Best Drills To Hit The Golf Ball High With The Irons 1

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.

How and Why to Hit High Iron Shots

How and Why to Hit High Iron Shots

Iron shots can make or break any given round of golf. Sure, it is great to hit long and accurate drives from the tee, and of course it is important to make your fair share of putts. However, the way you play your iron shots is going to have a lot to say about your score when all is said and done. With accurate, controlled iron shots flying directly at the target, you will set up plenty of birdie putts – and bogeys will be kept to a minimum. The average golfer does not pay enough attention to his or her iron game, and that is part of the reason why many golfers never manage to improve. Dedicate yourself to developing a great iron game and look forward to the best golf of your life.

In this article, we are going to talk specifically about the goal of hitting your irons high in the air. As you have certainly seen on television, professional golfers are able to launch their iron shots way up into the sky – which allows them to aggressively attack just about any target. This isn't only about distance, although that is a nice side effect of high irons. Mostly, this is about the ability to stop the ball quickly when it lands. When coming from high in the air, your iron shots should stop quick and give you a great chance to knock in your putt for birdie.

Many golfers assume that they need to have significant swing speed in order to hit the ball high in the air. To be sure, swing speed does play a role in this equation. However, your club head speed is not the only variable in play, as there are other things you can do to cause your ball to climb higher and higher into the sky. In the instruction below, we are going to ignore the idea of adding swing speed, and instead we will focus on other adjustments you can make to add height. Sure, adding swing speed is great, but that is a topic for another article. The advice below will assume that you would like to hit the ball higher without having to swing any harder.

As you think about hitting your irons higher, it is important to remember that you should always stay within yourself in this game. What does that mean? Simple – you shouldn't try to hit shots that you are not capable of hitting. Just because you see a professional golfer on TV launch a seven iron way up into the sky doesn't mean you will be able to do the same thing. Stay within your limitations and be realistic with your expectations as you practice. There is nothing wrong with having the desire to get better, but unrealistic goals are only going to leave you frustrated and disappointed. Rather than trying to hit your irons twice as high as they fly currently, instead look for small, incremental gains as you go.

All of the instruction provided below is based on a right-handed golfer. If you happen to play left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.

The Benefits of High Iron Shots

The Benefits of High Iron Shots

Prior to talking about how you can hit the ball higher with your irons, we should first discuss why this skill is so important. Many years ago, the game of golf was mostly played along the ground – golfers usually hit low shots which would bounce and roll along the turf until they found their way to the target. Of course, those days are mostly gone. The average golf course today has too many hazards placed between the tee and the green to allow for a bump-and-run style of play. A few true links courses do exist in the U.S., and there are plenty in Europe, but even those courses are often played with shots that fly through the air. The ground game has largely gone the way of the dinosaur, for better or worse.

So what is it about the high iron shot that lends so much of an advantage to the player? Check out the list below to gain an understanding of the importance of this shot.

