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Blading every teed up iron shot- how to fix this mental issue?


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I've developed a mental issue where I blade 90% of the iron shots I play off a tee. This is an especially big problem for me right now as I'm playing an iron off every tee (having a separate issue where I'm low hooking every driver and 3 wood shot, ALSO something I need to address.)

 

I don't have this problem playing the ball from the fairway or the rough, just the tee box. It's like a case of the shanks where the "feel" of blading the shot is so ingrained that my subconscious is pulling my swing arc up to blade it just prior to impact. As an aside, I remember hearing Adam Young mention that strong emotional response engrains a swing change far more efficiently which is why hitting a single shank can result in a case of them.

 

The only solution I really have at this point is to drop the ball on the box and hit it that way, but I'd really LOVE to have the benefit of a tee, especially since I'd prefer to be hitting a driving iron off a tee on the par 4's. 

 

Curious if there are any "fixes" for this problem, and would truly appreciate it. 

 

 

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Plenty of people come up on the ball, hitting it thin; most are looking for where the ball is going.  Also, could you be teeing the ball too high? 

 

Have one tee length 3.25" for Driver, another 1.5" for irons.  I push iron tees into the ground, so the head is barely visible to me.  

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10 minutes ago, Pepperturbo said:

Plenty of people come up on the ball, hitting it thin; most are looking for where the ball is going.  Also, could you be teeing the ball too high? 

 

Have one tee length 3.25" for Driver, another 1.5" for irons.  I push iron tees into the ground, so the head is barely visible to me.  

I've tried teeing high and low, both result in the same contact. For whatever reason I don't do it when it isn't teed, telling me it's mental. 

 

Considering putting another tee in the ground 2" or so in front of the ball and focusing on that as my target to see if it resolves the issue. 

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You may be trying to hit UP on a teed ball.  This will lead to thin shots. Even with a tee you should be hitting the bottom of your swing well after the tee.   Lots of my range sessions use a tee on every shot. Even with a wedge. I'll tee up everything and be sure my divot is well in front of the tee.

 

Besides, it saves the range grass!!

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It's definitely mental.  Maybe try using broken tees for irons?

 

I can't use an intact tee for irons - for some reason I get this thought in my head of the clubhead hitting it like it was a piece of rebar driven into the ground.  So I keep a few busted tees in my pocket every round.  And if I'm out, and I can't find a broken tee on the tee box, I have to break a full-length tee just to use for the iron shot.

 

Maybe that's enough to do the trick for you as well?

 

Or maybe use a little divot repair mix to make a tiny mound on the tee box?  I think you're allowed to use just about anything as long as it's just propping up the ball from underneath.

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5 minutes ago, 596 said:

You may be trying to hit UP on a teed ball.  This will lead to thin shots. Even with a tee you should be hitting the bottom of your swing well after the tee.   Lots of my range sessions use a tee on every shot. Even with a wedge. I'll tee up everything and be sure my divot is well in front of the tee.

 

Besides, it saves the range grass!!

I don't THINK I am, as I do know that I should be hitting down on the ball. If anything, my angle of attack is to steep in most cases and I'm trying to get it more shallow. 

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5 minutes ago, darkhelmet said:

It's definitely mental.  Maybe try using broken tees for irons?

 

I can't use an intact tee for irons - for some reason I get this thought in my head of the clubhead hitting it like it was a piece of rebar driven into the ground.  So I keep a few busted tees in my pocket every round.  And if I'm out, and I can't find a broken tee on the tee box, I have to break a full-length tee just to use for the iron shot.

 

Maybe that's enough to do the trick for you as well?

 

Or maybe use a little divot repair mix to make a tiny mound on the tee box?  I think you're allowed to use just about anything as long as it's just propping up the ball from underneath.

Probably not the issue for me- being that I use irons for just about every tee shot, I have a good supply of the short 1.5" pro tees I keep in my bag, and those are what I use. 

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As others have said, you are almost certainly swinging up on the ball that you see teed up. (If you are blading everything, your problem is just NOT too-steep angle of attack.)

 

  • A scratch golfer who hits an iron off a tee will still hit the ground (sometimes even taking a serous divot) *after* they hit the ball. 
  • Most golfers with a handicap above 10 will swing up on a teed up iron. If they time it right, this can work; but it's still wrong. 

I'd go to the range and just practice a bit with putting a tee in the ground (no ball) and then learning how to clip the tee and then make a divot in front of the tee. Ingrain that move, over and over. When you then put the ball on the tee, you want to replicate that movement: you want to hit the ground in front of the tee and the ball. When you then take it to the course, TEE IT LOW. Most high-handicap golfers tee their irons way too high. 

 

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34 minutes ago, fronesis said:

As others have said, you are almost certainly swinging up on the ball that you see teed up. (If you are blading everything, your problem is just NOT too-steep angle of attack.)

 

  • A scratch golfer who hits an iron off a tee will still hit the ground (sometimes even taking a serous divot) *after* they hit the ball. 
  • Most golfers with a handicap above 10 will swing up on a teed up iron. If they time it right, this can work; but it's still wrong. 

I'd go to the range and just practice a bit with putting a tee in the ground (no ball) and then learning how to clip the tee and then make a divot in front of the tee. Ingrain that move, over and over. When you then put the ball on the tee, you want to replicate that movement: you want to hit the ground in front of the tee and the ball. When you then take it to the course, TEE IT LOW. Most high-handicap golfers tee their irons way too high. 

