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Teeing Up Irons (Par 3 or Otherwise)

post #1 of 114
Thread Starter 

I seem to have a mental block anytime I'm teeing up with an Iron, which is usually a par 3. I can hit from fairways or rough and get the ball up in the direction I at least want it to go, but once I'm on the tee box, about 60% of the time I get a thin shot that moves a little to the right.

 

What are your guys' routines and thoughts on par 3's, and how high do you tee the ball? I usually tee it to where it's just hovering above the ground in with the grass and play it a little forward in my stance. When I am able to strike the ball, it's usually not too bad, although 3's are still my worst holes on the golf course. I did recently find out that I'm left eye dominant, so I've added a little head tilt to my pre shot routine and address position to get my left eye focused over the top of the ball, and this has improved my ball striking immensely, and I haven't played a round since I added this subtle little change. Still hoping that some of you may have some genius thought that I haven't taken into account when it comes to the damn par 3's.

post #2 of 114

Why are you changing ball position when on the tee? You should keep the same ball position as when your hitting out of the fairway.

 

If it's forward in your stance, you are hitting it on the upswing and thus it's thin shot.

 

I tee the ball just so it's barely above the grass.

 

Even though it's teed up, you should still be hitting down on the ball and taking a divot.

post #3 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwat381 View Post

I seem to have a mental block anytime I'm teeing up with an Iron, which is usually a par 3. I can hit from fairways or rough and get the ball up in the direction I at least want it to go, but once I'm on the tee box, about 60% of the time I get a thin shot that moves a little to the right.

 

What are your guys' routines and thoughts on par 3's, and how high do you tee the ball? I usually tee it to where it's just hovering above the ground in with the grass and play it a little forward in my stance. When I am able to strike the ball, it's usually not too bad, although 3's are still my worst holes on the golf course. I did recently find out that I'm left eye dominant, so I've added a little head tilt to my pre shot routine and address position to get my left eye focused over the top of the ball, and this has improved my ball striking immensely, and I haven't played a round since I added this subtle little change. Still hoping that some of you may have some genius thought that I haven't taken into account when it comes to the damn par 3's.



If they have a container of sand/seed mix available, get prepared to use it. Just like in the fairway, try to make sure the bottom of your divot is 4-6 inches beyond where your tee was and fill the divot when you're done.

 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motley01 View Post

Why are you changing ball position when on the tee? You should keep the same ball position as when your hitting out of the fairway.

 

If it's forward in your stance, you are hitting it on the upswing and thus it's thin shot.

 

I tee the ball just so it's barely above the grass.

 

Even though it's teed up, you should still be hitting down on the ball and taking a divot.


I play most irons at or ahead of centre and I don't hit the ball on the upswing.
 

 

post #4 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwat381 View Post

I seem to have a mental block anytime I'm teeing up with an Iron, which is usually a par 3. I can hit from fairways or rough and get the ball up in the direction I at least want it to go, but once I'm on the tee box, about 60% of the time I get a thin shot that moves a little to the right.

 

What are your guys' routines and thoughts on par 3's, and how high do you tee the ball? I usually tee it to where it's just hovering above the ground in with the grass and play it a little forward in my stance. When I am able to strike the ball, it's usually not too bad, although 3's are still my worst holes on the golf course. I did recently find out that I'm left eye dominant, so I've added a little head tilt to my pre shot routine and address position to get my left eye focused over the top of the ball, and this has improved my ball striking immensely, and I haven't played a round since I added this subtle little change. Still hoping that some of you may have some genius thought that I haven't taken into account when it comes to the damn par 3's.

 

IMO, you're just placing undue pressure on yourself trying to hit a perfect shot or trying to steer the ball on those par 3s.  I went down the dominate eye route too, and it didn't do much for me (right handed golfer with right eye dominate).  But, if it works for you, then great.  However, I've found that my performance on par 3s improved when I effectively clubbed up.  Meaning that I would find out the distance to the back of the green and select a club that would get me close to that.  IME, since a mishit rarely goes further than expected (bladed wedges notwithstanding), I find that I'm more apt to at least find the surface of the green.  From there, the worst case scenario is that I 3-putt for bogey,  In contrast, when I miss the green (depending on how bad I miss it), I bring in double or worse.

 

post #5 of 114

On par-3s, I tee the ball so that its just barely off the ground.  That way I can make my normal iron swing and still hit down at the ball.

post #6 of 114

For iron shots from the tee box, I literally just drop the ball on the ground where there aren't too many divots, and play it as it lies.  I find placing the ball on a tee, no matter how low I set it,  just makes me prone to trying to pick it, instead of trying to take a divot.  It's probably more of a mental thing, but hey, it works for me, so I am not about to mess with it.


Edited by moparman426 - 3/13/12 at 5:40pm
post #7 of 114
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomboys View Post

 

IMO, you're just placing undue pressure on yourself trying to hit a perfect shot or trying to steer the ball on those par 3s.  I went down the dominate eye route too, and it didn't do much for me (right handed golfer with right eye dominate).  But, if it works for you, then great.  However, I've found that my performance on par 3s improved when I effectively clubbed up.  Meaning that I would find out the distance to the back of the green and select a club that would get me close to that.  IME, since a mishit rarely goes further than expected (bladed wedges notwithstanding), I find that I'm more apt to at least find the surface of the green.  From there, the worst case scenario is that I 3-putt for bogey,  In contrast, when I miss the green (depending on how bad I miss it), I bring in double or worse.

 



Yeah I'm pretty convinced it's mostly mental. I'll try clubbing up more, sometimes my ego just gets in the way. I'm not too bad of a putter and rarely 3-putt, so if I could just routinely find the green, I'd feel so much better off the 3's.