  • Stopping the ball quickly. This was mentioned in the introduction, but needs to be highlighted again here because it is so important. The main reason you want to hit high iron shots is that the ball will stop quickly when it lands. This is an advantage when playing on any course conditions, but it is especially important when the greens are firm. A low iron shot played into a firm green will have a hard time holding the surface at all – but that will not be an issue with a high shot. You will feel a great sense of freedom when hitting high iron shots, as you will know that you can bring the ball down from way up in the sky and have it stop almost immediately. There will still be plenty of challenge in the task of hitting accurate iron shots, but the issue of having to judge the bounce and roll will mostly be eliminated.
  • Avoiding hazards. Another advantage to playing your iron shots high in the air is the ability to get over hazards on your way to the target. Picture an approach shot where you are playing to a hole located in the front of the green, only a few steps beyond a deep bunker. If you have a low ball flight, you will have two choices – either go for the target and risk hitting the ball into the bunker, or play toward the back of the green to avoid the trap. Neither of those is very appealing. On the other hand, with a high ball flight, you can fire right at the flag. You shouldn't need to worry about the ball being caught by the bunker (unless you miss-hit the shot), and you will still have the chance to set up a birdie putt. Simply put, you can be more aggressive on a wider variety of hole locations when you have a high ball flight.
  • Be aggressive from a greater distance. Many amateur golfers are unable to attack the flag from well back in the fairway because their longer irons come in too flat to hold the green. By learning how to hit the ball higher with all of your irons, you can change that pattern. For example, if you hit your 5-iron 175-yards under normal conditions, you may find that you usually have to aim for the center of the green from that distance due to your low ball flight. Adding loft to such a shot, however, will change the way you think about your target. With more height and a shorter stopping distance, you can fire at the flag with confidence. Even if you don't add any distance to your irons, simply adding height will let you play a more aggressive game.
  • Ride the wind. This is not an advantage you will be able to use very often, but from time to time you will be able to get a distance boost by hitting your irons high in the air when playing downwind. Maximizing airtime on these kinds of shots will let the ball sail through the sky with ease, letting your reach targets which otherwise may have been unattainable. Of course, you don't want to get too carried away with this method, as you might hit the ball over the green on occasion. The best time to use this trick is off the tee, when the added distance will only set you up closer to the green with an easier approach shot.
  • Attack any flag. When a golf course is set up in the morning for a day of play, the person setting the hole location usually mixes in a few rather tough pins along with the easy and medium positions. With a low ball flight, you might be forced to play conservative on the tough pins, knowing that you won't be able to stop the ball in time to set up a birdie putt. That will no longer be the case when you have a high ball flight. Now that you can stop your shots quickly, you will have the 'green light' to be more aggressive. That doesn't mean that it is a good idea to attack every single flag you see, but you will be able to pick your spots to take dead aim.

It is easy to see just how many different ways your game can benefit from a high ball flight. In addition to the points listed above, you might find your own benefits as you go along. To be sure, there is nothing bad that can be said about having a high ball flight at your disposal. Even if you don't use it all the time, knowing it's there when you need it can be a great benefit to your scoring ability overall.

Moving the Ball Higher

Moving the Ball Higher

The act of hitting higher iron shots is not going to require you to dramatically change your swing technique. In fact, you should be careful to avoid making any drastic changes to your swing, as doing so will do more harm than good. You only want to make small, subtle adjustments to your technique during this process. It might be surprising to see how much extra height you can add to your iron shots just be making some small changes.

The list below contains a few ideas you can use to work on hitting the ball higher. Put these adjustments to the test on the driving range before trying them on the course.

  • Move the ball forward in your stance. You could probably think of this tip all on your own. It only makes sense that you should move the ball slightly forward in your stance if you are trying to hit a higher shot. Moving the ball up closer to your left foot will add effective loft at impact, helping you hit the ball higher without any other changes. Of course, this is going to look and feel different than you are used to, so it is important to spend some time with this change on the range before you expect great results. The important key to keep in mind here is that you need to be nicely balanced in the swing if you are going to make good contact. Don't allow your weight to drift away from the target – stay over the ball in the backswing and use your lower body to turn aggressively toward the target on the way down.
  • Keep your head back at impact. It is easy to allow your head to slide slightly past the ball during the downswing. This won't always create a problem, but it will make it hard for you to hit the ball as high as you might like. When you want to maximize height, focus on staying back with your head position to make sure you don't 'smother' the ball at impact. Try to keep your head still as the club swings around you aggressively. This will let you use the full loft of the club at the moment of impact, and you should be able to inch the ball a bit higher up into the air.
  • Let the right hand rip. As the club approaches the ball, you have a couple options. You can choose to keep the right hand mostly out of the action, instead bracing the back of your left wrist for a solid impact with the ball. Or, you can decide to release your right hand, tearing the club head through the hitting area in the process. While there is actually a lot to be said for holding steady with the left hand, you will need to be aggressive with the right if you want to hit high shots. Use your right hand to whip the club head through the ball and you will increase both your backspin rate and the height of your shots. It is going to take some practice to master the timing of this move, but you will love the way it feels when you finally figure it out.

