While keeping the ball low can be a decided advantage in windy and/or firm conditions, it can also be a major detriment. Low-ball hitters often come up short of the target or fail to carry hazards. Other times, the ball’s trajectory will send it scuttling over the green.
If you struggle to get the irons up in the air even when you hit them solidly, the first thing to check is your ball position. If it’s too far back in your stance – i.e. to the right for a right-hander – you’ll take loft off the club. Think of it this way: A standard 7-iron has 34° of loft, a 6-iron 30°, a 5-iron 26° or 27° and so on. Ideally, your hands should be about 2-3° ahead of the ball at address (and impact). If your hands are 4° ahead, you’ve effectively turned the 7-iron into a 6.
When this happens, your shots may start low and then nosedive – and that’s no good.
As a basic rule, the correct ball position with a wedge is in the center of your stance. For each successively longer club, move it ½ inch closer to your left (lead) foot. So a 9-iron would be ½ inch forward of center, a 7-iron 1 ½ inch, a 5-iron 2 ½ inches, etc.
At the same time, your hands should be just slightly ahead of the ball with the shaft leaning toward the target. To check this, the club’s handle should point just inside your left hip.
Ball position is a critical fundamental that’s too often overlooked. It can affect not only the trajectory, but the direction and curve of your shots. Get the ball in the proper spot and your iron play will improve.