Irons Flying Too High – Ball Too Far Forward

    Your high, weak iron shots may have a very simple cause. Before making swing changes or deciding to take more club on every shot, check your ball position (more on this below). You might find that it’s too far forward in your stance, or toward the left foot for a right-handed golfer.

    Many players set up with the ball stationed well left of center, believing it’s necessary to use every bit of the club’s loft to get shots airborne. They position the hands level with the ball, with the shaft perfectly vertical or tilted slightly to their right, and try to sweep or pick the ball off the ground.

    Actually, the hands should be just ahead of the ball, the shaft angled 2-3° toward the target. This promotes a downward strike, compresses ball to clubface and generates a penetrating flight with ample height.

    Here’s an easy guide to proper ball position:

  • Wedges – Ball in center of stance, directly between the feet
  • 9-iron – Ball ½ inch left of center
  • 8-iron – Ball 1 inch left of center
  • See the pattern? It’s ½ inch closer to the left (lead) foot with each longer club.

    OK, so how do you know exactly where the ball is in your stance? Try this next time you’re on the driving range:

  • With a ball on the turf and a target chosen, place a club perpendicular to the target line and the butt end pointed directly at the ball.
  • Take your stance with the club aligned to the appropriate spot in your stance. If you’ve got a wedge in hand, it should be right in the middle.
  • While you can’t do this on the course (it’s against the rules), practice enough and you’ll gain a sense for the right positions without visual aid. Use the drill anytime you feel your ball position may be off.

    Fix your ball position, make sure your hands are a touch in front of the clubhead at address, and focus on returning everything to this arrangement at impact. You’ll eliminate those feeble iron shots for good.