You are faced with a golf shot which requires height to overcome an obstacle such as a tree, water, tiered green, slope, hill, embankment, and you need to hit the ball very high.
This can be a very valuable shot to have in the bag as it can be used to rescue you from trouble or help you hit the green when you have an obstacle to overcome. This shot can also be used if it is down wind and you want the ball to carry on the wind to gain more distance. It can also be used to help stop the golf ball on the green if the green conditions are hard and unreceptive.
Fault - The most common fault for this shot is to lean back and scoop the golf ball up in the air. This can be very dangerous and it most likely equates to a poor contact and a shot that hits the ground, resulting in a fat shot (a shot that does not travel very far and ends up missing the green short with very little height).
Fix - If you struggle to gain height with your irons, your first port of call is to check your grip. If your grip is incorrect and too strong (your top hand is too far on top of the grip and your bottom hand is too far around the back of the grip), the club face will most likely be de-lofted because of this, and therefore it would be very difficult to gain height. Once the grip is neutral, height will be more easily obtainable.
Grip check - The top hand goes on the golf club first, making sure you hold the golf club straight. Hold the grip in the base of the fingers and wrap the hand on top, pointing the thumb down the front of the grip.
Check point 1 - Make sure you can see 2½ knuckles on the hand when looking down.
Check point 2 - The thumb and index finger create a crease that points to your shoulder that is away from the target. Place the bottom hand on the golf club, holding with the base of the fingers and wrap the thumb pad on top of the other hand's thumb.
Check point 3 - The crease between the thumb and the index finger points towards the shoulder furthest away from the target. Link the fingers at the back of the grip by either interlocking or overlapping the index finger of the top hand and the little finger of the bottom hand.
Top tip - Hold the club gently. Avoid strangling the golf club as this will restrict the correct hand action through the ball.
Set up - Now the face is more neutral, the next area to look at to gain height would be the ball position. To gain more height, the ball position needs to move forward towards the foot closest to the target. Be careful not to move the ball too far forward. Aim to move it two inches forward of your normal ball position. This will encourage more of an upward hit on the golf ball which will send the ball higher.
Swing - The best advice to hit the ball higher is to hit the ball firm and full and finish with very high hands in the follow through position.
This encourages more of an upward hit and the speed of the golf club will help increase the power that the ball needs to gain maximum height.