Hitting The Golf Ball Too Low With Your Irons? Here’s How To Hit It Higher

Anyone who has ever been lucky enough to go to a top tour event will have stood in awe at the towering golf shots that the world’s best players hit.

They stand and hit irons that seem to fly through the sky forever before coming in to land beside the flag. It is majestic.

As amateur golfers, we want in on that action and sometimes we struggle to get that height. This article sets out to help you get some air under the ball and start playing those kind of tour-esque shots.

“You Won’t Be Able To Hit This”

When I was a junior golfer, a cocky assistant pro at the club handed me one of his new blades and proudly told me that it was un-hittable for a junior like me. I went to the first tee armed with some golf balls and gave it my best shot. He was right, I couldn’t get the ball off the ground.

My ego was bruised, as were the heads of some unfortunate worms who popped up from the soil as my ball fizzed toward them.

The shaft was way too stiff for my young swing and I just couldn’t generate the power needed to lift the ball more than a few feet.

Coupled with the fact, I should have been using a cavity back, game improvement iron, it was never going to be my day.

Beware, Low Flying Golf Balls

Many golfers struggle to get height on the ball, but why is this? There are many potential causes for this including an inappropriate shaft, set-up issue or swing flaw.

It is difficult to know where the low ball flight is coming from though so let’s run through these issue in more detail.

Inappropriate Shaft

Like the story at the start of this piece, trying to play with a shaft that is way too stiff for your can make it near impossible to get height on the ball.

If you feel like your clubs just don’t do anything during the swing then this could be the problem, a shaft should feel it’s helping you as you swing.

Set-Up Issues

The set-up is a part of the golf swing that you have full control over so you need to get it right.

Having the face closed or hooded at address will make it difficult to get height on the ball, as will being set-up “closed” to the target (the set-up for a hook shot)

Swing Flaws

Okay, your shaft seems fine and your set-up is good, it’s time to look at your swing. The way that irons are designed is so that you hit down on the ball and compress it.

If you are not doing this efficiently then you will struggle to get the ball off of the ground.

Drills For Hitting Your Irons Higher

Let’s now have a look at fixing those flaws. If your set-up is wrong then by using alignment sticks you can quickly work on correcting this.

If it is an issue with your swing then we need some drills that can get you feeling the right movement and repairing the issue. Here are some to try:

Toothpaste Test

One reason for losing height can be that your grip is way too tight and it is restricting the club through impact.

Grab a tube of toothpaste, do this outside, then swing your normal swing with the tube in place of the golf grip. Learn to swing without causing toothpaste to squeeze out.

Towel Before Ball Drill

This one is more of a mental trigger than anything, grab a golf towel and put it a few inches before the ball. Now your job is to start hitting balls but not hitting that towel.

This will start to develop a club path that hits down on the ball and will start making that ball fly higher with more spin.

Micro Swings

This is one I use, it’s horrible at first but it’s great for your game. Take an 8 iron and swing back so the club is parallel with the ground, stop there and hold it.

From there you are going to try and hit the ball as hard as you can, this builds your impact sequence and can start improving shot height.

Can You Buy Irons Designed For Higher Or Lower Loft?

In the modern world of custom fitting, you can have help from your clubs in many ways. The shaft, and strength of loft can be altered to give you a higher launch and more spin and the centre of gravity on the head itself can help further.

Players who need help to get the ball in the air should look for cavity back irons as the center of gravity (CoG) in them helps you get the ball in the air. Players who want to hit it lower should be on the lookout for bladed irons and a shaft that will help them launch it low and keep it there.

Favorite high-loft irons

Big Bertha B21 Irons

One of the most top club makers in golf Callaway, their new Big Bertha B21 Irons carry on the famous name are amazingly forgiving and will really help you get the ball up in the air.

The weighting of the club head is perfect to keep the CoG high and let the ball fly. They’re great value and you can be fitted for them online.

Overall Score 98/100

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Golf Balls Trajectory And Distance

This golf trajectory chart from Forbes, shows how you are going to be sacrificing distance if you hit the ball too high or too low with your clubs.

What If You Are Hitting The Driver Too Low – Causes And How To Fix Them

The driver issues can be the same as described for the irons (loft, set-up issue, swing flaws) and could also be due to CoG issues or how you are teeing the ball.

Teeing the ball higher and hitting up on the ball is one of the best ways to fix the flight of your driver and it will give you distance.

What About Hitting Your Irons Too High, What Is Causing It And How To Fix It

This could be caused by you using a shaft that isn’t stiff enough.

You could have the ball too far forward in your stance or your weight could be too far back, another potential issue could be your club face is open.

Have a pro check your set-up and clubs to see if improvements are needed.

3 Must Dos With Your Irons

  1. Take Specific Aim

Your mind is excellent at aiming, we are natural hunters after all.

Picking a small and specific target helps focus your mind, never hit a shot without aiming at a small target.

  1. Take Extra Club

Many amateur golfers try to hit less club and hit it harder.

This has a lot to do with ego and a lot to do with what you see on TV.

Take extra club and swing smoother, it will help you make better contact.

  1. Keep your clubs clean

All too often you see people with really dirty clubs, this will help with better and more consistent contact.

Dirty clubs are bad for your game and although it may sound insignificant, it isn’t.


Is It Better To Hit A Ball Too High Or Too Low?

It is best to do neither, you will lose distance thanks to both.

If you play a hard and fast course the low is best, a wet course will mean that too high is better.

Try your best to avoid the extremes and be hitting somewhere in between.

What Should My Grip Be Like When Hitting Irons?

Your grip should be light yet secure, think back to the toothpaste drill. Some think of holding a bird as another example of how a light grip pressure can work wonders for your game.

Should My Hands Be Ahead Of The Ball At Impact?

Yes, your hands should lead the club face through impact, this will ensure that you compress the ball and get a good spin rate to help trajectory.

How Should Your Feet Be?

Your feet should be parallel (square) with the target, as should your knees, hips and shoulders.

This will help your alignment and trajectory simultaneously, just make sure your club face is square too.

Hitting The Ball High On The Club Face With Irons

Try moving the ball slightly forward in your stance, this will help you improve the “bottoming-out” point of your swing in relation to the ball and should give you a better impact on the face.

How To Stop Hitting Down On The Ball?

If you are hitting down on the ball too much, you need to shallow your swing out. One way to do this is to start hitting balls off of a very low tee and try to hit the ball without taking a divot.

How To Hit Irons In The Wind

One mistake we often make in the wind is to try and hit the ball harder.

Instead of this, take an extra club or two and swing slower, this will help you hit it lower with less spin and more control.

How Can I Hit My Irons Better?

Practice, practice, practice. This is one of the best bets, you could also slow your swing down a bit and improve your tempo.


Hitting the golf ball too low is an issue that most golfers will have experienced at some point in their golfing life, so you are not alone.

There are many tips and drills online that can help you with ways of remedying the issue when you are practicing.

My best advice here is for you to arrange some time with a PGA professional.

These people are trained to spot issues with your game and help you fix them, this will be the fastest way of getting your balls flying higher and improving your golf.