Teeing the ball at the proper height is a common theme in golf. It is a fundamental skill that all amateurs must master to produce those “Rory McIlroy” drives to which they aspire!
The challenge for non-professionals is the contradictory information on the subject! There is a consensus on the height of the tee and where to the ball should make contact with the club face. This is what most analyst agree on:
Teeing too low – This causes lower spin rates and therefore a lower trajectory when striking the ball. Which will combine to seriously decrease the distance you are obtaining when hitting your driver.
Teeing too high – Inversely this will give you too much backspin, and create a launch angle that is steeper and therefore affect the distance with the ball travelling upward rather than forward. (National Club Golfer)
I wrote an article on this subject before and espoused the common themes of teeing height, but now I am not so sure. I struggled with my driver this year. My new Titleist D2 12-degree and I did not get along for much of the season. The new shaft caused a slightly different ‘kick point’ and the 12-degrees was something I am having a hard time adjusting too!
With my new driver, using my normal teeing pattern, my ball would travel too high and I lost about 20 yards off my average drive. As a result, this challenged the rest of my game; sometimes I played well and others times……! This was very frustrating and I struggled to understand why only this part of my game had not immediately improved with my new sticks!
Well after much soul-searching I decided that the normal convention of teeing up the ball may not work for me. I found this video from My and My Golf. The information was not just about tee height, but also about types of swings and their relation to teeing the ball.
Off the range I went; I experimented with the height of ball on the tee and hit some pretty ugly shots. After a medium bucket, about 50 balls, I still did not find the proper height of the ball for my swing. Knowing that any change in my golf swing takes time, I was not discouraged. I went back to the range a couple of days later and still had no real success (still not discouraged). I was closer, but not fully satisfied that I found what I was looking for. My third time to the range, which was about 3 weeks ago, was the charm.
I realized I had several challenges with my swing and teeing the ball was just one of them. Many of those challenges will be discussed in future posts, however the height of the ball on the tee was solved (I think). For me, the ball should just be peeking over the top of my driver. I guess it would be considered low for most, but given my type of swing it works best for me.
One aspect of golf I did learn is that the norm or convention is only a starting point. It generally offers a solution, however it many not offer the exact fix you are looking for in your swing. Take the time to experiment on the range, sometimes you will be astounded by the results!
Unfortunately my golf season is over, so I will have to wait until next spring to see if I actually fixed my challenges with my driver. This will definitely give me something to look forward to! How high do you tee your ball?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!