What is an 8 Iron Golf Club?
If you’re like a lot of new golfers I’m sure you’ve wondered, “What is an 8-iron golf club or How far does an 8-iron go?”
These are good questions and one we’ll address today, alongside the most common shots used with this club.
Plus, we’ll talk more about our top picks for irons in case you need a new set.
8 Iron in Golf
An 8-iron golf club is a versatile club that is one of the easier to hit clubs in a set, even for beginners.
If you’re new to the game most golf club sets come with a 4-PW, 5-PW, or 5-GW.
The 8 iron is defined as a mid-iron that is primarily used for full swing shots. However, you can use it for some short game shots too.
Let’s get into the specifications of this golf club.
8 Iron Length
A standard 8 iron length is between 35.5 – 37 inches.
The best way to get the right length for your 8-iron (or any club in your bag) is to get fitted by a professional.
A fitter can easily identify if you should use a standard length set of golf clubs or remove/add length.
If you’re near the average height of your gender you’ll be fine with a standard set of clubs.
8 Iron Loft and Lie Angle
An 8 iron has some of the most loft of any iron which leads to a higher trajectory than mid to long irons.
It also has a shorter shaft length than a 4, 5, 6, or 7 iron which makes it easier to control.
An 8 iron has a loft of between 37 and 39 degrees depending on the make and model.
Beginner golf club sets – typically cavity back irons – tend to have stronger lofts (for more distance).
Blades and muscle back irons have more loft and are designed for more experienced players with faster swings.
The lie angle for most 8 irons is around 62.5 degrees but can adjust based on your swing (flat vs. upright) to improve contact.
This is also something that a certified club fitter can help out with.
Average 8 Iron Distance
You might wonder, how far should you hit an 8 iron? It’s a good question but there are multiple factors involved.
Most everyday golfers hit their 8 iron between 130–150 yards.
However, the total distance can change with an 8-iron (or any club) based on swing speed and type of club.
Some professional golfers can hit an 8 iron much longer – between 160 and 200 yards as they have faster swing speeds.
Not to mention better mechanics that lead to better ball striking.
The weather and condition of the course also affect how far the ball will travel. For example, a ball hit on a dry, sunny day will travel much further (usually 5–15 yards) than one hit on a wet, rainy day.
In regard to female golfers most amateurs hit their 8 iron 110 to 130 yards. While professional female golfers average more distance, usually in the 135 to 155-yard range.
Overall, an 8-iron is also one of the most forgiving clubs, which means it is easier to hit straight and pretty consistent.
Unlike longer irons it’s not a club that most golfers face any issues with on the golf course.
What is an 8 Iron Used For?
An 8-iron is a very versatile club thanks to its relatively shorter length and higher loft.
Here are the most common shots you’ll hit with this golf club.
The majority of shots with an 8 iron are for approach shots into the green.
It’s easy to use this club from the fairway, out of the rough (thanks to the higher loft) and off the tee on par 3s.
Full shots with this club usually travel pretty high thanks to the loft and land softly on the greens.
It’s also a great club to use for knockdown, ¾ type shots into the greens when you’re between an 8 or 9 iron.
It’s also a decent option if you’re out of position and need to chip your golf ball back in the fairway.
Bump and Run
An 8-iron is also a beneficial club from around the greens when hitting a bump and run.
If you have a lot of room between yourself and the hole (from fringe or light rough) this is a very dependable shot.
To hit a bump and run, place the ball back in your stance and use a putting motion to strike the ball.
This will keep the ball low and get it rolling like a putt once it hits the ground.
It’s a very reliable shot that amateur golfers should use more often to save shots around the green.
Fairway bunkers are a challenging shot in golf – even for skilled players. You have to worry about the firmness of sand, lip, and distance control.
But an 8-iron is a great choice thanks to the higher loft which makes it easier to launch it higher and avoid hitting the lip.
Also, an 8 iron might be a good option for what Tiger Woods said was the hardest shot in golf; 30-60 yard bunker shots.
To hit this shot set up like a normal bunker shot, open the club face, and expect a lot of left to right side spin.
Wait to test this shot until you’re a little bit more advanced as even great short game players can struggle with it.
Related Article: Golf Clubs for Beginners: What do I need in My Golf Bag
What are Some Pros and Cons of Using an 8 Iron?
Like any golf club in the bag, there are some pros and cons to an 8-iron.
First, the higher loft allows for higher trajectory and better stopping power on the greens. The higher loft also makes it a great choice for hitting from the rough and fairway bunkers too.
Second, the shorter shaft length makes it easier to control your swing and hit it straighter. It’s a lot easier to control this club than a longer iron which should lead to more greens in regulation.
Third, an 8-iron is one of the most forgiving clubs and not one that the everyday golfer will fear like a 4 or 5 iron. This should help your confidence when you find yourself with an 8 iron approach into the green.
Lastly, the 8-iron can be used for a variety of shots, from full shots to chip shots around the green.
There aren’t many downsides to hitting this golf club thanks to the loft and shorter length.
But an 8-iron is not suited for all types of shots like a greenside bunker. It doesn’t have enough loft and recommends using a sand or lob wedge instead.
However, Gary Player – one of the best bunker players in the game – mentioned in this YouTube video how it can help you learn proper bunker technique.
Related Article: What is a 7 Iron Golf Club? Length, Distance & Loft
How to Use an 8 Iron
As you can tell there are a lot more pros than cons when it comes to hitting an 8-iron. Here are the best golf tips to help you hit this shot more consistently.
Ball Position and Stance
For a standard 8 iron shot, the ball should be positioned in the middle (or slightly ahead of the middle) part of your stance. Your stance should be about shoulder width apart or slightly narrower to make a full turn on the backswing.
Your hands should be in front of the ball at the address, just left of center. This helps hit down on the shot for a solid divot that is ahead of the golf ball.
Distance isn’t typically the goal with an 8 iron so focusing on taking a smooth swing with good tempo. Try to focus on swinging the clubhead, not your arms.
Your arms should be relaxed and just go along for the ride. Remember, a higher lofted club like the 8-iron is much easier to hit than a lower lofted club, so don’t try to swing too hard.
Related Article: What is a 9 Iron Golf Club? Length, Distance & Loft
As you make contact with the ball, your weight should remain on your left side and shift towards the target. The club should continue swinging up and around your body, finishing above your head.
Overall, the 8-iron golf club is a versatile and forgiving club that is easy to control. It is best suited for full shots (130–160 yards, depending on swing and clubhead speed).
It can also be used for approach shots from the fairway when you need to carry a bunker or other hazard. An 8 iron is also a good choice for those bump and run shots just off the green.
Do you like hitting your 8-iron?
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