All posts by Matt

Best Golf YouTube Channels [What the Data Tells Us]

Most articles you read about the Best Golf Youtube Channels will give you a list of the most vanilla, boring and cliché channels. The writers don't care what they write. The channel owners might even have paid for the listing. 

In this article, I give you both my opinion on the best channels to watch, and also the top channels by the data. I skipped the clichés and pulled information that everyone can see from the channels themselves. I plugged the data into a formula which I will reveal to you so I could create a list of Youtube channels based on four weighted criteria: 

  1. Subscriber numbers
  2. Average number of views per video
  3. What percentage of subscribers watch the average video
  4. Number of subscribers averaged per video

After that, I will give you the channels that offer the most value for you the viewer. The rankings only contain channels with over 100k subscribers. I will provide a list of must-watch Youtube channels as well. 

The Best Golf Youtube Channels according to the numbers

Golf Youtube channel top 10 power rankings (April 2022)

  1. Good Good Golf (big crew of golfers making Dude Perfect style videos)
  2. Micah Morris (excellent amateur looking to go pro - part of Good Good)
  3. GM Golf (trick shot master turned NCAA rejectee - head of Good Good)
  4. Golf Sidekick (Simple amateur with a camera based in Thailand)
  5. Stephen Castaneda (Part of Good Good)
  6. Rick Shiels (The big cheese of Youtube golf)
  7. Me and My Golf (Adidas/Taylormade marketing branch)
  8. No Laying Up (Golf travel and story telling)
  9. Fore Play Golf (Bar Stool Sports golf channel attracts big stars)
  10. Bubbie Golf (Personable guy also part of Good Good crew)

How the Youtube channels were ranked 

Mere subscriber numbers is not enough to assess the Youtube channels for golf. Total subscribers can include many dormant accounts, purchased subscribers and other fluffery. 

I wanted to see how many views the videos get on average and the number of subscribers in relation to the view average - how much do the views match subscriber numbers? Organic subscribers is hard to quantify but engagement is a decent metric to assess a channel.

Weighted scoring system

That is why the weighting of the scoring system is as follows with the weighting mentioned:

  • Subscriber count - 1
  • Subscribers per video released - 2
  • Average view count per video - 4
  • Subscriber numbers as a percentage of the average view count - 4

That gives us a total of 11.

I ranked the channel according to each of the above metric where the channel is 1st place receives 190 points, the channel in 19th place receives 10. To create a weighted score, I calculated the scores as follows:

The channels on this list are all around 100k subscribers or more. Here are the full power rankings and I will provide some charts of each of the major factors in ranking the channels.

My personal top choices of Golf Youtube channels

While the top ranking golf Youtube channels I mentioned above are the best in the game in terms of metric, we don't live our life on metrics. We watch golf to enjoy it. So here are my most enjoyable and best Youtube channels, regardless of subscriber numbers. These are the channels I watch and because I watch them so much, I have done collaborations with most of them. 

Golf Sidekick is clearly the obvious choice. The Golf Sidekick channel is full of guests, from pros shooting good scores, to Matt guiding people around the course to break 100, 90 and 80. This is the easily the best channel on Youtube, objectively. Golf Sidekick is based in Thailand and has created one of the top channels with just an iPhone and a willingness to help. 

Who is Genevieve Ling? Genevieve Ling is a Malaysian lady pro currently on the LET Tour. She has featured on Golf Sidekick videos on numerous occasions and her channel is about course management, understanding the game, and life on Tour. 

Not a Scratch Golfer follows Adam, a 7 to 8 handicapper who hits the ball average distances to show you how to play golf, how to score, and how to forget the nonsense of hitting further is always always always the best even if it goes offline. 

Michele Low is a great golf coach based in Malaysia. She has her own channel and goes through so many things people do not understand, in a way that is understandable and approachable. 

Micah Morris takes the game sincerely and is doing his best to become a pro or is a pro. I am unsure which. But he has a nice channel.

Mr Short Game, aka Matt, is a good guy with an honest, helpful channel with a variety of content so you can never be bored. 

mr short game channel

My rankings of the best channels in charts

Youtube Golf Power Rankings in a chart

Subscriber numbers

Rick Shiels is the leader of the pack by a long way. Random Golf Club Films and Mark Crossfield are the oldest channels both started in 2007. Rick Shiels and Peter Finch began their channels on the same day in 2011. The youngest channels are Fore Play and Good Good, along with Stephen Castaneda.

The breakdown of channels by the country they are located in looks like this:

  • United Kingdom: 7
  • United States: 10 (Good Good and crew makes up 6 out of those 10)
  • Thailand: 1
  • Canada: 1

Average number of subscribers obtained per video 

Creating a crew with their own individual channels and focusing on creating a large community is the key to Good Good Golf's sudden and meteoric rise. They have a great crew of editors, videographers and cast members that allow them to create plenty of unique content. 

Average views per video released

view count per video fo top golf youtube channels

What is the audience retention rate of golf Youtube channels?

retention rate of channels in golf

It's interesting to see channels subscriber numbers and number of views the channel gets per video on average. This can show you a retention rate, roughly speaking, of how many subscribers watch the videos. This is not entirely accurate but it's a good metric to see the reach of the channels and how engaged the audience is.


These were my favorite Youtube golf channels - I hope you will try them or discovered someone new. There are new channels all the time coming up and this list may change but as of April 2022, the Good Good crew are doing well and Golf Sidekick is up there with the big boys. That is amazing. 

What is a Mid Handicapper in Golf?

Mid handicappers make up the majority of golfers in the world. Nearly half of al the golfers who keep a handicap, fit into the mid handicap category. But what is a mid handicapper and are you in this category of golfer? 

In this article, we'll explore the handicap requirements to be a mid handicapper and what a mid handicappers game looks like in relation to higher and lower handicap ranges. 

What is a Mid Handicapper?

A mid handicapper in golf is someone who has a handicap index between 10 and 20.

Handicap index is a measure of a golfer's playing ability, with a lower number indicating a better player. A mid handicapper is someone who is generally skilled, but still has room for improvement. This group of golfers usually has a consistent swing and can hit a variety of shots, but may still struggle with certain aspects of their game, such as putting or bunkers shots. The term "handicap" is used to level the playing field in golf, so that players of different abilities can compete fairly against each other.

Average golfer handicap

The average handicap in the USA for those who keep handicaps, is 14 .

