Hello golfers. Welcome to this weeks tips & tricks. This week we are going to look at ways of improving ball striking with irons and woods. Different lies in different ground conditions can lead to different shots and ball flights. One way we can practice different lies and improve ball striking is by changing the tee height we use on the driving range. We can also tee the ball up on the course 18 times so getting the height correct should help on these shots.
As a general rule these are the heights of tee you should be using for your clubs to give you the best chance of success:
Driver – Half of the ball above the crown of the driver head
Fairway Wood – Half (or just under) of the golf ball above the crown of the head
Hybrid – About half an inch of tee above the surface of the ground
Long Irons – About quarter inch of the tee above the surface of the ground
Short/Mid Irons – Only the top of the tee above the surface of the ground.
Now we know what height we should be teeing the ball on we can change it to help us practice. Teeing the ball up slightly higher will generally launch the ball higher. This may be beneficial when the wind is helping. Teeing the ball lower (or not using a tee at all) will generally launch the ball lower which could help into the wind. This isn’t always the case and the way your swing works can change the launch conditions to contradict the general trend.
Remember we are always looking to try and find the middle of the clubface with each shot to give us the optimal launch conditions and best chance of maximizing distance and control.
With a driver we want to hit slightly up on the golf ball through impact. With woods we want to hit through or ever so slightly down on the ball. Moving your ball position forward with driver will help with that. Lots of people still manage to go under the golf ball and “sky” it, mainly bacuse of the angle of attack. If the club is moving too steep into the back of the ball the top of the club will get to the ball first and chop it straight in the air. Practicing from an excessively high tee can be scary and you won’t want to do it with your new £500 driver. Therefore understanding the low point of the golf swing’s arc and the angle of attack can be improved with an iron instead.
Practice hitting irons from a high tee. If you are prone to taking big chunks of turf practice hitting from a higher tee. Now the ground is getting softer again we want to prevent the mud splats. Understanding your swing and where the club is at its lowest point can help prevent the mud in the eye embarrassment. I often encourage people to practice hitting shots from a tee to build confidence. Hitting from a higher tee can help find a higher part of the clubface which has more loft. It can also help to get a more gentle sweep of the surface instead of a slam into the floor. Even if a ball is on a high tee you can still get a descending blow and compression on the golf ball.
When you practice hitting from a high tee and get a bit of a shudder through the grip you have probably hit too much down into the ground and not enough through the back of the ball. If you were to do this from a fluffy lie in the rough the ball will hit too high on the clubface and travel only half the distance it should. If you practice from a low tee and hit too far up the ball and too low on the clubface the ball won’t get much height, again losing lots of distance.
When hitting woods and long irons you only want to take a little bit of grass. With short irons and wedges you want to be taking a little bit more turf. If you currently tee it really high with all your clubs and rarely take any turf its likely that you are losing distance because of a lack of compression. It’s likely you’re hitting too much up on the golf ball and not enough down and through.
Try using the perfect height with each of your clubs. Practice using different tee heights with different clubs. Try to understand the low point of your swing arc. When you understand where the club makes contact with the floor you will massively improve your ball striking. If you hit the ball low on the face tee it a bit higher. If you hit the ball high on the face tee the ball a bit lower.
To find out where you strike the ball on the clubface get either some athletes foot spray or some strike tape. This will show you what you’re strike pattern is with certain clubs.
It’s also probably a good idea to gather some Trackman data to see if you hit up or down on the golf ball. If you would like to book a lesson then CLICK HERE NOW.
I’m already looking forward to helping you improve your golf through the winter months.