How High to Tee a Golf Ball? | A Question That Can Change Your Game

how high to tee a golf ball

One of the first lessons I learned in golf is that everything is about precision. From the angle of your club to the way you stand, every detail affects your swing and ultimately your score. But then someone asked me, “How high to tee a golf ball?” And that’s when I realized that I had no idea how to answer that question.

It might seem like a minor detail, but the truth is that how high you tee your ball can make a huge difference in your game. Too low and you risk digging into the grass. Too high and you might miss your shot entirely.

But fear not, dear reader. Being an expert, I have some great insights on “How High to Tee a Golf Ball” that can help you avoid these pitfalls and improve your score. So let’s tee off together and explore this question.

How High to Tee a Golf Ball [Little Details Matter]

When it comes to teeing a golf ball, there are a few things to consider. First, you need to know how high your driver hits the ball. This will depend on the clubhead speed, angle of attack, and other factors specific to your swing. Once you know this, you can determine how high to tee the ball to give yourself the best chance of hitting it long and straight. 

To figure out the optimal tee height, you can conduct a simple test using a range of tees and hitting shots with your driver. Pay attention to the ball’s flight and how the clubface interacts with the ball at impact. Based on your results, you can narrow down the tee heights that work best for you.

a golfer placing a golf ball on a tee closeup

Another important factor to consider when teeing the ball is the type of shot you want to hit. If you’re looking to hit a high, soaring drive, you’ll want to tee the ball higher. Conversely, if you want to hit a low, piercing drive that runs out farther, you’ll want to tee the ball lower.

Ultimately, finding the right tee height for your swing and shot preferences will require some experimentation and practice. Don’t be afraid to try different tee heights for different clubs and observe the results to determine what works best for you.

Sample Tee Heights for Different Driver Swing Speeds
Swing Speed (mph)Recommended Tee Height (inches)
80-902.5 to 3.0 inches
90-1002.75 to 3.25 inches
100-1102.75 to 3.5 inches
110-1203.0 to 3.5 inches
120+3.0 to 4.0 inches
Recommended Tee Heights for High, Mid, and Low Ball Flights
Ball FlightRecommended Tee Height
High3.5 to 4.0 inches
Mid3.0 to 3.5 inches
Low2.5 to 3.0 inches
Effect of Tee Height on Carry Distance (for 100 mph swing speed)
Tee Height (inches)Avg. Carry Distance (yards)

How High to Tee Up Driver?

So, how to tee up a driver, the general rule of thumb is to tee the ball high. The higher the tee, the higher your ball will launch and the lesser the spin on your ball. This translates to longer, straighter shots. However, it’s vital not to tee it too high as this can yield less distance due to the added backspin on the ball.

I recommend teeing the ball up so that the center of the ball is level with the crown of the driver. As you drive the golf ball, this height will allow for maximum distance and minimal spin, resulting in longer and straighter drives.

Recommended Driver Tee Height
DriverTee Height
Standard Driver1.5 to 2.5 inches
Deep-Faced Driver1 to 2 inches
Shallow-Faced Driver2 to 3 inches

How High to Tee Up 3 Wood?

The perfect tee height for a 3-wood is slightly lower than a driver. Since the 3 wood is used primarily for longer shots, it requires a steeper angle of descent. As a result, it requires more spin than the driver, resulting in a slightly lower launch.

Recommended Tee Height for 3 Wood
3 WoodTee Height
Standard 3 Wood1.25 to 1.75 inches
Shallow-Faced 3 Wood2 to 2.5 inches

I recommend teeing the ball up so that its bottom is level with the top edge of the clubface. This tee height will give you maximum distance and a good launch angle for long draws or low fades.

How High to Tee Up Irons?

When playing irons, I suggest not teeing the ball high, as it can compromise ball control and distance. With irons, you’ll want to get the ball on the ground quickly, producing a high spin, low launch shot.