What score does a mid handicapper shoot

What is a mid handicap score?

The average 14 handicap golfer will shoot an average score of 90. 

The lower mid handicapper will shoot scores between 84 and 85 as a 9 handicapper. A higher mid handicapper will average scores between 93 and 95. We can estimate the score of a mid handicapper is between 84 and 95.

Type of mid handicap

Low to Mid Handicap

Lower mid handicaps have handicaps between 9 to 12. What is considered lower mid handicap is a golfer who scores between 80 and 90. Sometimes the lower mid handicapper breaks 80, but 9 our of 10 scores will be above 80.

Mid Mid Handicap

Handicap 13 to 16 make up the mid mid handicap range. Average scores here are always above 80, sometimes below 90 with most scores around the 90 to 95 range.

Mid to High Handicap

What is considered a higher mid handicapper is a golfer who scores above 90. Rarely, this golfer will break 90. Average score in the higher mid handicap is between 92 and 100 and a handicap level of 17 to 18. 

Golf handicap divisions

If you play in competitions, the handicaps will be split into divisions. These are usually

  1. Division A: 0-8 handicap
  2. Division B: 9-18 handicap
  3. Division C: 19+ handicap

How does a mid handicapper play on the course?

A mid handicapper will usually hit 3-4 greens in regulation. In general, mid handicappers also swing slightly faster with more confidence than a high handicapper. As a mid handicap golfer gets more confident, their scores drop.

Areas of focus for a mid handicapper to lower their scores into the 70s:

  1. Practice the game inside 100 yards 3 times as much time as the long game
  2. Become very good at putting inside 5 feet
  3. Hit a tee ball into a position that allows a second shot without penalty - very often not the driver

What are the best clubs for mid handicappers?

Most mid handicap golfers will benefit most from game improvement clubs in the golf bag. 


Mid handicappers should use a driver to stay in play as a top priority. Distance will come later. Any driver with a loft of between 10.5 and 12 degrees suits you this level for the most distance and forgiveness combination. 


Avoid blades as a mid handicap. Many golfers will tell you that it's the best way to learn to hit the golf ball but it's not. It's always better to start with confidence first and then move to more difficult to hit clubs. Confidence breeds good swings, which breeds good contact. 

Lower mid handicap golfers can start with some muscle back irons when they get confident enough around the 8 handicap range. The best irons for mid handicappers are irons that have forgiveness and consistency. 


Cavity back wedges are always a good option for handicaps between 9 and 18. 


I always recommend that mid handicappers play golf balls that they do not mind losing. If you are worried about losing a golf ball, use cheaper golf balls or the balls you find in the woods.

If you do not care about lost balls, your best bet is to start with golf balls that have a surlyn cover. These are durable golf balls that can last up to 3 rounds long. I would avoid spending a lot of money on the expensive premium golf balls until you are confident you will not lose more than 1 per round.

My go-to ball has always been the Srixon Soft Feel or a WIlson Duo which I played until I was a 7 handicap.

How Do Mid Handicaps Perform?

mid handicap average score

Off the tee

Mid handicappers can be very good and very bad off the tee with the driver in hand. For the mid handicap golfer who loses shots from balls going out of bounds or in the water, I recommend scaling back to a fairway wood or a hybrid off the tee. Get the ball in play to allow for a stress-free second shot. 

Greens in Regulation

The hardest part for mid handicappers will be approach shots because the tee shot is often not long enough, or in the correct position to hit the greens in regulation. The approach shot distances are too long to allow for easy approach shots. Most often, mid handicap golfers will be hitting a 5 or 6 iron into the green and even a professional golfer only hits the green is 50% of the time with a 6 iron in hand. 

Up and Downs

Mid handicaps can slash their handicap by getting really good inside 100 yards. The average mid handicap player will spend hours hitting golf balls on the driving range with a driver but will never touch the short game area. The game is decided inside wedge range and if you want to drop your handicap into the single figures, the easiest and quickest way is to practice chipping and putting. 

Mental Game

Mid handicappers BIGGEST hurdle to better scoring is the mental game. Stop and think for 10 seconds before your shot. Don't auto pull the driver on every hole. Play back from the hole. Imagine where you want your next shot to come from and hit the ball there. Assess where the best place to be is on every shot. 

Mid handicap players will often hit the ball directly at the pin instead of the fat part of the green. Hit to the middle of the green and practice your putting. Watch my videos on Youtube and discover how to slash your golf score!.

mid handicap golfer


So what's considered mid handicap in golf?  Players with a handicap between 9 and 18, shoot between 84 and 95 but can have the ability to break 80 on a very good day.

You can learn more about breaking 80 here.

How to Hit a Hybrid Golf Club from Tee to Green

Most amateur golfers need one of these in their bag - the hybrid golf club

I added a Cobra hybrid to B-Dogs golf bag years ago and he loves it in replacement of some longer irons. It’s versatile because it's easy to hit the hybrid off the fairway and out of the rough. You can even chip with a hybrid around the greens and say good bye to terrible long iron shots. 

How to hit a hybrid golf club

The answer to how to hit a hybrid: you set-up with the golf ball 2 to 4 inches inside your front foot heel, and swing the same as when you hit a 7 iron (with a downward angle into the ball). You must not try to lift the golf ball up into the air, because the loft and design of a hybrid is created in a way that it does everything for you. Trust it.

Hybrid golf clubs are more difficult to shape shots compared to long irons but that's the only big disadvantage. Considering how versatile the hybrid is and how most handicap golfers do not need to shape the ball, they add confidence to the game of most mid-to-high handicappers struggling to hit more than a 7-iron.

Where to place hybrid golf clubs in your stance

You should place your hybrid in the same part of the stance as a 6 iron or any long iron.

You can place the ball between 2 and 4 inches inside your front foot heel. It will depend on you but you can test it out by hitting the ground on the driving range and identifying where your club bottoms out. You place the ball in front of the beginning of the divot you make. Yes you can make divots with the hybrid. 

How to hit a hybrid off a tee and off the ground


There are minor differences between hitting a hybrid off a tee and hitting a hybrid off the ground (fairway and rough).

Whether you hit the hybrid off a tee or off the fairway, you should try to hit down on the ball. Sweeping action is better for the tee shot because the ball is elevated but be careful of that habit because on the fairway, you may top your shot. The key is tee height. 

