to hit an 8 iron 150 yards, you will need to look at increasing your clubhead speed from where it is now. For a golfer that already hits the ball 140 yards, there is a good chance that getting to 150 is entirely possible.
Tips for Hitting Your 8 Iron Further
The 8 iron is a golf club that should be more about consistency and accuracy than distance. However, as an amateur golfer, chances are iron distance matters to you, and you are always looking for a few extra yards of carry distance when possible.
Here are a few of the tips I have used to increase my total distance with my 8 iron. However, it is essential to use a launch monitor from time to time to look at things like the smash factor, spin rate, ball speed, and swing speed mph.
You can get much more insight into why you are getting the distances you are currently getting and where to go from there.
Create More Stability in Your Lower Legs
If you want to hit any golf shot further, it’s important to have stability in the lower body. The lower body is your base of support for the rest of your golf swing. These ground forces that golfers have are being studied more and more to help increase the overall effectiveness for golfers.
To create more stability in your lower legs, you can do things like work on the total strength of your legs. Working out at the gym or adding a walking/running regime to your life can help.
In addition, it does help to have the right pair of golf shoes that grips you to the ground a bit better. I like a spiked design when looking for increased power.
Lastly, I would recommend thinking about where your weight is on your feet. If you have weight on the toe or heel of the foot, you will see considerably less total distance as your balance will be a little off.
Compress The Golf Ball
We’ve talked about this before, but anytime that distance comes to mind, it’s really important to understand what golf ball compression can do for players. If you want to compress the golf ball, you must hit down and through it.
Golfers that strike the ball while they are still on their right foot or when they have yet to make a weight transfer will notice that they are not compressing the golf ball quite as well.
Unfortunately, when you don’t have excellent golf ball compression, you will almost immediately notice a lack of total distance.
I like to think about a small spot in front of the ball. During my swing, I think about hitting the golf ball and this spot in front of the ball. When I think about attacking both, it makes it much easier to get a higher ball flight and more carry distance.
The club stays in the impact zone longer, and the consistency and control are typically greatly improved.
Work on Your Swing Speed
Swing speed is how you get the distance in the game of golf. If you are able to increase your swing speed, you will see more distance with your 8 iron and all the other clubs in your bag.
The two most common ways to increase swing speed include getting stronger and making your golf swing more efficient. If your swing is more efficient and you are able to use the same amount of effort but generate more power, a higher swing speed is easy to achieve.
Here are a few of my favorite drills to help you work on increasing your swing speed:
Make Sure Your Setup and Ball Position Is Correct
Last but certainly not least is to ensure your setup is actually correct. If you don’t have the ball in the proper position or your weight is not balanced at the start of your swing, it’s really hard to maximize distance with your 8 iron.
Most golfers can play the 8-iron shot directly in the middle of the stance. This position creates some consistency from one setup to the next and allows for easier compression of the golf ball.
The ball position can move slightly if you are trying to hit a lower lofted shot with the 8 iron.
In addition, make sure your stance allows for stability but is not too wide. Save those wider stances for the longest clubs in the bag.