Sticking a tee in the ground and then putting a golf ball on top may be the simplest task that you will make during a round of golf, but it is still very important that you do it right. If you tee the ball too low or too high for the club you are using, then you could be putting yourself at a disadvantage to making your best tee shot.
There is not one correct tee height for every golfer; the optimal height is different from person to person. It also depends on what club you’re using, the conditions out on the course and what kind of shot shape you would prefer to hit. For a draw, it is more common to tee the ball higher. For a fade, it is best to tee the ball slightly lower.
So as a general rule of thumb, where should you be teeing up for a driver? Well the first thing to look at is where you should be striking the ball on the face of the driver. To get maximum launch from a driver, hit the ball just above the center of the club face. This will launch the ball nice and high with not too much spin, to maximize roll out.
So now that we know where to hit the ball on the driver, we need to look at how high to tee the ball up. As a common practice, half of the golf ball should be above the driver when the club is resting on the floor. Depending on your own angle of attack, you may want to play around with this. A great place to experiment with tee heights is on the range. Although it is a good idea to play with different tee heights while practicing, the ball should never be completely above the driver, as this is too high.
What happens if you tee the ball too high?
This is by far the most common mistake beginners make. Teeing the ball up high makes sense, as the aim with a driver swing is to hit the ball up into the air. So, having the ball teed higher lets you swing and hit up on the ball to launch it airborne.
But, if the ball is teed too high, the driver may slide completely under the golf ball, causing the dreaded sky shot, where the ball hits the top of the club face or higher. This not only chips away the paint on your expensive driver but causes the ball to travel straight up in the air and only go a very short distance.
As mentioned. you want to be hitting up on the ball with an upward swing path, but too much of this is not a good thing. If you are teeing the ball up too high, this promotes too much of this upward swing path, which can produce golf shots that launch on a very steep angle and don’t travel anywhere near as far as they should.
A final problem caused by teeing the ball too high is that it can create an overly “flat” swing. Think of a baseball style swing — it’s more horizontal. The result of an overly flat swing is usually pulled shots or hooks, so you’ll be spending a lot of time in the left rough if you’re a right-handed golfer.
Pay attention to your tee height, as it may be more important than you are giving it credit for. Remember the general rule that half of the ball should be above the driver’s club face. This may not be the same for everyone, so try experimenting on the range.
— Joseph Mills