How High To Tee A Golf Ball?

Ed Carruthers
Ed Carruthers

Finessing the fundamentals is the key to helping you hit longer and sweeter golf shots.

That’s why knowing how high to tee your ball is an important part of your game you need to get right.

And remember, there is no one-size-fits-all. 

It varies from club to club, hole to hole and there’s never a right or a wrong height to up tee your ball, so long as you’re happy with the resulting shot from it. 

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As a general rule, the higher you tee your ball, the higher the loft of the shot will be.

This also means you’ll lose a lot of distance on the shot, even though it might sound like a sweeter hit.

But when do I tee it up high and when do I tee it up low? 

Ultimately it varies on a number of factors including the club you’re using, the weather conditions, and how the course is playing. 

Ultimately it generally comes down to what works for you, but here are a few pointers on how the pros tee up their shots.

Tee Height Relative To The Club

Teeing off on a 400 yard par 5? You’ll probably be taking your driver to the tee.

For this shot, you’ll want to tee the ball higher away from the ground than you might if you were hitting a 7 iron or an 8 iron off the tee.

As a guideline, I always say the longer the club, the higher ball should be from the ground.

Although there’s not much variation between my irons, I would say if I’m hitting a 9 iron, I will position my tee much deeper in the ground, almost as though I’m hitting the ball off the deck.

And if I’m hitting my 5 iron, I will set the ball up around two centimeters off the ground, just so that the ball is slightly raised up above the sweet spot on my clubface. 

But it’s a different story when it comes to your woods and driver.

As your driver’s clubhead is much bigger than your typical 5 iron, to get a solid contact on the ball, you’ll need to raise the ball up higher off the ground. 

Plus, you’ll want to station the ball high enough so that it sits a touch above the sweet spot on your driver.

That way you know when you strike through on impact, you’ll be hitting the ball with enough space between your club head and the ground.

Anything less and you’ll either thin your shot or strike the turf before you hit the ball.

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Course Management

Depending on the course you’re playing, the weather conditions, and the type of shot you want to hit, your tee position will impact how far your ball will travel.

Say for instance the wind is blowing fiercely from left to right. You don’t want to tee it up high and hit a lofted shot into the wind.

Although this shot looks good on a top tracer, it realistically won’t help you score par.

Instead, to play the conditions, you’ll want to tee the ball fairly low, enabling you to hit down on the ball and make your shot’s trajectory much shallower, cutting through and under the wind.

If you’re playing in clear conditions, with a course that has soft ground, you might want to tee the ball up higher so you hit upwards on the ball. 

A lot of tour pros do this to add more front spin on their shots to help the ball carry and roll further.

Our Top Tip

Everyone strikes the ball differently.

But as a rough guide for any shot, I recommend you tee the golf ball up so that it’s sitting just above the sweet spot of the club face.

Although the only way to find out is to practice and experiment with different tee heights for each of the clubs in your bag.  

You might find you prefer to tee the ball lower than I will for your long irons, or perhaps higher for your driver.

It all depends on your individual swing.

The most important thing to remember is to not tee the ball too high and not too low either.

Teeing up too high will cause you to hit under the ball, resulting in a shot that will travel high into the sky and will travel only a short distance.

If you tee the ball too low, particularly with your driver, you’ll end up topping the ball and driving the golf ball into the turf.

Remember, keep half the ball above the clubface as you tee the ball up, address your shot, and strike it smooth down the middle of the fairway.

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Ed Carruthers
Ed Carruthers
Ed is a writer from London. He loves traveling and is a bit of a sports fanatic. When he’s not at his desk, he’s either kicking a footy around with his mates, watching his beloved football team Everton or is hacking around the golf course.