Finding The Right Driver Tee Height
Back in 1991, Callaway brought out the Big Bertha. It was the largest driver on the market at a whopping 190cc! Drivers of the modern era are often right up to the legal limit of 460cc. Is it any wonder that you might be teeing the ball at the wrong height for your driver?
Let’s see if we can go about finding the right driver tee height so you can maximize your distance on the golf course.
Do You Need Different Tee Heights For Different Clubs?
Since you need to hit all your clubs, except the driver, with a descending blow it stands to reason that you need to tee the ball up quite low when you’re hitting an iron, hybrid or fairway wood. Given the size of the face, there would be little point teeing the ball very far off the ground with those smaller clubs as there would be a good chance you will swing the clubhead completely underneath and miss the ball altogether. By contrast, a driver club face is now so tall that to get anywhere near the sweet spot you need to tee the ball up fairly high.
Add in the fact that you really need to hit a driver on the up and you can see that it is important that you get the correct height on the tee box.
Does Tee Height Affect Launch Angle?
The height you tee the golf ball for your driver will have an effect on the launch angle. Think about it logically, if you tee it low just above the ground then it is likely you would make contact with the ball with a descending blow low on the clubface. It wouldn’t be possible to swing up or to connect with the upper half of the clubface.
If you were to place the ball on a tee an inch or so above ground then that would at least allow you to strike the ball on the top half of the face which will give you a better launch angle and also less spin than if you hit it low on the face.
If you increase the tee height another half an inch then this will allow you to catch the ball on the upswing as well as on the top half of the face giving the best results.
The best height is one that allows the ball to be hit up just high enough so that you get the best combination of launch angle and spin rate. To find the right height, experiment by hitting the ball at different heights until you find the height that makes the ball go the farthest.
A good rule of thumb is to have around half of the golf ball above the crown of your driver head when it sitting flat behind the ball.
Does Tee Height Affect Spin?
The height of the tee can have an effect on how much spin is imparted on the ball. Generally speaking, when you tee the ball lower it will cause you to have a downward angle of attack. This will generally lead to you putting more spin on the ball. Additionally, if you have the ball too low to the ground then you are likely to strike with the bottom half of the face which tends to generate excess spin.
The correct tee height for your driver will allow you to catch the ball on an upward swing from the middle of the face. For any given clubhead speed it’s possible to work out the optimal launch angle and spin to give you the greatest carry distance.
How Tee Height Affects Driving Distance
The height of the tee will almost certainly affect how far you hit the ball. Teeing it too low will cause you to hit down on the ball which will lead to too low a launch angle and to much spin both of which will cost you distance off the tee. Finding the right tee height for a driver will allow you to catch the ball on the up with reduced spin which will help you achieve longer tee shots.
On the other hand, if you try hitting driver with the ball teed too high then you could catch the ball on the crown or go under the ball altogether.
How Does Tee Height Affect The Flight Of The Ball?
The height that you tee a ball can affect ball flight in a few ways. A taller tee will usually result in the ball being hit higher, with less backspin. This can be good or bad depending on the situation. A shorter tee will usually result in the ball being hit lower, with more backspin. Again, this can be good or bad depending on the situation. Ultimately, it is up to the golfer to decide what height tee works best for them and their game.
For example, on a downwind hole you might use a slightly higher tee to encourage you to get the ball higher to take advantage of the tailwind. If there is a penalty area on the left of the hole you might decide to tee it very low because it will be more difficult for you to hit the ball left from a low tee.
Should I Carry Different Sized Golf Tees?
It all comes down to personal preference and course conditions. If you play on a well-watered highly manicured golf course then you could probably get away with using one size of tee. For most of us, however, it makes more sense to use shorter tees when using irons/fairway woods and a longer tee when using the driver.
Finding The Right Driver Tee Height: Conclusion
Making sure to tee it high with your driver is going to help you produce longer shots with your golf swing.
Tee the ball too low and you’ll lose out on some yardage.