Hybrid golf clubs are made to get the ball airborne from both the fairway and rough – so if you’re thinking about hitting your hybrid off a tee, try not to tee the ball up too high. Teeing the ball lower on the tee will encourage a consistent strike onto your hybrid so you can hit it from everywhere. 

If you tee it too high, the club can go right under the ball and the golf ball can hit the crown of the club, sending it very high into the air. 

I suggest getting yourself some very short tees, and teeing the ball up maybe half an inch maximum above the ground to ensure you promote a downward strike onto the ball everywhere on the golf course. 

How to hit a punch shot with a hybrid

You can play a punch shot with a hybrid in the rough because the clubhead glides through the grass unlike a long iron which gets tangled. 

Outside of the rough, a punch shot is easier to play with an iron - like a 3, 4 or 5 iron. It's easier to keep the ball low with a long iron, but a hybrid is designed to help increase the height of your shot. 

If you want to play punch shots with your hybrid try this:

  1. Ball must be back of the stance (behind center is your ball position)
  2. Put your hands ahead of the ball to help de-loft the club and promote a downward strike.
  3. Keep your glove badge moving TOWARD THE TARGET. This will help keep the shot low and not top the ball.
  4. Focus on that badge going to the hole and finish with the badge at worst, facing the sky. By focusing on that, you stop the flipping action which makes the ball pop up into the air. 

How to hit a hybrid out of the rough

Place the ball in the correct part of your stance for the best results:

If the ball is sitting down in the grass

Set-up with the ball behind center in your stance much like the punch shot above. Hit down on the ball and make sure you follow through because the club will definitely help you as long as you hit a decent swing. 

If the ball is teed up in the grass

Hit the ball like you would hit the hybrid off the tee - you got really lucky! The wide sole of the club will glide through the long blades and hit the ball instead of getting the grass stuck between the club and the ball. 

How to hit a hybrid straight

Hitting a straight shot with a hybrid is the same as your other golf clubs. It should be noted that hitting a straight shot is very difficult. But you can reduce the shape of the shot by following fundamentals in all golf shots. 

If your ball position is correct (2-4 inches inside your front heel) and you hit down on the ball like with a 6 iron, you will hit a straighter shot. The problems come when you try to add loft to the shot because you do not trust that the ball will fly into the air. 

The hybrid is probably the best designed club in the entire golf bag for hitting easier shots. They have made hybrids with the sole purpose of making it easy to hit longer irons without needing a longer iron. 

To hit a straighter shot, your swing needs to be on plane and your club face control needs to be created with a good setup - posture, stance, grip and takeaway. 

How to hit a 3 hybrid

The 3 hybrid golf club is the most popular choice for amateur handicap golfers. The way to hit the 3 hybrid is identical to any other hybrid.

Other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the easiest hybrid to hit?

The higher the loft, the easier it will be to hit. That is why when you learn how to hit a hybrid with your golf swing, longer shots become easy.

You can find the forgiving and best hybrids for high handicappers here.

A 6 iron hybrid will be easier to hit than a 2 or 3 hybrid. You can get hybrids all the way down to 6 or 7 iron if you have trouble hitting the iron version. 

Every manufacturer creates their hybrids with small deviations, so try them all out before you decide between Ping, Callaway, Taylormade or Cobra. 

Why do I keep topping my hybrid? 

If you keep topping your hybrid, it is because of a few reasons. These are the most common:

Early extension and poor impact position

If you stand up out of your posture before impact, and your left arm and golf club make a straight line before impact, it can be difficult to control the bottom part of your swing. This means you actually get to impact position FRACTIONALLY too early and so the wrists need to flip and if you don't then the bottom of the club collides with the top of the ball. Grip plays an important role in ball striking.

Your best bet is to see a swing coach to help recreate the only universal thing in golf: the impact position. You can see my lesson on impact position here:

Swaying off and ahead of the ball

Swaying was one of my worst problems in my golf swing because it can stopped me rotating back and through the ball. My head would move way back and then on the way to hit the ball, move in front of the ball. This is a guaranteed way to top and fat the golf ball.  Here's my first ever golf lesson where I learned about this. 

Misconception of how a hybrid works

If you’re topping the ball with your hybrid, it can often be due to mental errors, not only mechanical golf instruction.

Most handicap golfers think they need to flip and scoop the ball into the air instead of hitting down and allowing the loft and club design to get the ball airborne. The reason this leads to topped shots is because most mid handicapper or high handicappers will fall onto their back foot trying to create an upward angle of attack. This is surefire topping. 

When you hit your hybrid, hit down on it like a 6 or 7 iron through the ball and not UP into the ball. 

Can I use a hybrid as a chip and run club?

chipping with a hybrid

You can and should use your hybrid around the green. The hybrid is best used around the greens on tight lies when your wedge feels like you will thin it across the green. When you are against the collar next to the green, the hybrid is easier to brush through the long grass. 

To play this shot with a hybrid, grip down on the club, near the graphite shaft, stand closer to the ball and make the club sit very flat and square on the ground. You use a putting stroke to execute the shot and remember to use enough pace to get the ball rolling to the hole. 

Working on how to hit a hybrid around the greens means more up and down chipping for you. 

Should I carry a 5 wood or 3 hybrid?

5 wood vs 3 hybrid is a very common debate and they are indeed similar golf clubs in performance. They are played in the same place in the stance.

Both the 5 fairway wood and the 3 hybrid have similar lofts but the weight in the hybrid is near the face but the fairway wood has weight toward the back of the club head. 

The five wood in general will fly further and fly higher than the 3 hybrid which has a lower flight with less rollout. That is because the hybrid is in fact a replacement for a long iron. Overall distance is roughly similar. It just depends on what you prefer the look of and which you prefer to hit.

If you like the look of a fairway wood at address then the 5 wood is a good option.

If you like to look down at hybrids (with the smaller iron-shaped head), then you will like the 3 hybrid instead of a fairway wood.

Whatever you choose, you have to feel 100% confidence with to execute great golf shots.

Why should I carry a hybrid vs long iron?

The decision to carry a hybrid vs a long iron depends on how you like the look at address and if you have a fade or a draw. The other consideration is whether you can get a long iron airborne often enough or whether you prefer a 7 wood vs a 4 hybrid.

I would suggest a long iron if you can hit it airborne often out the sweet spot, and hit a natural draw shape. The long iron will tend to fade.

