How to Lower Ball Flight with Irons

Written by G&C Staff

Knowing how to lower ball flight with irons boils down to one thing, lowering launch angle. If you can maintain your quality of contact while decreasing launch angle, even if it’s just a little, your ball flight will be lower and you can gain distance.

Some golfers hit it too low, others too high. If you’re reading this article, you’re in the latter group. When ball flight is too high, you subject yourself to increased wind and may lose distance. With a low, penetrating ball flight, you can add a different element to your game. Instead of weighing wind and elevation, a lower ball flight can be more accurate. If this sounds appealing, and we’re sure it does, keep reading to find out how to lower ball flight with irons.

Swing Change You Need to Make

Ball Position

Swing changes are more difficult to adjust to than ball position. As such, most golfers prefer moving where they stand to reinventing the wheel with their swing. For a lower ball flight, move the ball further back in your stance. 

The move does not to be large, but a few inches can lower your ball flight and launch angle. Angle of attack goes hand in hand with ball flight. When you move the ball back in your stance, you are hitting more down on the ball. Instead of playing the ball at the front of your stance, which helps to lift the ball, this change has the opposite effect. 

Forward Press and Weight Shift

This a phrase more frequently heard on and around the greens, but plays a key role in lowering ball flight. When you put too much weight on your back foot, you naturally open the clubface. With a weight shift towards your front foot, you close the club up and it becomes squarer at impact. 

A forward press also reduces the loft of each iron. With this, you make each club stronger. So long as you can make good contact, you will even add a few yards to each shot using this method.

Swing Speed

Many changes are made based on your swing. Adjusting swing speed is something that resonates with all golfers. When people want to gain distance, they swing faster. This is not always helpful, especially in the context of trying to lower ball flight. 

To make better contact, and as a result add distance, consistency is better than speed. With a lower ball flight, it may look as if you aren’t hitting the ball as far. In most cases, you aren’t carrying the ball as far. However, total distance will almost always be up. 

By overswinging, ball position and weight adjustments lose value. Keep a steady tempo and hone in on those details and your ball flight will be lower.

How Iron Flex Plays a Role in Ball Flight

When a shaft is too flexible, your ball flight will be high. If you swing harder than intended for the flex, the club will be “whippy” and not be in sync with your swing. This is caused by the club flexing forward before your swing is complete and adding a significant amount to your launch angle. If this is the case, you will certainly lose distance.

When a shaft is not flexible enough for your swing speed, you drive balls into the ground. Rather than a low, but acceptable ball flight, this is marked by “line drives”. Because the shaft is too stiff, you are not giving it the chance to work properly. Essentially, the club is late getting through and the clubface does not snap through in time to launch the ball.

These two reasons alone make the case for a proper fitting. If this is not an option for you, and for most people it’s not (covered in our putter measurement article), there are plenty of tools online to help you determine the correct flex. Once you have this figured out, you will be on your way to a low, penetrating ball flight.

How a Ball Change Can Help to Lower Ball Flight

Rather than go into the full science of why some balls produce a lower or higher ball flight, we’ll do a little case study. Titleist is one of the most recognizable brands in golf and caters to every type of golfer. For people who want a high ball flight, they choose Pro V1x. For a lower ball flight, golfers choose the AVX. Sandwiched in the middle is your standard Pro V1.

These balls have different cores, covers, and dimple patterns. If you want to know how to lower ball flight with your irons, swing adjustments are necessary, but a ball change helps as well. 

If you want to lower ball flight and play Pro V1x, drop down to Pro V1 and see if you’re satisfied with the results. Want to see an even lower ball flight with your irons? Make the jump to AVX. Read about the ball you play, see if the typical ball flight matches what you’re looking for, and make the switch.