5 Iron Vs. 9 Iron Comparison Overview

A lot of players wonder if they can omit certain irons from their bag and still improve their game. In our experience, yes, you can replace certain irons with hybrids or woods and see an improvement. However, this improvement is typically unsustainable.

Eventually, you will hit a wall that you won’t be able to get past without the added performance and control of a full arsenal of irons. To give you some insight into 2 very important irons, we put together the following comparison overview.

5 Iron Overview

The 5 iron is a mid iron that can be very helpful when you find yourself in the semi rough. It’s mid-range distance is also very useful when you are at risk of hitting a low rise.

That’s because the 5 iron produces a nice, low shot trajectory. It also covers a distance of about 160 yards so it could come in very handy when you are facing down a long par 4. You will use your 5 iron from the deck on mid-range to long approaches as well.

5 irons give you a better feel than a hybrid or fairway wood as well. They are harder to learn but if you take the time, your game will certainly benefit. With a 5 iron, you will be able to work the ball better than a hybrid or fairway wood.

Some players may get better distance with a 5 hybrid initially; but as the needs of your game evolve a hybrid will not serve as well as a 5 iron.

9 Iron Overview

There is really no replacement for a 9 iron no matter how you slice it (no pun intended). 9 hybrids aren’t as reliable or accurate as a traditional 9 iron.

With a 9 iron you will be able to get about 120 yards of distance on average. This is why they are only used on short approaches or near-chip shots from the bunker. Better players will also be able to use a 9 iron to land on the green from the rough.

For most players though, the 9 iron is for popping the ball high and near the flag – a use for which it excels thanks to it’s towering height.

In most cases, both a 9 iron and a 5 iron will be needed if you want to make it to low handicap territory.


9 Iron Overview & First Impressions

When we tested a 9 iron against a 7 iron we were disoriented because we tested the 7 first. The shorter shaft and altered stance takes some getting used to.

When you need a higher loft than a 7 or 8 iron and on approaches within 120 yards, the 9 iron is an excellent.

If you’ve tried a 9 iron before without much success, it may have been a forged, players irons but don’t worry, the 9 iron also comes in a game improvement form which is focused on allowing beginners and high handicappers more forgiveness and consistency.

It’s also not surprising to see a pros ball land on the green and then spin off in a different direction as the better player has been able to add considerable spin to the ball thanks to the generous loft.

Because the 9 iron has a sharper leading edge, it can cut through the rough easily and is excellent if you do find yourself in trouble.

However, if you want easier putts, you will need to get familiar with the 9 iron. It offers robust spin control – just get used to the typically heavier head.

One Iron Down – 8 Iron

An 8 iron will cover an average of 130 yards and might not get used too often depending on what your swing speed is like.

One Iron Down – Pitching Wedge

The pitching wedge is even more generously lofted, workable and is used for distances just around the ground. Better players will be able to send the ball straight up into the sky.

5 Iron First Impressions

A 5 iron is a very popular club that is going to come as part of most beginner sets and will be found in the vast majority of pros bags.

The long slender head and generous loft make the club cut through the turf quite well alongside to light to mid rough too.

The deep undercut makes the club quite workable and suitable for pin hunting when in the hands of a better player.

5 Irons these days and more precise, more forgiving and longer than ever before due to advances in technology and they come in players versions for max workability and game improvement for distance and forgivness.

When to Use a 5 Iron: When playing a hilly hole or when you need more flight control.

They tend to be fairly heavy, have small blades and are notorious to work. The better testers in our party love this club however and you get a large range of distance versatility with it.

One Iron Up – 6 Iron

The 6 iron is good for attacking par 4’s and 5’s aggressively. It’s a mid-length iron that offers a lot of the same versatility of the 5 iron with a higher arching shot, more spin and less rollout.

One Iron Down – 4 Iron

4 irons are tough to master due to their stronger loft but they offer a superior combination of distance and versatility than a 5 iron by also being quite useful off the tee but also more prone to replace by a hybrid or long wood.

9 Iron Selling Points

  • Good control
  • Good feedback
  • Good for hilly courses
  • Very precise
  • Good from rough or bunker
  • Promotes accuracy

Benefits of a 5 Iron

  • Lower launch
  • Styles for all levels
  • Precise club
  • Excellent turf interaction
  • Great for uphill shots
  • Better distance
  • More options

Who Are 9 Irons For?

Speaking objectively, 9 irons will be more useful to advanced players who can cover most of the fairway in one or two strokes on shorter par 5’s.

They are most helpful on short approaches and can really help out when you’re facing down a hilly or particularly fast green

Again though, no matter what your skill set as a golfer currently is, this is a club you will need to learn.

A 9 Iron to Check Out – Taylormade SIM2

We really liked the forgiveness of this 9 iron. It has a lot of pop too which is really what you want from your 9 iron.

Distance: 94/100

Accuracy: 96/100

Feel & Control: 95/100

Forgiveness: 92/100

Overall Score: 96/100

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Who are 5 Irons for?

Typically,better players will get the most use out of a 5 iron but they can also provide a lot of utility for high handicap players as well.

The accuracy you can generate with the club from a solid distance makes it an excellent club for many and they come in various different styles for all levels of players.

Personally, I have always hit my long and mid irons well, but those who struggle may be better of with a hybrid or shorter wood.

A Good 5 Iron to Check Out – Taylormade SIM2 Max Irons

In a 5 iron, you want as much feel and feedback as possible. This will help you control distance and spin more acutely.

The SIM2 Max 5 iron has the feel of a forged iron without the lofty price. The cap back design also adds to the soft, smooth feel of this iron.

This would be a great 5 iron for mid handicappers too because it’s still decently forgiving.

Distance: 96/100

Accuracy: 95/100

Feel & Control: 92/100

Forgiveness: 97/100

Overall Rating: 95/100

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