As you work on learning to hit the ball higher, watch each shot carefully to determine whether or not you have been successful. Don't base your determinations on how each shot 'feels', as your feel for the club and the ball and be deceiving. Hopefully, with the help of the tips above, you will be hitting the ball higher in the near future.

Using Your High Iron Shots

Using Your High Iron Shots

One of the challenges that comes along with the game of golf is the fact that swing changes don't always translate to lower scores in the immediate future. You might make great progress on the driving range, but you won't always see that progress reflected when you step onto the first tee. In order to turn your new swing into better scores, you have to understand how to use your new shots effectively. In this section, we are going to offer some advice on how to make your high iron shots benefit your game on the scorecard.

To use your high iron shots effectively, you are first going to need to get a great handle on your carry distance with each of your clubs. Since there will be very little bounce and roll to worry about, it is the carry distance which is most important. Take notes on your yardages during upcoming rounds until you are comfortable picking clubs from your long irons on down to the wedges. A big part of success on the golf course is simply being able to select the right club from your bag time after time.

Once you have your distances down pat, the next thing you need to address is your ball flight. There is a good chance that you will have altered your ball flight pattern in the process of learning how to hit higher shots. Most likely, your pattern will have shifted in the direction of a fade. So, you might find that you are now hitting a fade rather than a small draw. Or, you may be hitting a small draw rather than a big one. Whatever the case, you need to know how the ball is going to curve in the air on your high iron shots so you can adjust your aim accordingly.

Earlier in this article, we mentioned how you can be more aggressive now that you have a high iron shot in your bag. Taking aim at a tough hole location is now possible, since you are able to stop the ball quickly after it lands. However, you need to use this newfound ability with discretion. Sure, it is okay to fire at the pin from time to time, but doing so on every single approach shot is a recipe for disaster. When there is a stiff penalty waiting for a poor shot, such as a water hazard which is guarding the green, it may be best to play safe and keep your ball on dry land. Be smart about your decisions when planning approach shots and use a blend of aggressive and conservative play to get through the round successfully.

The Wedge Contradiction

The Wedge Contradiction

Many golfers think that one of the best things about hitting high iron shots is the ability to toss their wedges extremely high up into the sky. Once you learn how to hit high irons, you might be tempted to hit your wedges as high as possible – bringing them straight down on the cup from above. These kinds of shots might look cool as they fly, but rarely are they going to be as effective as you would like. Despite what you might believe, the best way to play your wedge shots is with a low, controlled flight.

When hitting a wedge shot, you need to think about what is important. First and foremost, you are trying to hit the ball the right distance. You don't have to worry too much about stopping the ball quickly, as that should be easy enough with the high spin rate generated on most iron shots. Also, getting the ball on line is pretty simple, since this is a short shot overall. It is all about distance control, and you are going to do a better job of distance control when you keep the shot closer to the earth.

As you practice on the range, work on learning how to keep your wedges down closer to the ground while hitting the rest of your irons higher. This is how most professionals play the game. Take a soft swing with your wedges, staying in control the whole time as you send the ball toward the target. With a bit of practice, you might start to get comfortable with the idea of hitting low wedges. You should see that the ball still stops quickly, and you will have few cases of hitting the shot much farther or shorter than expected. The ability to dial up an accurate wedge shot is an important skill in this game, and you can take a big step forward in this area if you are willing to cut down on the height of these shots.

With the exception of your wedges, it is a great advantage to be able to hit your irons high in the air. It is not a coincidence that the best golfers in the world are all able to launch their irons – this ability gives you opportunities on the course that you can't get any other way. As you work on your own game, remember to seek gradual improvements without making any drastic changes to your technique. Once some practice time has been invested, you should see additional height on your iron shots in the very near future. Good luck!