If you cannot get a long iron airborne, then a hybrid is for you. If you tend to fade your long irons even if you can hit them, the hybrid tends to pull left.

Here are the pros and cons of each.


The hybrid is suited to the mid to higher handicapper and definitely can help you get the ball in the air.

  • Easier to hit in the air than long irons
  • Skims through rough easier than irons
  • Can be easier to hit off the fairway
  • Engineered to get the golf ball airborne easily even with slower swings
  • Versatile to use as a bump and run club around greens
  • Generally higher ball flight compared to long irons
  • Wide sole makes it less workable left and right (this is good if you are a higher handicapper)
  • Keeping the ball low is harder because it's designed to elevate the ball
  • Usually bought individually, not part of your iron set

Long irons

Long irons are still popular among lower handicappers and pros, but are slowly losing favor and are often excluded from iron sets, past the 5 iron. 

  • Easier to work the ball because of narrow sole and smaller club face
  • Irons are easier to keep low when you need to hit a punch
  • Usually part of a set unless you purchase from 6 iron down
  • Low handicap players prefer the long irons due to higher swing speed
  • More difficult for most mid handicappers and high handicappers to hit than a hybrid
  • Slow swing speed will find it hard to get the ball airborne and if they do, the ball won't go as far as their mid irons
  • Long grass in the rough tangles the club head easily because of the sharper edges
  • The slice is a common shot with long irons while hybrids tend to draw
  • Missing the sweet spot hurts your hands and arms unlike a hybrid

Closing thoughts

Hybrids are a game changing alternative for a lot of golfers struggling with long irons. You don't have to soldier through the long iron struggle, losing balls. I promise!

They are so easy to hit from the fairway and rough and are lovely around the green.

Forget about the workability of a hybrid. If you need to work the ball, you are probably too low of a handicapper for a hybrid. Hybrids are for hitting straight shots to make it easier for everyone and more fun!

Every mid handicapper and high handicapper should begin with a hybrid and even include some fairway woods.

How to Hit an 8 Iron – Six Simple Fixes

A lot of golfers think they must hit the green every time with an 8 iron. Some people might think you should hit the green at least 75% of the time from 8 iron distance! WRONG!

The truth is that even the professionals do not hit the green 75% of the time. According to the PGA Tour statistics, from 150-175 yards which is the 8 iron range of the pros, they hit the green 64% of the time on average with the 8 iron. Of course, we hit the ball shorter than the pros so let's compare. 

PGA Tour pros the best in the world!

Often double digit handicap golfers hit a good drive which leaves 130-160 yards approach to the green - which is often an 8 iron. They think they do not know how to hit an 8 iron. With an over expectation, the pressure thinking that you need to hit 3 out of 4 greens with your 8 iron, plus low confidence, many things can happen:

  • Chunk the shot
  • Pull the shot
  • Slice the shot
  • Thin the shot
  • Hit it short or long because you don't know the average distance of your 8 iron

Hitting the 8 iron is easier than you think. The six simple tips below will help you hit a solid shot that goes where you need it. You'll hit it the correct distance and with a consistent result on or near the green. If you miss the green, you can even chip with your 8 iron.

How To Hit An 8 Iron: 6 Easy Fixes

You're a good golfer already you just need to work on a few things:

  1. Taking a good divot

  2. Knowing your shot shape

  3. Selecting the best aiming spot in front of the ball 

  4. Knowing your 8 iron carry distance

  5. Trust the loft of your 8 iron 

  6. Chip with your 8 iron more

  7. Use Forgiving Cavity Back or Hybrid Irons

Guide To Hitting An 8 Iron: 7 Quick Tips

golfer making a golf swing taking a divot with an 8 iron golf club

Fix 1: Take a good divot

It doesn't matter if it's the 8 iron, a 5 iron or a sand wedge, the first important tip is to be able to control where the iron contacts the ground and takes a divot. When you take a divot, you create solid contact and more consistent distances with your 8 iron. The difference between low and high handicap golfers comes down to pure iron strikes. 

The high handicap golfer struggles to take divots out of fear of messing up the fairway or fear of chunking the ball. You must banish the fear of hitting a fat shot and PRACTICE TAKING DIVOTS. 

How to hit a divot with your 8 iron

  • Find a piece of grass anywhere that you don't mind messing up 
  • Start by hitting the ground without a ball and take divots. You can swing and take a satisfying divot over and over as many times as necessary
  • Use a wiffle ball and hit shots with the wiffle ball, focusing on the front of the ball - the part of the golf ball closest to the target. Try start your divot on the target side of the ball. 
  • On the golf course: Take practice swings in the rough when no one is hitting. Before your shot, practice swings should take a shallow divot before your real shot. 

If you are can't control the low point where the divot starts, try put 60% of your weight on your front leg.  Keep that head from swaying and hit a divot. 

Fix 2: Know your shot shape or curve on the ball

Knowing the shape your ball makes in the air is so important but so overlooked by golfers. A lot of higher handicappers will aim for the phantom straight shot. This shot appears once per round and never when you want it.

fade, striagh draw , shot shapes with picture of golf ball

Instead, learn your shot shape over time. Perhaps you think you hit a two way miss. Write down which side you miss the most. Be honest with yourself and your golf shot shape. A lot of golfers fall into the trap of being embarrassed about hitting a fade. Do not be. Top pro's on the PGA Tour prefer a fade. 

The simplest way to understand your shot shape is to play practice rounds by yourself on a golf course. Hit multiple balls and note which way the ball flies with a fade or with a draw. A fade moves left to right while the draw moves right to left.

Whichever is your shot shape, accept it and play it. It will help you in Fix #3 where you must aim the club face correctly according to your shot shape. Without proper alignment suited to your shot shape, you cannot hit good iron shots. 

Fix 3: Aim your 8 iron club face and your body

After you know which shot shape you hit, you must aim your club to something on your TARGET line. You will learn your target line by taking into account your shot shape above. If you fade the ball 10 yards, aim 10 yards left. If you draw the ball 5 yard, aim 5 yards to the right of your target.

But the most important is to aim your club face to account for that.

