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Teeing Off With Irons


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OK I finally remembered to ask about this.  When I play some rounds I occasionally get paired with another group.  When I watch these other players tee off on par 3s they almost always tee the ball up an inch or so off the ground and pick it out of the air with an iron.  Everything I've researched about irons seems to suggest this is the absolute wrong way to use an iron.  However... when these guys hit the ball this way they get awesome loft and drop the ball right on the green.

When I get up to hit I try to do it what I assume is the right way to hit an iron and I tee the ball up probably less than a quarter of an inch off the ground and try to compress it.  Occasionally I land it on the green and get a small roll but usually I land it in front of the green and roll on (or over).  It is very hard to be accurate this way.

Anyway, I'm curious if I'm actually playing these clubs the right way or if the tee box is an exception to the way irons were meant to be used.

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I agree with you. My ball on iron tee shots is just above the grass.

When the tee stays in the ground and my divot starts after the tee i know i hit a good shot

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Well all an all, hitting up the ball has its benefits, especially with a driver. If there good enough to get a slight ascending blow with an iron, i presume it has the same effect. The problem is that the iron is much more smaller in area, the MOI is much smaller. So, its better to try to get a descending blow to increase the odds of hitting the ball first. Doesn't matter if the club enters the ground half an inch infront of the ball or 2 inches infront of the ball, as long as your hitting the ball first. Basically it gives you a margin for error and the error on hitting the ball first.

Usually most people tee the ball up close to the ground, we just do it so you have consistent conditions. If you place a ball on the tee box, you might end up with different lies. Might as well take advantage of teeing the ball up.

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If I'm teeing off with a PW or 9-iron I'll usually put it just high enough to make it as if I had a great lie sitting on top of the grass.  If I'm using a 5 iron I'll give myself a much higher tee but still I don't think it's more than 1/2"

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When I use a tee I put it so the ball sits right at the top of the grass. If I'm in between club distances I put it on the ground without a tee. I'm not sure if anyone else has the same experience, but my ball usually goes a little further from a tee than the ground.

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Originally Posted by Jeremie Boop

When I use a tee I put it so the ball sits right at the top of the grass.

For irons - I keep trying to do this, but I get a lot of mishits - something mental definitely going on.

I've just taken to teeing off irons with no tee on a good bit of grass.  Then it seems fine.

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there is no rule to this its a confidence thing. what works for you may not work for me. there are times were I will come across a par 3 I just don't have a club for say 115 so I will tee up a little higher to get the ball up in the air and take some distance off. but that is what I do. others in that situation will drop the ball on the ground. its all in what works for you when you find it stick with it. don't worry so much on who your playing with and how they set up that's were your mind gets in the way of your swing. always play your game

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I used to tee my irons very low but tee them a bit higher now- I think it gives me just a bit more margin for error even if it does not do as good a job or promoting a downward swing with the divot in front of the ball.

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With irons, I tee it up so its just barely off the ground, that way I can just hit it like a normal iron shot.  IMO, a lot of the people you see teeing it high with irons are high handicappers who feel that they need some help getting under the ball so that they can get it up into the air.

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