How to Master the Iron Tee Shot

By Patrick Cameron

golfer puts ball on tee
Stepping up to the tee of a tight tree-lined hole can be pretty intimidating if you've got a serious lack of control with your big stick. But it's good to know you have options. Using an iron off the tee can be rewarding when you think about where you might end up should you decide to go with a wood. And what you sacrifice in distance, you make up for in a lack of penalty strokes.


Difficulty: Easy
  1. When you hit with an iron, the club face is naturally going to have more loft (club-head angle), so it's best to keep the ball teed low. You don't tee your ball in the fairway when you're hitting with an iron, but that doesn't mean you want to jack your ball way up off the ground just because you can. So keep it low by almost burying the tee. This will still give your ball a little lift and the benefit of hitting off the tee box.
  2. Depending on the iron you're using, adjust your distance to the ball accordingly. The shaft on irons is shorter and the head is heavier, and the approach should reflect that. Your swing will be more vertical than with a wood, so get up over the ball a little so your swing is more up and down without so much horizontal drawback and follow-through.
  3. Pretend your ball is sitting on a railroad track, running away to the hole. Your feet are on the other track. When you draw back your iron, keep that club head inside the track. Follow this rule on your follow-through as well. This will keep your swing inside, more vertical and give you a nice, clean straight tee shot with your iron.

Tips & Warnings

  • You'll hit an iron farther off a tee than off a fairway, so adjust your club choice appropriately by adding 5 yards to your normal distance.

About the Author

Patrick Cameron is a freelance writer with 10 years of diverse experience in consumer goods branding, promotions and retail communications. He works out of his home in Denver, Colo. He received his Bachelor of Arts in mass communication from the University of Minnesota.