  • Find something in front of your ball on the ground. It could be a leaf, or a divot or a piece of grass. 
  • Check that it is on your target line taking into account your shape so the ball curves to the target
  • The thing you align to must be 1-3 feet in front of the ball
  • Pick a target beyond the pin or the green. You can select a tree branch or something high up behind your target. This will clear your mind of the trouble in front of you. 
  • If you align your 8 iron club face to the spot in front of the ball and then just before hitting, you glance at your spot in the distance, you will hit better 8 iron shots

Through the gate alignment drill

  • Set up an alignment stick down your target line about 12-15 feet in front of you.
  • Put a second alignment stick 2-4 feet right of the first alignment stick.
  • Using your plastic or foam ball, try hit the ball through the gate.
  • If you have a driving range that lets you do this, use real golf balls.
  • If you have access to a golf studio with a hitting bay, try hit the bullseye they may paint on the white screen. Take that feeling to the course

Most low handicap golfers could do 15 out of 20 but if you are struggling, just work up from your number whatever it is.  You want to create a visual in your mind to take to the course and a feeling. Remember your process and thought when you do any drills so it converts to the golf course.

Fix 4: Know you carry distance

Here's a secret: All the distances you see people claiming in forums and Reddit are nonsense. The average PGA Tour pro hits a ball 295 yards. The average PGA Tour pro hits his 8 iron 160 to 180 yards. No amateur playing off a handicap over 10 can claim those distances with a straight face.

Why do I tell you this? Because it DOES NOT MATTER what distance others hit the ball. It only matters how far you hit your 8 iron. The distance is neither good nor bad. It is only that you KNOW for a fact YOUR distance with the 8 iron. 

Do not claim that 8 iron that you hit 178 yards as your average. Resist the ego driven distance bragging. You will be a great golfer if you know exactly your distance of the 8 iron and play to it. You will beat everyone who claims their max distance is their average. 

use gps watch to learn 8 iron distance

How to know your distances with the 8 iron?

You can use this information for your shots and know if you can carry the hazards, stay short of the hazards or hit the middle of the green. This is HUGE. The most important thing anyone can do when learning how to hit their irons is to KNOW their CARRY distance.

Fix 5: Trust the 8 iron loft

A lot of high handicap golfers and beginners think you need to help the ball into the air by adding loft or 'getting underneath' the golf ball when they hit short irons like 8 iron, 9 iron or PW. The truth is, you actually deloft the iron at impact. The backspin that you impart on the ball will create the lift that you need.


The easiest way to stop trying to lift the ball with this club is to consciously NOT fall back with your weight onto the back foot. You must keep 60% of your weight on the front foot 

When you hit DOWN on the golf ball, you compress it and that creates speed and spin. There is something very important you want to get right to be able to compress the ball. Impact position is critical.

Here is the impact position you want. Click the image or HERE for the Youtube video lesson on impact.

impact position for 8 iron

Fix 6 (bonus): Hit chips with your 8 iron

You can file this one under pro tips. When you find a chance to hit some chip shots, practice with your 8 iron. You can make small swings to practice club face control to understand hitting the sweet spot. You can learn how it feels to hit it solid by avoiding the full swing to practice impact position.

Stand about 2 yards off the green and chip the golf ball to a flag about 11-12 yards away from you. Try land the ball on a specific spot. Play the ball off your back foot to understand you don't need to help lift the ball in the air. Just imagine you are using your pitching wedge. 

You can learn more about how chipping works in golf. Just make decent contact with the golf ball and hit 100 balls if you can. You'll come away feeling much better.

Fix 7 (Bonus tip): Use FORGIVING irons!

If you have trouble with your irons, I recommend finding forgiving irons in the guides here: for best irons for mid handicappers and the most forgiving irons on the market.

8 iron technical information

What loft is an 8 iron?

An 8 iron loft is between 35 and 39 degrees. Newer golf clubs have lower loft while older clubs have higher loft. The higher the loft, the less distance you will get with the same swing. In modern irons like the TaylorMade STEALTH, the loft of the mid irons is now comparable to those that were traditionally long irons. It's always good to know the difference between lofts in your clubs from pitching wedge to nine iron to 8 iron.

What is the length of an 8 iron?

The length of the average 8 iron is between 36 and 37 inches. The length will depend on your height and your swing. If you are fitted for clubs, the club fitter will adjust the length, the lie and the loft according to your game. You can find some irons to help you lower your handicap with the right characteristics. 

8 iron swing speed chart

The average 8 iron distance depends on your swing speed, loft, golf ball and skill. For the average loft of 36 degrees, here are the averages for different golfers:

Player level

Swing speed

8 iron distance

PGA Tour professional

87 mph

160-200 yards

Scratch golfer

82-85 mph

155-190 yards

Low to mid handicappers

70-80 mph

140-165 yards

High handicappers and beginners

60-70 mph

120-150 yards

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to execute an 8 iron shot and perform better with this club, it's time to practice a lot. You can practice at the range, on the golf course, or into a net. Just get that feeling of making good contact.

I highly recommend a lesson but if not, just keep hitting balls. You will get it. One more BONUS tip is to LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS. You are not on the PGA Tour, you are not Tiger Woods. You just need to relax and enjoy hitting the 8 iron at the driving range, on the practice green, and in your mind!

How to hit your golf irons - my other articles 

Nikanti Golf Club Thailand Review


If you have only ONE course to play while in the Bangkok area, Nikanti is the place. This is easily hands-down the best experience I have had in Thailand for golf. 

What makes Nikanti unique?

  • 18 holes broken into six of each par 3, 4, 5 - The course is not overly long and the plentiful par 5 and par 3 (six of each) make it such a pleasure to play instead of endless par 4s.
  • The best service in golf - From moment one you are greeted by everyone, and ushered around to make sure you don't get lost. You are treated like a true guest and not like an intruder. This is incredible and you feel like a total boss.
  • All inclusive pricing! You pay ONE price. There is no worrying about drinks, food. You pay for the day. You get either a free breakfast and lunch or free lunch and dinner. And yes, you can order more of the dishes included. It's not like some airline food either. it's LEGIT good food. The tip, the green fee, caddie fee, food, free water, golf cart are all included. 
  • Caddies are HIGHLY trained - With the inclusivity and the condition of the course, the caddies are also superb. Absolutely great fun and good natured, but well trained to be totally efficient. 
  • Nikanti in Thai language has something to do with the number 6, hence the 6/6/6 split of the course into 3 courses of 6 holes, 6 par 3, 6 par 4, 6 par 5.
  • The whole experience is superior to EVERYTHING else in ThailandFrom when you arrive to when the caddie puts your bag back in the car, you are treated as a guest. There's no dual pricing. You are taken care of with a smile.
  • It's super laid back. Despite being the best, most well kept, highest end service establishment, it is still chilled out. You don't have to feel rushed, or anything. you're a baus for a day. 

