How High to Tee Your Drives

Determining the tee height for your driver is an important detail not to be overlooked. It can impact your golf shot more than you realize as we will discuss in today’s article.

There are 4 major things to consider when deciding how high to tee your golf ball up. These include:

  1. Tee Height Relative to Your Golf Club
  2. Hitting Up on the Golf Ball
  3. Testing & Experimenting
  4. Dealing with Course Conditions

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Alright, let’s jump into today’s lesson and help you determine the proper tee height for your drives. Making this small adjustment can help you increase distance and accuracy, which means more fairways in regulation!

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How High To Tee Your Drives: The 4 Variables

Driver Tee Height #1: It’s Relative to Your Club Head Size

There isn’t a universal tee height for your drives because every driver is different. Drivers come in a variety of shapes and sizes making it all relative to your specific driver.

An often stated rule of thumb for tee height is that the top of your driver should be in line with the half way point of the golf ball. In other words, your tee height should be high enough that half of the golf ball sits above the top of your driver when the club is grounded at address.

This kind of ‘measurement’ is far more useful than just a number, as you can easily see the ball positioned on the tee next to your club.


Driver Tee Height #2: You Must Hit Upward on the Ball

Tee shots struck with your driver are unique in the game of golf as they are basically the only shots that you want to hit up on intentionally.  The rest of the game is built on hitting down through the ball.

In order to hit up on the golf ball through impact, your drives need to be teed up high enough.

Find the sweet spot on your driver’s face. If the ball is teed up below this sweet spot, your chances of hitting the sweet spot are very low unless you hit down on the golf ball creating a divot.

We don’t want to do that with the driver though. To help promote an upward strike that hits the driver’s sweet spot, we need you to tee the ball up at least slightly above the level of this sweet spot on your driver face.

Even if the ball is even with the sweet spot, you will have to have the sole of the club on the turf at impact, which is a difficult position to reach consistently. Therefore, teeing the ball up at least a little bit higher than your sweet spot at address is a great starting point for the tee height conversation.

How to Find Your Driver’s Sweet Spot:

  1. Clean off the club face with a wet rag so it’s crystal clear! (or clear enough ha)
  2. Hit several golf balls until you feel like you hit the sweet spot. Obviously the drive will feel amazing and stand out from others.
  3. Make sure you’re cleaning the face after each golf shot
  4. Once you hit the sweet spot, try to look at your club face for a ball impression print.
  5. Remember this position on the club face for the next time you feel like you hit the sweet spot and validate that it’s the same point.

This is just one way for finding your driver’s sweet spot by manually testing it out. Here is another helpful video explaining the driver’s sweet spot:

Driver Tee Height #3: Run Tests & Experiment

Every golfer has a unique golf swing specific to them, which makes setting a universal tee height incredibly difficult. You have to find the tee height that fits your style and your swing. It has to be unique to you.

You can do this through testing and experimentation.

Start out teeing the golf ball lower and work your way higher, raising the tee height a slight bit for each shot. Be careful not to mistake a bad golf swing for bad tee height. Try hitting a few balls at each tee height to get a feel for it in case you have a few bad swings that could throw off your judgement.

Keep an open mind during this process. You may think you know what tee height is best for you but then be proven otherwise when you test it out. The results could surprise you.

After a couple of practice sessions filled with low, medium, and high tee heights, you should be able to determine which height is best for your standard drive.

Driver Tee Height #4: Dealing with Weather & Course Conditions

As you know, golf is a game that is played outdoors in all kinds of weather conditions.

Variable conditions are part of what makes golf so interesting, but they also add a significant degree of difficulty to the game.  As it relates to tee height, you need to be sure you are thinking about conditions when you decide how high to tee up your golf ball.

On a nice, sunny day with no wind, the ball can be teed up high to send the ball higher in the sky and maximize carry distance. You will also see a decreased backspin rate in most cases – which is going to help you get maximum roll when the ball lands.  If distance is your goal and the weather is cooperating, tee it high and let it fly, as they say.

If you are playing on a windy day, a lower tee height is likely to be your friend.  By teeing the ball down lower, you can use less of the effective loft on the face of your driver, resulting in a low shot that avoids some of the breeze as it flies down the fairway.  You are going to give up some distance when teeing the ball lower, but the control that you gain will be more than worth it on a blustery day.

Overall, finding the proper tee height is going to be an individual issue you’ll need to work out in your golf game. Start with these 4 variables we discussed today and see what tee height works best for your golf game. How high you tee up the golf ball can greatly impact the overall quality of the golf shot and how far the ball goes.

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Nick Foy, Instructor

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