What Is an Approach Iron in Golf?

An approach iron in golf is a type of golf club designed for accurate and controlled shots played from the fairway or rough to approach the green. These clubs, often numbered between 3 and 9, are crucial for achieving precision and distance control during the approach phase of a golf hole.

Approach irons are characterized by their loft, which falls between that of a driver and a wedge. The lower-numbered approach irons, like the 3-iron or 4-iron, have less loft and are typically used for longer approach shots, while higher-numbered irons, such as the 8-iron or 9-iron, have more loft and are employed for shorter approaches.

Golfers choose their approach iron based on the distance to the green, the obstacles they need to clear, and the desired trajectory. The key to effective use of approach irons is consistency and control, as they allow golfers to accurately position the ball on the green, setting up for a successful putt.

In summary, an approach iron in golf is a versatile club designed for approach shots from fairways or rough onto the green. These clubs come in various lofts and are crucial for golfers seeking precision and distance control during the critical phase of approaching the green. Proper club selection and execution with approach irons are essential skills for success on the golf course.


Check out our easy-to-understand guide for all the golf terms and phrases you’ll hear on the course:

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z