How does Nikanti look?

Here's a video of us playing Nikanti Golf Club.

The cold hard fact about Nikanti Golf Club

It is well maintained, has great service but if you are looking for a LONG course, this is not the one for you.

If however, you're looking for a place you will not forget easily, this is the course. Forget every other famous name course in the Bangkok/Nakon Nayok/Nakhon Pathom area. This course is hands-down the best experience and one you can take with you back home or keep coming to if you live here.

Play it early in the morning for a great view, temperature and quiet time. 

nikanti golf club green fee

Nikanti Golf Club Green Fee

Green fees: You can expect to pay between 3,500 THB ($110) and 6,000 THB ($200). Midweek is always toward the lower end of this price range.

Caddie fee: Included in the price above.

Caddie tip: Not included in the price but starts at 400 THB ($13)

Cart price:  Included in the price above

Guides for how to play Nikanti Golf Club in Nakhon Pathom

Follow my channel and watch these videos of us playing there.

Other things to do around Nikanti Golf Club

It's quite a distance from Bangkok center. It's 1 hour or 67km from downtown.

You want to leave 1 hour 45 minutes before your tee time. If you want to stay in Nakhon Pathom, I don't think you'll find much to do out there. Find a transfer or rent a car to Nikanti and return in the evening.

Drivers on GRAB app and taxi drivers in Bangkok would be more than willing to drive you out there, wait around for 5-6 hours and then drive you back for the right fee. I'd guess you could get that for about 3,000 baht for 3-4 people and a big Toyota Fortuner. 

Red Mountain Golf Course Phuket Review


Red Mountain is the most well-known course on Phuket island and mainly because it was once the most expensive at about 7,000 Thai Baht for 18 holes. 

It's an interesting course with a difficult lay out, and some beautiful scenery. The pictures are worth the trip. But for 7,000 THB ($220 US), I don't know about that.

If you can get on the course with promotions for less than 2,500 baht then I would say that's a pretty good deal and worth the memory if you're only going to be here once. 

What makes Red Mountain unique?

  • Two 18 hole courses  - Loch Palm is next door and run by the same Group - MBK. MBK also run Riverdale in Bangkok plus its close neighbor, Bangkok Golf Club.
  • The course is cut through insane terrain like a video game. The drops and the rises, the slopes and the scenery look like something out of a Tiger Woods PGA Tour Playstation game. Carts are mandatory and you cannot walk this course that's for sure. It has been designed by Jonathan Morrow and been open since 2007.
  • Photogenic - You'll get some great views and some nice pictures to share with buddies back home.
  • Caddies are phenomenal - The caddies at Red Mountain always know what club you need after the first 2-3 holes and take care of you knowing when you need a towel, rangefinder, water...everything.
  • Built on a tin mine - this makes the place look really wild with old jungle and untouched forest
  • Smooth bermuda greens and paspallum tees and fairways make for a brilliantly conditioned course. 

How does Red Mountain look?

Here's a video of us playing Red Mountain.

The cold hard fact about Red Mountain Golf Course in Phuket

It is a scenic golf course but at times can feel gimmicky. It is built on an old tin mine so the terrain is very outstanding. The 17th hole is the craziest one with a drop off of about 50 yards from tee to green on the par 3. 

The condition is very good and the greens are very challenging and also perfectly manicured. Condition and layout really are unique and the back nine, which wasn't in the video above, is EVEN MORE scenic than the first.

Riverdale and Red Mountain by the MBK group are very high-end golfing experiences so if it fits into your budget, you should play Red Mountain for the experience. 

I'd really suggest bringing your own clubs from overseas if you decide to play because it will be WAY LESS fun if you rent clubs that don't suit you.

Red Mountain Phuket Green Fee

Green fees: Generally upwards of 2,500 Thai Baht as of mid 2021. This price includes caddie, cart and green fee. 

Caddie tip: Usually you want to match the caddie fee for the caddie tip.

My standard tip everywhere now since the pandemic is 500 THB if the caddie was remotely better than average. 

Other things to do around Red Mountain

Red Mountain is the most well known and challenging course in Phuket island and is located right in the middle of it.

Every well-known beach is within a 20 minute drive from the course. A lot of people rate Loch Palm (attached to Red Mountain property) as being an even better course, so check that out!

Phuket has tons of nightlife, and with so many transfer and taxi companies around, getting to Red Mountain should be easy, and even better if you rent a car. 

Blue Canyon Country Club Lakes and Canyon Course Phuket

Blue Canyon is the site of one of Tiger Woods victories when he was super young. He won the Johnnie Walker there and there's a plaque on one of the par 4s where he hit a drive on the green.

That doesn't sound like a big deal nowadays, but this was back in the day when he was playing balata golf balls, steel headed driver and steel shafts!

What went wrong with Blue Canyon?

For a while, there was a Singaporean company that owned the course and they really screwed the place up. They messed the members around and then cut costs everywhere.

The greens shrunk, the condition was bad and it seemed the course had its glory days WAY back. 


A local Thai investor purchased the golf course and has restored the Canyon Course to its former glory. I got a chance to play it before it was reopened to members in 2021. Even before opening, it was special. The greens have been restored to world class quality and the layout and conditioning is superb. 

They've removed some trees and made it overall a picturesque golf course and one of the best value places on the island of Phuket. 

What makes Blue Canyon unique?

  • Two 18 hole golf courses - The Canyon and the Lakes courses are both super. The Canyon course was the site of the Johnnie Walker for very many years.
  • Located on an old tin mine. There are some spectacular drops and naked earth scenery that is breathtaking. 
  • Clubhouse overlooks the 9th and 18th green of the Canyon course. You sit perched high up on the grounds, overlooking the reshaped 9th hole and the now-restored 18th green. 
  • The food is so well priced, it's CRAZY. I usually flinch when someone gives me a menu at a golf course restaurant. But here, you want to order 4 or 5 dishes because the value is so good.
  • My friend, Golf, from Golf Every Second Youtube channel practices there and they gave him a very good deal as a local pro to use their facilities. He also teaches there in his time away from the tour due to Covid restrictions. You can see him for sure if you play Blue Canyon.
  • Tiger Woods made history here. He won the Johnnie Walker extremely young. To stand on the tee where he drove the green and imagine him doing that when everyone else in the field just would play it way to the right, is mesmerizing. I hit it over the green on my tee shot but I have a titanium driver, graphite shaft and Pro V1. He didn't Amazing to see such historical sites. 

