Hitting Your Irons Too High

Why You Might Be Hitting Your Irons Too High and How to Fix It

Many amateur golfers struggle with hitting iron shots that are too high. An iron shot fired too high typically results in a loss of distance and accuracy. If you consistently hit iron shots that balloon up into the air, you most likely have a fundamental issue with your swing that needs to be addressed. The good news is that hitting irons too high is often simple to correct with a few tweaks to your setup and swing. This article will discuss the most common causes of hitting irons too high, as well as actionable tips to help you start hitting more piercing, accurate iron shots.

Setup Issues Can Cause You to Hit Iron Shots Too High.

One of the most common reasons recreational golfers hit their irons too high is due to flaws in their setup. The fundamentals of an effective iron shot setup are grip, stance width, ball position, and posture. If any of these are incorrect, the ball can be launched on a high trajectory.

A weak grip is a common cause of excessive height on iron shots. With a weak grip, the clubface is more likely to be open at impact. An open clubface increases loft, propelling the ball upward. Switching to a stronger grip and turning your hands slightly clockwise on the grip can help you maintain a neutral or slightly closed face and keep shots lower. However, be careful not to overdo it, as a strong grip can hook the ball to the left.

Another setup issue is an excessively narrow stance for iron shots. This reduces stability, making it difficult to strike down cleanly through impact. Widen your stance to approximately shoulder width to improve balance and descend more assertively into the back of the ball. A wider base reduces swaying and premature hip clearance, both of which contribute to thin and topped shots.

You also want to make sure the ball is properly positioned for the iron you’re using. As the club length increases from wedge to long iron, the ball position shifts back in your stance, away from your front foot. If the ball is too far forward, you will hit it thinly, whereas if it is too far back, you will hit the ground first, resulting in a topped shot. To dial this in, use a ball position chart.

Finally, your hips should flex slightly while keeping your back close to vertical. Bending too much at the waist makes it difficult not to lift up and hit irons too high. Maintain posture by flexing your hips and keeping your back straight and close to vertical.

Swing Errors: Launching Iron Shots Too High

In addition to setup issues, several swing flaws can send iron shots into the stratosphere.

Scooping or sweeping under the ball is a major cause of iron shots’ excessive height. This happens when your angle of attack is too shallow and your body raises during the swing instead of pressing downwards at impact. To overcome this, keep your upper body and head still while aggressively driving your hips forward to strike down and through the back of the ball.

Flipping the wrists too early in the downswing propels the clubhead upward, resulting in a weak, loose-wristed strike. To avoid flipping, keep your wrists firm and don’t release them too soon. Keeping the clubface square longer through impact will also eliminate the open face caused by flipping, as well as the height-reducing loft it adds.

Another common habit is to sway your weight backwards during the backswing, causing you to compensate by swaying back forward. This makes it extremely difficult to properly compress the ball. To avoid swaying sideways, keep your head still and concentrate on rotating rather than lateral shifting your weight. This keeps your center of gravity centered, allowing you to drive your weight completely forward into your front foot during the downswing.

Another issue with your swing is that your hips slide laterally rather than turning. Losing angles by allowing your hips to drift left keeps the club on an excessively vertical plane, causing you to strike the ball high. Maintain hip rotary resistance by planting your back foot instead of rolling to your toes. Think hip turn instead of hip slide.

Potential Equipment Issues Leading to Excessive Iron Shot Height

Aside from swing and setup errors, equipment issues can contribute to hitting irons too high.

Using irons with extremely upright lie angles is a common cause of ballooning trajectories. Upright irons close the clubface, necessitating manipulation in the swing to square it. This manipulation frequently involves an open clubface and an upward strike upon impact. Getting properly fitted for custom lie angles specific to your swing path and impact conditions can make a significant difference.

Using irons with graphite shafts that are too soft and whippy for your swing tempo can also cause shots to fly into the air. The flexible nature of soft graphite accentuates an upward sweeping motion. Using stiffer, heavier steel shafts can keep the clubhead from lagging behind and reduce the vertical gear effect that propels shots skyward.

Finally, low-compression golf balls provide more spin and height. Switching to a higher compression ball reduces the flight for any golfer. So, if you’re making good contact but getting a lot of backspin and explosion, try switching to a ball with more compression.

How To Stop Hitting Irons Too High: Actionable Tips

If you’re hitting irons too high, here’s a quick list of actionable steps to take:


  • Strengthen your grip slightly.
  • Widen the stance to shoulder width.
  • Position the ball properly based on each iron.
  • Maintain posture, flex from the hips.


  • Keep your upper body still with no sway.
  • Drive hips assertively forward.
  • Wrists can be released later through impact.
  • Prevent lateral hip slide with appropriate equipment.
  • Check the lie angles and get fitted if necessary.
  • Consider steel shafts over graphite.
  • Switch to higher compression golf balls.

Finally, one simple swing thought to remember as you hit irons: swing down. This cue reminds you to stay down and drive through the ball instead of lifting and scooping. When combined with proper setup, resisting an upward swing path eliminates fat and thin strikes while compressing iron shots for a lower trajectory and increased consistency.


If you’re having trouble hitting your irons too high, don’t give up. It’s a fairly common problem with a clear path for improvement. Implement the preceding setup, swing, and equipment tips gradually until you feel and see a difference on the course. Stick to the adjustments through sheer repetition in practice, and positive results will follow. You have got this! Now get out there, swing easy, swing down, and enjoy compressing those iron shots and the improved scoring that will soon follow.

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