As golfers, we pay attention to our grip, our swing, our equipment, and so many other facets of the game. But have you ever thought about how high you tee your golf ball?
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned golfer, ‘How high should I tee up a golf ball?’ can be a confusing but important question.
How high or low you tee up a golf ball has a direct effect on accuracy, spin, and distance upon impact. In this post, we’ll cover how different golf tee heights affect your golf game and how to find the right tee height for you.
What Are the Different Golf Tee Heights?
Low Tee Height – Low tee height refers to a height that positions the centre of the golf ball around the clubface’s bottom half. Essentially, the ball will be roughly the same height off the ground as the lower half of your clubface. To achieve a low tee height, you’ll have to push the tee in deep, leaving only a little portion above ground.
If you choose a low tee height, be sure to avoid positioning the ball as far forward as you typically do.
- Ideal for shots that require less loft or to reduce your driver’s effective loft (hitting the ball with the lower half of the clubface will launch the ball at a lower height and result in a lower flight)
- Can be useful to counteract a strong headwind
- Can help you shallow out your angle of attack
- May help you shape the ball with sidespin
- Increased chance of skulled shots (where the golf ball gets caught by the club’s leading edge)
- More susceptible to sidespin due to shallow attack angle
- May cause a stalling trajectory
Standard / Normal Tee Height – A normal tee height — also referred to as regular tee height or standard tee height — describes a ball with its equator at the same height as the club’s crown.
- Increased chance of hitting the ‘sweet spot’
- May help increase distance by helping you feel more confident and comfortable at address
- May be helpful if you struggle with low ball flight
- May help improve launch conditions
- May generate more spin than necessary
High Tee Height – A ball positioned high on a tee refers to a ball that has its centre higher than the top of the crown of the clubface.
- May help you hit the ball with more consistency and accuracy
- Reduces sidespin to increase your chance of hitting straighter shots
- Creates more loft (higher ball flight)
- Can help ride a strong tailwind
- Can increase ball speed
- Increased chance of skyed balls (where the ball gets stuck by the club’s top edge)
- The appearance of such a high tee height can throw some players off and decrease their commitment during their swing
How High to Tee a Driver
As your longest club in the bag, drivers need the clubface to hit the ball on the upswing. This makes it important to use a high tee height when using a driver.
The general recommendation when using your driver is to position the ball equal to the top/crown of the driver. This helps ensure the clubface hits the ball on the upswing to generate maximum distance. You will want to use a longer tee to achieve this tee height.
How High to Tee Up a Fairway Wood
Most golfers tend to tee up a fairway wood a little higher. This helps reduce spin to fly the ball further. Typically, the ball should be one-quarter to one-third above the crown.
How High to Tee Up a Hybrid
For hybrids, a low tee height with one-third to one-quarter of the ball above the top of the club is a common recommendation. To achieve this, your tee will sit roughly half an inch above the turf.
Should I Tee Up My Irons and Wedges?
As with hybrids, you’ll want to tee your irons low. Here are some general guidelines for tee heights for irons and wedges:
- For long to mid irons (2 through 5i), you’ll want to aim to leave the head just above the ground, around about 1cm.
- Shorter irons and wedges (6i through wedges) usually require a tee that is pushed all the way into the ground, leaving only the tee’s head remaining above ground,but almost sitting flush.
How Do I Find the Right Tee Height for Me?
While comfort level and individual preference play a big role in the right tee height for you, it also comes down to practice.
The best way to find the right tee height for yourself is to grab a bunch of tees of different heights, get out there, and get swinging! Play around with different tee heights — low, normal, high — and see what kind of effects you notice on your shots.
Did you notice increased distance with a high tee height? Did you notice more spin from a low tee height? Did a certain tee height feel most comfortable to you? Spend some time testing the different tee heights and noting any effects you see.
What Is the Best Tee Height for Distance?
For the most distance possible, you’ll want to use a higher tee height. A higher tee height results in less spin, helping to maximise distance. A two and three-quarter-inch tee is most likely to give you the desired result.
When using a high tee height, be sure to make good contact with the ball. If you fail to hit up on the ball, you will increase your odds of skyed balls.
What Is the Best Tee Height for Control?
Low clubface contact often results in undesired spin. This unwanted backspin from hitting down on the ball almost always leads to decreased distance.
For the most control, try a higher tee height and be sure to hit with a positive attack angle. This will produce less spin, create a higher launch angle, and generate more distance.
The Importance of Consistent Tee Height
Once you find the tee height that works best for you and each club, make a point to be consistent about using the same tee height.
If you randomly use a different tee height every time you swing, it can lead to inconsistencies in your game.
Once you get comfortable with consistent tee height, you can play around with varying tee heights. If you watch the pros, some prefer a high tee height, some opt for a low tee height, and some switch up their tee height depending on the shot. Pay attention to when pros want distance — you’ll see a high tee height every time!
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