How does Blue Canyon look?

Here's a video of Golf and me playing the Canyon Course.

The cold hard facts about Blue Canyon Country Club in Phuket Thailand

The courses are very walkable. There are constantly promotions but with the country reopening, you may find, as tourists return, the price may increase a lot.

I say this because the place is in fantastic condition now and while and is worth the time. You can get two great courses while in Phuket. 

I would say it's a must play. 

Be careful on Google maps though. If you put it into the map, it may take you up a side road. Both courses are accessible from the same entrance but make sure the route you use is the blue one indicated in the map below.

Using the red route or any route other than the blue one below will send you up a service road to NOWHERE!

Blue Canyon Country Club Green Fee

Green fees: Generally between 1,500 and 3,000 Thai Baht depending on the season and day of the week. Courses are generally cheaper on weekdays and more expensive on weekend.

Caddie fee: around $13 USD. This is mandatory at all golf courses in Thailand anyway.

Caddie tip: Usually you want to match the caddie fee for the caddie tip at a minimum. The maximum should be reasonable but not insane. Anything above 600-700 Baht and you will be spoiling the market for the locals and members.  

My standard tip everywhere now since the pandemic is 500 THB if the caddie was remotely better than average. 

Guides for how to play Blue Canyon Country Club Phuket

Follow my channel and watch these videos of us playing there.

Guide for how to play Blue Canyon Lake Course

Other things to do around Blue Canyon

Phuket is a large island with plenty of beaches. 

There's a ton of nightlife and you can do anything you want there. The world is your oyster. 

Black Mountain Hua Hin Golf Course Review

black mountian hua hin review golf course

Black Mountain is the most well known golf course in Hua Hin and probably the most or second most famous course in Thailand.

The reason is simple. Great marketing. The course is easily the best marketed course in the country with advertising boards scattered throughout the town of Hua Hin showing the price, the deals and the name everywhere.

Often marketing leads to disappointment. But not here. Black Mountain is infinitely playable and fun.  

What makes Black Mountain unique?

  • Three nines - North, East, West. North and East are the championship courses they use on the Asian and European Tours.
  • Six (6) sets of tees. ANYONE can play this course, from the pro's at 7,300 to 7,600 yards all the way down to 5,600 yards. 
  • Clubhouse overlooks the 9th and 18th green of the championship courses. This is not unique in the west but in Thailand, this is VERY unique and makes you feel at home.
  • Caddies are HIGHLY trained and some are tour caddie quality. They provide a service second to none with conscientiousness, and accuracy. Their demeanor is ALWAYS cheerful and they always enhance your experience. 
  • The estate is run by Scandinavians and only residents are allowed to be members. The place is well manicured, spotless, brilliant.
  • They have a full practice facility: grass and mat driving range. Chipping green with bunker. Practice green. You can get fully warmed up. Many courses do not have driving ranges.
  • The entire golf experience is more 'international'. From when you arrive to when the caddie puts your bag back in the car, you are treated as a guest. There's no dual pricing. You are taken care of with a smile.
  • It's super laid back. Despite being a high end, championship experience, you never ever feel like you're in some stuffy place. It's super relaxed, everyone is having a great time, and the locals are totally chill.

How does Black Mountain look?

Here's a video of us playing Black Mountain.

The cold hard fact about Black Mountain Golf Course in Hua Hin

It is a superb golf course. 

Not just because it's well maintained and championship quality, but because everyone can play the course. It's set up in a way that challenges the better player. At the same time, a newer player can also enjoy the course without pressure because the vibe is so relaxed. 

The greens are easily my favorite in the entire country. They're always in good condition and run no lower than 9.5 on the stimp meter. Down grain and downhill putts beware the speed! The grass on the greens is TifEagle Bermuda which is my favorite. 

Fairways are tightly knitted bermuda and rough is kept shortish for general play.

It's a tough walk especially if it's rainy season due to the soft ground. Getting a cart is recommended if you're not used to walking up and down slopes on the golf course. 

black mountain hua hin green fee

Black Mountain Hua Hin Green Fee

Green fees: Generally 1,600 and 2,000 Thai baht most of the year. That's roughly $55 to $65 USD.

At times, it can be closer to 3,000 Thai baht ($100) in high season.

Caddie fee: around $13 USD. This is mandatory at all golf courses in Thailand anyway.

Caddie tip: Usually you want to match the caddie fee for the caddie tip.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Don't tip too high because you spoil the market for the locals - this is not a joke and not "mean" - people playing golf locally are not holidaymakers so they are not blowing cash left and right for two weeks a year. Don't go too low because it's not that much money to you, but a lot to the caddies. If the caddie fee is $13, tip $13 (400 THB) for a standard service. If the service was especially good and you shot a great score with her help, tip more. Try not to tip higher than $20 though otherwise this becomes the 'expected amount' after a while.  

My standard tip everywhere now since the pandemic is 500 THB if the caddie was remotely better than average. 

Guides for how to play Black Mountain Hua Hin

Follow my channel and watch these videos of us playing there.

Other things to do around Black Mountain

Black Mountain has their own Water Park called the Black Mountain Water Park.

You can stay on the course or nearby the course with Black Mountain stay and play for multiple days and multiple rounds. 

The course is in Hin Lek Fai which is about a 15 minute drive to the beach in Hua Hin and about 30 minute drive to Khao Takiab which is also a lovely seaside town attached to Hua Hin city.

Most Forgiving Muscleback Irons 2023

Everyone has drooled over a set muscleback blades. When you see Adam Scott or Tiger hitting their irons with ease, shaping the ball left and right, you want that too.

Then reality bites - or STINGS and anyone who has mis-hit a blade will tell you. Traditionally, muscleback irons have never been the easiest clubs to hit and were therefore reserved for the best ball strikers. But things are changeding. Forged clubs with thin top lines and minimal offset are now found in the bags of mid and high handicappers thanks to revolutions in club technology. So let's look at the most forgiving muscleback irons on the market today and see if you want to take on the challenge of striking it better.

