9 Iron: A Complete Guide to Loft and More

Today, the technology applied in manufacturing golf irons enables companies to deliver a high, straight launch in the long irons and a lower, more controlled launch with your short irons and wedges. This optimizes the performance of your irons through the bag.

Some players prefer to play with as many irons as possible, in which case a 9 iron is a welcome addition to your bags.

Should you use a 9-iron? And how can you get the most from this club?

Read on to learn everything you need to know about the 9-iron.

What is a 9 Iron?

A 9-iron falls under the category of short irons, as it is the weakest lofted iron in your set before we progress to wedges. The average player hits the club from 120 yards or less out. 9-irons are used on approach on par 4’s and 5’s, and the odd par 3.

The weakened loft on the iron makes it easy for players to launch the ball high and land it soft, enabling you to hold tight greens.

9 Iron Average Specs

9 iron Distance 130 yards
Standard Loft 41°
9 Iron Length 35.5″
Common Material Steel

What Is The Average 9-Iron Loft? / What Degree Is a 9-Iron?

In an August 2020 article, Elliot Heath from Golf Monthly explained that the average loft of a 9-iron sits between 41 and 43 degrees. Contrarily, it is commonplace to see golf brands releasing irons with strengthened lofts.

For example, the standard loft on the Callaway Mavrik Max Men’s 9-iron is 36 degrees. The same amount of loft on a weakened 7-iron, according to Heath.

Furthermore, the stock TaylorMade Sim2 Max 9-iron is fitted with 38 degrees of loft. While it is weaker than the Mavrik design, it is still stronger than the standard lofts mentioned by the Golf Monthly writer.

Based on this information, the Sim2 Max 9-iron degree loft is equivalent to the standard 8-iron loft.

What Is a 9 Iron Used for and How Far Should a 9 Iron Go?

In my post on golf club distances, I explained that the average male golfer strikes a 9-iron 120 yards, while the average female gains 100 yards. 9-irons with a loft of 28 degrees or stronger will launch lower than a 9-iron and give you a few extra yards of roll.

A weaker lofted 9-iron between 41 and 43 degrees will launch higher and land softly into greens. However, the higher, straighter launch of a weaker lofted 9-iron may reduce your ability to work the shot.

How to Hit a 9 Iron

  • Tilt the club forward to hit the sweet spot
  • Aim to hit the ball down instead of trying to scoop it
  • Use a shot follow-through

Should You Use a Hybrid Instead of a 9-Iron?

Pros of the 9-Iron

  • Easy iron to launch
  • Promotes a soft landing into greens
  • High apex with weaker lofted 9-irons
  • Optimized spin

Cons of the 9-Iron

  • High ball flight is not suited to windy conditions.
  • A strong lofted 9-iron may cause gapping issues between it and your pitching wedge, comprising your distance from 100 yards and less.

Given the ease of launching a 9-iron high and landing it soft, it is uncommon to see a hybrid in its place. However, there are a few brands that manufacture a 9-hybrid.

The Thomas Golf 9-hybrid is set with a loft of 42 degrees, while Majek Golf produces a strengthened 9-hybrid with a loft of 37 degrees. As we can see, the lofts on a 9-hybrid vary in line with those of a 9-iron.

Our Favorite 9-Irons

1. Callaway Golf Rogue ST Max

Pros

  • Callaway’s most forgiving iron
  • Superior turf interaction
  • Prompts rapid ball speed
  • Excellent distance
  • Optimal launch throughout the set
  • Incredible feel

Cons

  • Moderate offset makes shot shaping more challenging
  • The stronger lofted iron will not deliver the shot-stopping ability of a standard lofted 9-iron.

Key Features

  • Moderate offset
  • Wide sole
  • Flash Face Cup designed with A.I.
  • Larger head profile
  • Game improvement irons

2. TaylorMade M1

Pros

  • Provides accelerated ball speed
  • Forgiving
  • High launch
  • Shot stopping power
  • Counteracts slices and pushed shots
  • Eradicates vibrations at impact

Cons

  • Strong standard lofts will not give all players the shot-stopping power which it claims.

Key Features

  • Cap Back cavity design
  • Thin face
  • Echo dampening system
  • Thru-Slot speed pocket
  • Adjustable loft and lie
  • Mid to high launch

9 Iron FAQ

When Should I Chip My 9 Iron?

Chip shots with a 9 iron are perfect for when you are just on the edge of the green but still a little in the rough.

What Is The Lie Angle For A 9 Iron Golf Club?

The average 9-iron angle for the lie is around 64 degrees.

What Loft Is a 9 Iron?

A 9 iron’s loft degree is usually between 41 and 43 degrees.

Is a 9 Iron the Same as a Pitching Wedge?

No, a 9 iron has less loft than an average pitching wedge.

Is a 9 Iron Hard to Hit?

Hitting a 9 iron perfectly takes a little practice as it’s almost a wedge but not quite. You’ll need to find the middle ground with your swing.

Where Do You Hit a 9 Iron?

The perfect 9-iron range is when you haven’t quite hit the green and want to make it close to the pin in a single shot.

Is a 9 Iron Important?

Many PGA pros play without a 9 iron. You could get away with skipping out on one too. Many players just hit their 7 a little softer or use a wedge instead.

Can a 9 Iron Replace a Pitching Wedge?

They achieve a similar result, but a pitching wedge usually lands softer on the green, so keep that in mind if you’re thinking of ditching your PW.

How Far Does a 9 Iron Go?

The average 9 iron distance for most golfers is around 130 yards.

What Is The Fairway Wood Equivalent of the 9 Iron?

It is rare to find a golfer using a fairway wood in place of a short iron. However, senior golfers have been known to use a 42-degree 9-wood instead of a 9-iron. Considering the strengthened lofts of a modern-day 9-iron, you could also use a 28-degree 17-wood as a substitute fairway wood.

Final Thoughts

It is imperative to have the correct 9-iron loft in your bag to ensure continuity in terms of distance with your wedges. A strengthened 9-iron combined with a standard pitching wedge will leave almost a whole club missing in your bag.

In conclusion, a strong lofted 9-iron generally sits around the 38-degree mark but can be stronger. However, a standard 9-iron is lofted between 41 and 43 degrees. If you opt for a strengthened 9-iron loft, make sure you maintain the trend heading into your wedge setup.

For those of you in the market for a new 9-iron that delivers distance, forgiveness, and consistency, I recommend testing the Callaway Rogue Max 9-iron.

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