Quote:
Originally Posted by moparman426 View Post

For iron shots from the tee box, I literally just drop the ball on the ground where there aren't too many divots, and play it as it lies.  I find placing the ball on a tee, no matter how low I set it,  just makes me prone to trying to pick it, instead of trying to take a divot.  It's probably more of a mental thing, but hey, it works for me, so I am not about to mess with it.


I actually tried this at the little par 3 course by my house and it worked fairly well. I took pretty good looking divots, maybe just a little to close or behind the ball, but overall good. There is something about a tee that sorta plays with your head.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_miller View Post


I play most irons at or ahead of centre and I don't hit the ball on the upswing.
 

 



Same here, it's usually at or just a few inches ahead of center and my hands still reach impact ahead of the club face.

post #8 of 114

I know what you mean. Same thing happens to me some times. It really is a mental thing I think. Iits kinda like how hitting an iron shot from the first cut (just a little fluff under the ball) is visually more appealing than from a tight lie in the fairway sometimes.

post #9 of 114
Thread Starter 

It's very true. No secret that golf is a mental game. I have hit some great tee shots on par 3's before, but I'd be lying if I said most of the time my blow up hole is a par 3. Writing down a 6 makes me think I should just give up some times.

 

When I said I found out I was left eye dominant and had added a little head tilt, I think that helped me in another way too, and that's keeping my head behind and on top of the ball, letting my shoulders rotate thru. Before I would just focus with both eyes and my head would move forward with my body, but this helps me better lock my head in place and swing around my center.

post #10 of 114

Ball position should be center for mid-short irons, and just ahead of center for long irons.  If you're moving your weight towards the target, with most of it on your left foot at impact, you'll be hitting down on the ball.

 

I've read a few places, most notably Jack Nicklaus said this over and over again, that when you've got a chance to tee it up a bit, do it.  He always teed his irons up (unless hitting a wedge) just a little above ground level.  It gives you just that extra little bit of guarantee that you won't hit it fat:  if the ball is slightly above the ground, and you're hitting down and through the shot, it decreases the chance that you'll catch the ground first.

 

I recently put this into play, and I can say that it helps.  I think you just have to focus on the positive things that are supposed to result from what you're doing and the results will come.

post #11 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwat381 View Post



Yeah I'm pretty convinced it's mostly mental. I'll try clubbing up more, sometimes my ego just gets in the way. I'm not too bad of a putter and rarely 3-putt, so if I could just routinely find the green, I'd feel so much better off the 3's.


 

 

Amen to that.  Trust me, I battled with that too, so you're not alone.  When playing with my buds, they would sometimes ask what I hit (to reach the par 3 we were playing) and I would respond with, "Titleist".  And, I wasn't trying to be a smart-ass, I was just embarrased that I used a 5i when the distance to the flag is normally a 7i.  However, once you get the positive reinforcement of hitting the green on a consistent basis, then some of the "anxiety" goes away and you gain more confidence.  In fact, after becoming more confident and relaxed, I found myself hitting too much club to where I was hitting the ball over the greens.  Because of that, I've been able to trust my swing more, so now I tend to just select the club that I need to reach the flag and just swing away.  More often than not, the results are pretty decent.


Edited by Tomboys - 3/14/12 at 4:45pm
post #12 of 114

One golfer I played with had a decent method; he'd play off a low tee on most holes, but simply play off the ground if he wanted to take 4-6 yards off the shot. Seems like a pretty smart method for taking a little bit off the shot, though I prefer a tee myself. It might help you feel like you have a better club for an awkward distance, and you can club up to a hybrid or comfortable iron by playing back in the tee box off the deck. This works best on an unprotected green, since you might not get the same spin and height, so it might land short and roll a bit. 

 

One other thing you can do is play your ball right in front of or behind a divot on the tee box, which will give you a different look and might help you feel like you can attack the ball better. One trick I've used, that is more of a band aid fix, is to play it a bit farther from your body. This will make you hit it a bit more left and you'll reach for it more, making it less likely to be thin. I'd recommend trying to simply adjust your swing and setup to find a consistent way, however.

post #13 of 114

Sometimes on par 4's i will hit up on the ball a bit with my iron off the tee, but most of the time i just hit it like a normal iron shot. Same position, same swing. I use to have that problem, it just takes some getting use to, mentally saying, its just a normal iron shot. Think of it this way, pretend your in the fairway when your on the tee box. Look out and imagine the green were you will land the ball in the fairway. Basically recreate were you hit the irons good in your mind before you hit the shot. The best way to do this is during your practice swing.

post #14 of 114
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice, everyone.

post #15 of 114

Hitting short irons off the tee

Does anyone else struggle with this?

 

I suffered badly yesterday with topping my tee shots with 8-PW on a short par 3 course I played. 

 

I'd make a few good practice swings but as soon as I had the ball up on the tee it all went to pot. I usually hit them fine off the floor.

 

The problem may have been from looking up too early - I was playing by myself, so watching my ball like a hawk - I didn't have this problem on Wednesday when I played with a partner.

 

 

post #16 of 114

Whenever I'm hitting it thin I try and focus on maintaining my spine angle and the problem usually goes away.

post #17 of 114

If I hit a ball thin, 99% chance I pulled up on the shot, I try to liken hitting a ball on a par 3 like a putt, take a swing and then listen for the ball to hit the green. 

post #18 of 114

i was doing this last season mate and it was very frustrating, at one point i tried just hitting balls of the deck!! i wouldnt advise that though, heres what i do now.

 

i select my club, fire my tee in the ground holding the ball until my knuckles just touch the dirt and no more. i stand 6 feet behind my ball and make 3 practise swings until i 'feel' its a great, comfortable swing , and then i step up and go for it. i always aim at the middle of the green, maybe next year i will attack the pins more but i'm just getting good results with this.

 

hope i helped a little. 

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