How to Address a Golf Ball with an Iron

For a long time now, golfers have known that the secret to hitting the ball straight, far, and closer to the fairway is a perfect swing. They are correct, but very few understand what it takes to draw an ideal swing. Most don’t know that a golf ball’s address position varies from one golf club to another. 

The way you address a golf ball with a driver is not the same way you will address the golf ball with an iron club. Some golfers who understand the difference also find it challenging to do it correctly. So how do you address a golf club with an iron?

Addressing a Golf Ball with an Iron

There are several ways you can use to improve your address. However, one that stands out is keeping everything in the right place before you swing the golf club. From golf setup alignment to improving your stance and balance, you must consider all these aspects.

Also, note that we have different types of irons. Long irons, medium irons, and short irons with numbers graded from 1-9. 

  • Long Irons (2, 3 and 4- Irons)
  • Medium Irons (5, 6, and 7-Irons)
  • Short Irons (8 and 9 Irons)

The first thing you need to do before addressing the ball with any club is putting the club head and the shaft angle into position. From there, it is time now to position your body with the golf club. 

Clubhead Positioning For Iron Golf Clubs

How you position your clubhead is very important if you are trying to address the golf ball correctly. Take note of the lie, because it is essential in the entire club head positioning setup. Practice clubhead positioning on a hard surface like a concrete floor. 

You want the club’s bottom to rest flat on the ground, then slightly toe it up. When you take a swing on the golf club, a mark will appear on the sole.

If it is too close to the clubhead’s heel, it means that you need to hold it more upright. Suppose it’s too close to the toe, then you need to position it a little bit flatter. 

Body Posture and Set up Position 

Once your clubhead is in position, you need to work on your body posture. While at it, don’t change the clubhead’s lie angle, which may affect the entire ball address. As you set into the stance, be keen on the clubhead position. You don’t want to distort the shaft angle. The trick here is to try and be tall. Maximize your height to the best you can. 

How you bend your knees is also very important in improving body posture. It would be best if you don’t bend your knees too low or straighten them too much. Ensure that there is enough distance between your hips and hands and your spine is as straight as possible. 

Golfers make mistakes during the address because they try so hard to align their shoulders with the ground. It should not be the case because when you are in the swing position, one side will automatically be lower than the other. Try and maintain this position but don’t go too low. 

Stance Position for Hitting Golf Club Irons

After positioning your clubhead into the ground perfectly and your body is in a perfect setup position, you need to work on your stance width as well. For the ideal stance position, approximate your shoulder width with the distance between your legs. 

Use this as the unit scale for a narrower or a slightly large stance. To achieve a narrower stance, take the shoulder width and approximate it to the outside of your feet. For a narrower stance, the width of your shoulder should fit in between your feet. 

If you can’t use your shoulders to maintain your stance, make sure that it is between 20 and 40 degrees. Stance width helps you achieve balance and improve how your body rotates when in action. 

Ball Positioning for Golf Club Irons

When addressing the ball with an iron, the general rule of thumb is that the ball position should be at the center, right between your feet. However, you should note that irons come in different lengths, affecting how you position the ball. 

How high or low you want to hit also impacts how you should position the ball. For instance, if you’re going to hit the ball high, you need to place it slightly ahead of the center. To hit low, move the ball slightly away from the center.

Positioning the Ball for Different Iron Sizes

  • It would be best for short irons (8 and 9) if you placed the ball at the center so that the club hits the ball, maintaining an upright angle. Take a little step to the left with your left leg and a similar one to the right with your right leg. 
  • Medium irons (5, 6, and 7) would require you to position the ball facing the target because the length tends to give it a flat angle. Maintain the ball at the center of your stance, take a little step with your left leg towards the left side, and a slightly larger step to the right with the right foot. 
  • 2, 3, and 4-irons are the long irons. Similarly, you will move your left leg slightly towards the left and a more significant step with your right foot towards the right side. The right step should be slightly longer than the one for mid irons. With long irons, you have to place the ball directly at the front of your feet so that you hit it directly from the bottom. 

How to Position an Iron Golf Club behind the Ball 

The first thing you need to know is that irons are rounded at the bottom. It is, therefore, crucial that you set the center of the clubhead to sit level on the ground to keep the clubface square to the golf ball.

When you set it to the heel, the club will tend to close to the left, and when you set it at the toe, the club will be open towards the right, and you will lose your direction. Allow the clubhead to sit directly above the grass surface so that you can gain radius. 

Remember to monitor the lie angle when addressing the golf ball with an iron so that the clubhead’s sole rests squarely to the golf ball. The wrong lie angle will prevent you from having an accurate and powerful swing towards your target. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How should the clubface look at the address?

An iron clubface has a rounded bottom. Set the bottom’s center to lie level with the ground so that it is neither too steep towards the toe nor the heel. Make sure that it is square with the ball at address. 

Q: Should my hands be in front of the ball with irons?

To achieve the perfect arc swing with irons, your hands should be ahead of the ball. During setup, ensure that the back of the club points at your left hip bone so that you can return to the same position after impact. 

Q: How do you address a ball with an iron?

The general rule of thumb is that you position the ball right at the center between your legs. Ensure that the clubface is square with the ball to prevent misdirected shots. For high balls, move slightly ahead of your stance, and for low balls, move slightly back from the center. 


We recommend you to practice these address positions consistently to hit the ball perfectly with an iron club. Keep everything in the right place and maintain the correct positions, including your body posture and stance.

Remember that irons come in different lengths, and positioning the balls for the irons varies with length. Be sure not to distort the lie angle and the clubface position when taking the swing. Also, position the club slightly on the grass surface and ensure it is square with the golf ball. Once you put these into practice, how to address a golf ball with an iron won’t be a problem anymore.

Last Updated on July 13, 2024 by Tom Fiore

Tom Fiore - Golfer
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Hey ! I'm Tom. I have been playing Golf for most of my adulthood and have an experience of about 10+ Years. I love to guide people on their golf journey and share my experience of playing Golf, using products and all the tips I have for people out there ! Thanks for reading my blog.

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