With an easy hit. That’s how to hit your irons. Hit ‘em easy. The ball will go straight and land on the spot you were intending. Can you ask any more than that?
Yes, we all want to hit the ball long way. Distance is good. The longer you can hit the ball, the more options you have. The more you get out of the same effort.
But if you’re in the fairway 154 yards from the pin, instead of trying to force the ball up to the green, take out a club that will send the ball that far with an easy swing.
That’s why you have so many irons in the first place. Just pick the one that will carry the ball the distance you need with an easy swing. If you think you have to hit your best shot to get the ball there, you have the wrong club in your hand.
This is all predicated on knowing how far each iron carries the ball. However you determine your iron distances, determine them with an easy swing. If you accidentally (and it will be an accident) nuke one, treat it like the one you chunked 20 yards short. Leave them both out of the calculation.
At the range, use your bucket to find the joy in making one well-struck shot after another. Hang how far they go (in an absolute sense). If they’re well-struck, they’ll go far enough.
While you’re there, make sure you don’t pick up bad habits. If there’s a flag at 150 yards, don’t take out your 145 club to see if you can get that much more out of it. Take one more club and fly the ball 150 yards with a easy swing.
Now what is an easy swing? It is the swing made (a) at the tempo that lets you strike the ball on the center of the clubface consistently, and (b) begins going forward at the same speed that it went back—none of this easy back, then WHAM!
Swing the ball, not whack the ball. Swing easily. The only person who cares what clubs you use is you.