Mind The Gap

How high should you tee it?



if you really want to hit
longer and straighter drives, you have to remember a couple key variables. First, the driver is designed to be hit on a slight upswing. Second, where you position the ball relative to your stance affects how well you can hit the ball on the upswing. Most golfers, when they rest the club down, rest the club at the lowest point of their swing. This is especially true with a driver! This often results in a hit with a leading edge of the crown making contact with the golf ball (resulting in a pop-up). Or, if you do make contact with the face, it's at too shallow an angle, and the ball doesn't fly very high off the ground. A great way to ensure you hit the club on the upswing is to position the golf ball a few inches in front (toward the target) of where you'd normally address the ball. By doing this, you'll help make sure the lowest part of your swing arc is behind the golf ball, giving you room to ascend the clubhead and hit the ball on the way up. Leave a gap between the clubhead and the ball, and I'll bet you not only see higher and longer tee shots, but straighter ones, as well.

Mark Greenslit, PGA, is director of golf at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in California. For more information, visit ojairesort.com.

Great Heights

Today's drivers have maxed out in terms of volume. The USGA has capped total cc's for a club at 460cc, and most of the new drivers you can buy hover around the 460cc size limit. With such size behind the golf ball, how do you really know how high you should tee the golf ball? And where on the face should you make contact?

Arguably, the average player should always try to hit the sweet spot, no matter what the pros do. (Some pros hit above the sweet spot for a dead hit with a higher launch angle, but with less ball speed and spin.) Finding the optimal tee heights is actually a personal task. Conventional wisdom may tell you that the bigger the clubhead, the taller you tee the ball. Well, that may be true for some.
A better starting place for finding your ideal tee height is to first evaluate what type of tee shots you tend to hit. Fades? Draws? If you fade the ball, a lower tee height will help you. If you draw it, a higher tee height will make it easier to hit shots from right to left.

Conversely, if you struggle with slicing, consider a higher tee height to promote a swing that's more from inside the target line on the downswing. And if you tend to hook, a lower tee height will help. The key? Make sure you adjust your ball position accordingly. For a draw, play the ball higher, more away from you and farther forward in your stance. For fades, tee it lower, put it closer to you and play it farther back in your stance. For you straight shooters, follow Mark's tip right here and watch that ball fly straighter and longer than before! —Staff Report



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