Most Forgiving Muscleback Irons

  1. Ping i500 Iron (best for slower swing speeds)
  2. Srixon Z-Forged Iron (best value to performance ratio)
  3. Callaway Apex 21 (best for accuracy and consistency)
  4. PXG 0311P (most head turning iron)
  5. Mizuno MP20 MB (best for feel)

Impossible to hit a bad shot with these irons

Ping have always made forgiving game improvement irons, but their blades are usually reserved for only the best ball strikers. The i500 range changed that, giving all players the chance to get success from a bladed Ping club.

These hollow bodied irons are very forgiving and the face is super hot. The 17-4 stainless steel body has a Forged Maraging C330 steel face that is plasma welded on to it in order to maximise ball speeds. The lofts of these clubs are 1.5-2 stronger than traditional lofts meaning they create less spin and hopefully more distance. This will help golfers with slower swings get the most out of their shots.


  • Hollow body for maximum ball speed
  • Ideal for slower swing speeds
  • Amazing levels of forgiveness for such a compact head 
  • Stunning looks

Nothing feels like a Srixon

*DISCLAIMER* I play these clubs. I love these clubs. They have given me a level of joy I didn’t think was possible from a set of clubs.

I tried many many muscleback irons, from Mizuno to TaylorMade to Ping to Cobra to Itobori. I like them all but the Srixon Z Forged appealed to every fiber of my being.

Now that is out of the way, let’s talk specifics. These irons are the best looking blade on the market and feel like butter melting on a hot griddle. To me, nothing feels like a Srixon. 

These are one of the most forgiving muscleback irons I’ve played and it's because they use superior metals to any other big manufacturer. The metal is soft, the sweet spot feels like a tuning fork ringing in your loins.

The Z-Forged irons have a signature 'double curve' design which helps these clubs provide maximum workability. The forged construction delivers a fantastic soft feel and the V sole promotes optimized turf interaction and stability. 


  • Supersoft feel forged heads feels like you're hitting a marshmallow
  • Maximum workability with the correct shaft 
  • Perfect for steeper strikers as the sole is shaped to glide through turf


  • Be fitted for the right shaft otherwise it's hand pain city

An approachable blade from Callaway  

Callaway Apex 21

The Apex is Callaway’s premium player’s club and this 2021 version includes a few updates from the 2019 version.

These  irons feature improved tungsten weighting a semi cavity to give you maximum forgiveness with a precision strike you're used to from Ben Hogan irons. Callaway bought the Apex range off Hogan and this is the result. 

I play quite a bit with very low handicappers and pros and these feature in the bag quite often. I've hit them plenty but for me the look of a Callaway iron just doesn't feel 100% right to my eye which is the most important part of your clubs. You MUST love them.

Callaway have created a very forgiving iron with the Apex series. 


  • Classic looks with thick top line if you like a top line that's thick
  • These are irons you will not need to replace for very long
  • Satisfying sound off the face which feels consistent and high flying


  • Can be pricey but Callaway fans will like it regardless
  • Thick top line if you prefer a butter knife look like I do

From elite only moving into everyday golfers bags

most forgiving muscle back

PXG made a name for themselves as only for the elite with eye watering prices. 

The prices have come down and that is great news for every day golfer because these clubs are superb. The weighting, the design and the feel are right up there with some of the best in the game.

Yond from the channel, and Joe who contributes from England on this site both play these PXG irons and have fallen back in love with the game. What is important from both Yond and Joe's experiences is that you should be fitted for these clubs to understand your specs. 

Lofts are slightly stronger in the PXG 0311P but the ball flight is high and handsome with a soft face for buttery contact. While the price is high, it's because you get the best of the best. PXG won't release new clubs unless they are confident their new model is much superior to their prior models. This model is a couple of versions older now so you'll be sure to get the best value if you buy used or new! 


  • Talking point every time you play with people
  • Soft feel and high launch using superior materials and engineering
  • One of the sleeping giants in the golf world


  • Very very pricey
  • Fitting is important for maximum output for your money

"Nothing feels like a Mizuno"

Mizuno MP20 MB

Mizuno clubs have to be included in any muscleback list - they pretty much invented the term almost.

They are seen as the players iron and when you buy a set of the MP range of Mizunos, you keep them for years and years because NOTHING ever compares and the new models of any other iron never impress you enough to give up your 8 year old set. 

I know, because I had 2 different model of Mizunos from 2001 to 2019. Steve on the channel only plays the MP range and has had his set for 18 years. He loves them so much, he has a backup set with the identical specs in case his current set goes missing.

The Mizuno MP20 MB has a thin layer of copper in the face to enhance feel. Where these clubs offer forgiveness is in their stability. They are very accurate and even mishits won’t go wildly off line. You will sacrifice some distance but you will be rewarded with supreme feel and feedback.

The differences between these and the Srixon Z Forged are minimal. If I weren't playing Z Forged I would have a long hard look at purchasing a third set of MP Mizuno irons. I tried the JPX 919 Tours and if you're in the air about which to purchase, I would say go for the MP range every time. 


  • Mizuno premium craftsmanship and forged goodness
  • Consistent stability and with low dispersion both long and short, and left and right 
  • You will not replace a set of Mizuno MP range for at least 5 years
  • Similar looks as previous models with the standard beautiful top line thinness


  • Not as visually appealing as prior models
  • Thin top line which can be good if you like it

Best blade irons for high handicappers 

I wouldn't recommend playing a blade if your a high handicapper as they will make the game more difficult. BUT if you must play a blade, the best blade irons for high handicappers are the Ping i500 irons.

Best blade irons for the money

I'm very biased because I play these clubs, but I think the best blade irons for the money are the Srixon Z-Forged. Truly nothing feels like a Srixon and these clubs are made by some of the finest forging houses in Japan. Much cheaper than "artisan" blades like Miura but in my opinion just as sexy. 


Musclebacks are not really the most forgiving clubs in the world, but with modern technology, they can be as forgiving as they will ever get.

Gone are the days of the old 1980 butter knife blades with amputated toes. The new era of big faces and more forgiving rears of the club have made musclebacks accessible to everyone.

My personal bias is toward anything Srixon. Next I would say Mizuno take the cake and then Ping for forgiveness. If you have the money, the PXG is really a good purchase, but remember to be fitted and get your specs before finding those specs online.