Golf Swing Tips | How to Hit Irons Off the Tee

How to Hit Irons Off the Tee

Using a tee when hitting your iron shots is an opportunity to give your ball the ‘perfect lie’ and learning how to hit this shot consistently can give players a significant advantage when playing par-3’s, as well as longer holes with narrow fairways. The rules of golf allow players to place the ball on the tee any time the shot being played is any ‘tee shot’ or initial shot on that hole. Learning how to hit irons off the tee is a matter of understanding how to alter tee height when hitting irons versus when hitting driver. It’s not difficult to learn and can provide an extra weapon in your golf arsenal.

The Tee is the Key

I know it sounds funny, but that’s what makes it easy to remember. The tee – or more specifically how high the ball is teed up – determines how consistently your iron shots off the tee will be. The main point to remember is that the ball needs to be teed up much closer to the ground when using an iron versus when using a driver. This will make it easier to hit down on the ball, which provides the necessary backspin to create lift and provide a high-arcing flight path, especially once you master the ideal iron swing. Also, it is imperative to ensure that the ball is teed high enough so that it is possible to get the entire club face on the ball.

How to Hit Irons Off The Tee – Right and Wrong Tee Heights

The image to the left is an example of a ball that is teed up too high to consistently hit solid iron shots. This is an ideal tee-height for hitting a driver from, but is not ideal when hitting irons off the tee. When the ball is teed high as in the image to the left, it becomes much more likely to a) not hit down on the ball and b) hit beneath the ball and pop-it up high without any distance.

Now imagine the hand in the photo continued to insert the tee into the ground until the surrounding fingers were ‘pinched’ between the ball and the ground. This would approach the ideal tee height for playing iron shots from the tee. Personally, I like the ball teed-up even closer to the ground so that I can’t even fit my index finger between the ball and the ground.

TheĀ  image to the left is closer to what I consider an ideal teed-up ball height at address and is probably the most irons off teefrequently used by beginners when learning how to hit irons off the tee. I prefer the ball slightly closer to the ground when I play my iron tee-shots, but I think the difference between the wrong tee-height in the image above and the more ideal tee-height (to the left) is fairly obvious.

Remember when playing any iron shots, the clubface at address needs to be square and the ideal contact is a descending blow starting just below the center line of the ball. Check out more specifics about how improving your iron play can help lower your score.



Finally, just remember this simple catchphrase when playing your next iron shot off the tee: ‘The tee (height) is the key!’ Try to keep the pictures above in mind as you set your ball and always take advantage of the opportunity to give yourself ‘a perfect lie’. The PGA Tour pros would never miss such an opportunity and you shouldn’t either.


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