When To Use A 2-Iron In Golf: The 2-Iron Explained

The 2-iron is arguably one of the most unlikely clubs to find in someone’s club bag.

It’s a club that is well known for just how hard it is to use, with such an unforgiving sweet spot and low loft, it can be difficult just to hit the ball.

However, just because it’s difficult to use doesn’t mean that there are no reasons to use it, or that it has no merit.

If you’re lucky enough to have access to a 2-iron, it’s definitely worth a swing or two, you might find that you’re one of the few that can properly use a 2-iron.

two iron guide

While the opposite is probably more likely, it can’t hurt, and it definitely can’t hurt to know as much as you can about the 2-iron.

A quick way to get good golf is to know everything you can about the sport, so keep reading as we go over how and when to use a 2-iron.

Let’s get started!

What is a 2-iron?

A 2-iron is the second possible iron available for golfers.

Since irons are used over woods for their loft and woods over irons for the extra distance they are able to generate, it’s rare to see someone using a 3 iron or 4 irons, let alone a 2-iron.

However, some golfesr may choose to carry a 2-iron in their bag to suit their play style, or for certain kinds of shots that we will get into shortly.

In summary, a 2-iron is a low lofted golf club that can generate more distance than almost every other iron, although you would struggle hit the ball further with it than you could with a wood.

2-Iron In Golf: The 2-Iron golf club

The Loft of a 2-iron

The average loft of a 2-iron is 17 degrees.

This makes it very similar to some 3-woods, which tend to have 15-18 degrees of loft on average.

A 2-iron will therefore give you a lower flight trajectory than most other clubs, which can be used tactically if you know how to do it.

When To Use A 2-Iron In Golf: The 2-Iron Explained 1

The Length of a 2-iron

The average length of a 3-iron is around 39 inches.

This is also the average length of just about every golf iron, however it is always worth making sure that your clubs are correctly sized, as an incorrectly sized golf club can cause a number of swing errors.

And while we’re on the subject, it’s also worth making sure that your clubs are clean, as dirty clubs can also negatively impact your game!

Distance Chart of a 2-iron

As with any shot, distance can be affected by a number of factors, including weather, ball age, and the physical ability of the golfer. 

  • Beginner – 145 yards
  • Average – 180 yards
  • Good – 190 yards
  • Excellent – 215 yards
2-Iron In Golf: The 2-Iron golf club

When to use a 2-iron

Due do it’s difficulty of use, you might think that there are not many uses to a 2-iron. And this is only partially true.

Most shots where a 2-iron would be used could also be achieved with a 3-iron, however that doesn’t mean that the 2-iron is useless.

Due to its low loft, most shots with the 2-iron will not achieve much height.

This can make it useful for hitting punch shots at a low trajectory, for example through trees or in bad weather.

It’s also likely to run for a good distance due to this low flight trajectory, and will travel in the air further than most other clubs due to its low loft.

There’s a lot of debate about whether or not a 2-iron can be classed as a driving iron due to the average distance most golfers are able to achieve with it.

The general consensus is that the 2-iron isn’t a driving iron due to its weight and size of the clubface, however that’s not to say you can’t use it from the tee.

If you can hit it close to 200 yards at a low trajectory and watch it run once it lands, then you might want to bring the 2-iron out onto the links with you.

2-Iron In Golf: The 2-Iron golf club

However, the 2-iron is definitely not recommended for high handicappers, it’s an incredibly difficult club to hit well in comparison to other clubs which you can use to achieve the same result, like a wood or a 3/4-iron.

It’s more of a ‘specialty’ club that can be useful for specific types of shots, so it’s worth getting to know the course you’re playing on before you start if you’re intending to bring a 2-iron, otherwise you might find that it’s just not necessary.

The 2-iron can also be useful for shots in wet weather, as it’s low flight trajectory will help the ball run for longer on a wet surface, rather than getting stuck.

It can also be used to chip up onto a raised green. This would be a particularly tricky shot, but you can use the loft of the 2-iron to your advantage and hit a bump and run.

If you’re going to try and chip with your 2-iron, remember to narrow your stance!

2-Iron In Golf: The 2-Iron golf club

How to Set up with a 2-iron

Since the 2-iron is an especially difficult club to use, and since it can be used from both a tee and the ground, it’s important to know how to set up properly with it before you make your swing.

So let’s go over how to set up with a 2-iron from both the fairway and the tee.

How to Set Up with a 2-iron from the fairway:

  • When setting up from the fairway, start with your regular golf stance, so knees flexed, waist hinged, however you may want to position your feet slightly more than shoulder width apart.
  • You can also position the ball slightly forward in your stance. This, along with your foot position, will help you get under the ball to ensure that you hit it off the ground.
  • Make sure your shoulders are back and your arms are relaxed before your begin the rotation of your backswing.
  • You can now hover your club slightly off of the ground. This will also help you get under the ball in your swing to make sure that the ball gets off of the ground, and can help reduce the risk of hitting a chunk of a fat shot.
2-Iron In Golf: The 2-Iron golf club

How to Set up with a 2-iron from the tee:

  • When setting up your tee, set the height to be slightly shorter than you would with a driver or a 3-wood. the average tee height with a driver is around 1 inch, so around half will do.
  • Keep your stance natural, so your regular stance with the ball in the center of your position.
  • Set your clubface so that the ball is positioned in the center of your clubface but slightly lower than the central position.

How to use a 2-iron

Perhaps more important than when to use a 2-iron is how to use a 2-iron.

Since it can be such a tricky club to use, learning how to properly use a 2-iron will primarily take a lot of practice.

There are a number of things that go into hitting a 2-iron properly, some more difficult to get a hand of than others, since the 2-iron can be so tricky.

So, let’s go over a few things you can do to make sure that you’re hitting your 2-iron properly.

2-Iron In Golf: The 2-Iron golf club

Pick your target

When hitting any long distance shot, it’s always important to know where you’re aiming for and stick with it.

However, with a club like a 2-iron, that will give you a decent run once the ball lands, you want to aim around 10-15 yards in front of where you’re aiming.

For example, if you’re aiming directly for the green, don’t try and hit a flop shot with your 2-iron, aim for a spot just in front of the apron in hopes that the ball will roll along the green.

This is also true for strategic shots like laying up.

The 2-iron can be especially useful for hitting shots on narrow fairways, so use this to your advantage!

Never just whack the ball and hope it lands somewhere useful. Really plan your shots. Think about what club you’re going to use next and pick the most strategic position.

Once you’ve got the hand of the 2-iron, you should find it slightly easier than some other clubs to control your distance. This is because you can achieve much longer shots with the 2-iron.

Get creative

Since the 2-iron is quite a rare club to use, it might surprise some of your fellow golfers if you pull it out of your bag.

If you’re using a 2-iron, there’s a chance you want to show off. Don’t worry, everyone wants to to an extent!

So hit an interesting or impressive shot with the 2-iron. Hit a powerful and rapid stinger down the fairway, whip the ball through the trees, let it run all the way to the green.

A 2-iron should be a great test to your game, improving not only your swing ,but your strategy.

Photo of author
Adam is a writer and lifelong golfer who probably spends more time talking about golf than he does playing it nowadays!

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