 

Thank you for that. On the shots that I have managed to hit well off a tee, I have taken divots. I will spend time on the range practicing clipping tees. Does it make sense to tee the ball low and also place a tee almost flush with the ground a couple inches in front of the ball and make clipping that the target rather than the ball while I work through this mental issue? This is something I've struggled with for a while now this year, and one round I focused on hitting a blade of grass in front of the ball and that "fixed" the issue for a while, but I find maintaining focus on a single blade of grass to be challenging, I wonder if focusing on a tee would be easier?

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I can't help but think there is a common technique issue here. Have you seen an instructor? I am sure there IS a mental aspect to this, but also, your body may be adversely reacting to a flaw.

 

As Monte Scheinblum always says, the reason that people "flip" is if they didn't,  they might hit miles behind it, hit it way right, etc. Definitely don't ignore a technical issue here. 

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1 hour ago, bm11 said:

I've tried teeing high and low, both result in the same contact. For whatever reason I don't do it when it isn't teed, telling me it's mental. 

 

Considering putting another tee in the ground 2" or so in front of the ball and focusing on that as my target to see if it resolves the issue. 

Something says, you haven't teed it low enough.  

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9 minutes ago, Jtgavigan said:

I can't help but think there is a common technique issue here. Have you seen an instructor? I am sure there IS a mental aspect to this, but also, your body may be adversely reacting to a flaw.

 

As Monte Scheinblum always says, the reason that people "flip" is if they didn't,  they might hit miles behind it, hit it way right, etc. Definitely don't ignore a technical issue here. 

I have been getting monthly swing reviews from a coach, yes. However, I haven't ever sent in a teed up shot, and even if I did I'm not sure it would make a difference- I take the videos from my home practice studio, and in there I don't run into the same issue of blading shots off a tee. Mentally it doesn't effect me indoors. 

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13 minutes ago, Cwebb said:

Ditch the tee.  Just create a perfect lie on the turf

 

Yeah, this is something I do when I'm playing my little 9 hole pitch & putt. Not because of a mental issue with a teed ball, but because I view that course as wedge practice where my goal is simply to replicate partial to full wedge shots that I might experience on a course. As such, teeing it up doesn't give me the same conditions I'll experience on a course. 

 

That said, I give myself a good lie. Fluff up the grass a bit and set the ball on it. I'm trying to practice my wedges, not hitting out of divots 😉

 

 

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10 minutes ago, bm11 said:

You probably are right. Next time out I'm teeing just enough to get the ball up to a perfect lie. 

Watch the pros closely as they tee up on Par 3's at the Travelers.  Most people I play with on Par 3's, have the tee 1/2" above ground/turf.  That's a 1/2" higher than mine.

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19 minutes ago, bm11 said:

I have been getting monthly swing reviews from a coach, yes. However, I haven't ever sent in a teed up shot, and even if I did I'm not sure it would make a difference- I take the videos from my home practice studio, and in there I don't run into the same issue of blading shots off a tee. Mentally it doesn't effect me indoors. 

Got it, just making sure you weren't ignoring an angle.

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As you are addressing the ball, confidently proclaim to the group “man I couldn’t tell ya the last time I chunked an iron shot!”

 

in all seriousness I hope you figure it out.  We all want to channel our inner Tiger or Bear, but the goldfish between our ears keeps getting in the way.

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10 hours ago, Jtgavigan said:

I can't help but think there is a common technique issue here. Have you seen an instructor? I am sure there IS a mental aspect to this, but also, your body may be adversely reacting to a flaw.

 

As Monte Scheinblum always says, the reason that people "flip" is if they didn't,  they might hit miles behind it, hit it way right, etc. Definitely don't ignore a technical issue here. 

 

10 hours ago, Cwebb said:

Ditch the tee.  Just create a perfect lie on the turf


Agreed with both of these, and I know you responded to them but I wanted to add to what @Jtgavigan said because your response:

 

Quote

However, I haven't ever sent in a teed up shot, and even if I did I'm not sure it would make a difference- I take the videos from my home practice studio, and in there I don't run into the same issue of blading shots off a tee. Mentally it doesn't effect me indoors. 


I still wouldn't rule this out for these reasons. IMO there is a greater chance that you do *something* different when a tee is present that you simply do more on the course, and any good instructor should be able to explain why one shot in doors was fine and another one outdoors resulted in a thin/skull, provided that the video is shot from consistent heights/angles etc. It's actually really useful to have a problem that manifests this specifically because it's really easy to document and create control groups, so please don't rule out capturing all this if you haven't already because more data is better for online instruction. LOTS of people do a few subtle things differently when the consequences of the shot matter and they are easy to spot if captured. 

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2 hours ago, Valtiel said:

 


Agreed with both of these, and I know you responded to them but I wanted to add to what @Jtgavigan said because your response:

 


I still wouldn't rule this out for these reasons. IMO there is a greater chance that you do *something* different when a tee is present that you simply do more on the course, and any good instructor should be able to explain why one shot in doors was fine and another one outdoors resulted in a thin/skull, provided that the video is shot from consistent heights/angles etc. It's actually really useful to have a problem that manifests this specifically because it's really easy to document and create control groups, so please don't rule out capturing all this if you haven't already because more data is better for online instruction. LOTS of people do a few subtle things differently when the consequences of the shot matter and they are easy to spot if captured. 

Maybe take my tripod with me to the course and send my video in of some tee shots this month is what you are suggesting?

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I've taught myself to tee it up high and swing down through the ball!  After a year of playing on a wet and soggy course I got tired of cleaning my irons after every shot.

With the ball teed up high the low point of the swing never touches the ground!  I can practice in my back yard and not tear up the grass.

 

I also learned that swinging through frozen turf is very hard on the elbows.  Next year I'll use rubber tees in the fairway to save my elbows whenever the ground is frozen.

Swinging through wet and frozen turf can help to reinforce ball first contact as the distance penalty for hitting wet grass first can be very high.

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