The short answer is no, you don’t. The long answer is… your swing tempo, balance, fundamentals and swing length should remain the same – your swing path should not.
Are you a great short iron player but struggle with your long irons? Or are you solid with your long irons and suffer closer to the greens? Your swing path is most likely the root cause of your poor ball striking.
Let me explain – As you will all already know – your PW is not the same length as your 3-iron (if it is, it’s time to invest in a new set). This simple fact will cause your setup to change for each iron – through either a changing ball position or more importantly the distance between you and the ball. The latter is what affects your swing path the most. In short, the length of your irons will dictate how far from the ball you will have to stand. Furthermore, each of your club has a different lie angle – the longer the club the flatter the lie angle. Lie angle refers to the angle the club creates with the ground at address when view from behind. The more acute the angle the flatter the lie angle.
Now comes the interesting part – the distance you stand from the ball affects your swing path. So this means, when hitting a PW, your standing much closer to the ball than you would be with a 3-iron. This will make your swing path more upright. As you move down in the irons, your swing will become progressively flatter to adapt to the lengthening of your clubs.
If you’re hitting half of your irons wonderfully and suffering on the others – take a closer look at your position at the top for both a short and long iron. Do they match? If so, you need to try flattening or steepening your swing path to better fit the iron your trying to hit.
Correcting this fault should help you turn yourself into a better all-around ball striker by ensuring your coming into impact on the same path that you started with at address. This will maximize you chances of returning to the ball with a level and square clubface.
Give it a try!