Recommended Tee Height for Irons
IronTee Height
Long Irons (2-4)0.38 to 0.5 inches
Mid Irons (5-7)0.25 to 0.38 inches
Short Irons (8-PW)0.13 to 0.25 inches

I recommend teeing the ball up just enough that it elevates it from the ground and gives a well-placed divot on your shot. This tee height will provide you with a more consistent shot and better ball control.

How Does Tee Height Affect Driving Distance?

Tee height is one of the most important factors to consider when looking to maximize driving distance off the tee. If your tee height is too low, your clubface will make contact with the ground before the ball, leading to less power and a shorter drive. If your tee height is too high, you risk teeing the ball too high and not making enough solid contact. 

The ideal tee height varies depending on the golfer’s swing and the club being used, but a general rule of thumb is to tee the ball up so that it sits just above the sweet spot of the clubface. For most drivers, this means teeing the ball up about halfway up the clubface. 

Another important factor to consider is the angle of attack. A shallower angle of attack, which can be achieved by teeing the ball up higher, can lead to a higher launch angle and more carry distance. Conversely, a steeper angle of attack, which can be achieved by teeing the ball lower, can lead to a lower launch angle and more roll distance.

What Size Golf Tee Should I Use?

three tee and a golf ball closeup on grass

Choosing the right size golf tee can greatly affect your performance on the golf course. Golf tee sizes are quite many, but how do you know which size is best for you? Let’s take a look at some popular golf tee sizes and their benefits.

  • Size 2 1/8″ – This standard golf tee size is perfect for irons and fairway woods. It sits low to the ground and allows for better contact with the ball.
  • Size 2 3/4″ – The most common size among golfers, this tee is great for drivers. It provides enough height for optimal launch and distance.
  • Size 3 1/4″ – This larger size is ideal for drivers with big heads. It allows for maximum clearance and better launch.
  • Size 4″ – This extra-long tee is perfect for beginners. It provides a larger margin for error on tee shots.

Let’s Know More: What Happens If a Golf Ball Hits Another Into the Hole

What Length Golf Tees Do Pros Use?

When it comes to selecting the right golf tee, many professionals have different preferences depending on the type of club they use. However, the most commonly used length among pros is 2 ¾ inches. This length provides the perfect blend of height and stability for all types of shots.

It’s worth noting that some pros opt for longer or shorter tees depending on their swing and playing conditions. For instance, a longer tee may be preferred on windy days to help the ball stay in place, while a shorter tee may be used on par three holes to achieve maximum accuracy.

It’s important to point out that using the right tee can make a significant difference in your game. Choosing the right tee length can offer better ball trajectory, and more stable ball flight, and ultimately lead to a better score. It’s worthwhile to experiment with different tee lengths to find what works best for your game. 

Check out the table below for an easy-to-read breakdown of the most commonly used tee lengths among pros.

Pros’ Tee Length Preferences
Length (inches)Percentage of Pros Who Use
2 ¾70%
2 ¼5%
3 ¼5%

How Do You Determine Which Tees to Play from?

When determining which tees to play from, there are several factors to consider. As quoted by Sean Foley, The optimal tee height depends on the shot you are hitting and the conditions on the course but your skill level and distance off the tee are the most important. If you consistently hit your driver 225 yards, then playing from the back tees may not be the best option. Instead, select tees that are more suitable for your game. 

Also, consider the course length and layout, as well as the weather conditions. If the course is long with many hazards, it might be best to play from the forward tees. 

Additionally, if it’s windy, playing from the forward tees can help improve your score. Ultimately, choose the tees that will allow you to enjoy the game and challenge yourself. Want to get insights into the professional’s setup? Follow Sean Foley’s tee height setup here.

Conclusion: How High to Tee a Golf Ball

I can confidently tell you that the height of your tee matters more than you think. Through our discussion with a detailed golf tee height guide today, we have established that the ideal tee height varies based on the club you’re using. And while it may seem like a small detail, it can significantly impact your game.

So, the next time you step onto the course, take some time to experiment with different tee heights and see what works best for you. And if you find yourself struggling with a slicing issue, don’t fret! Remember to focus on the basics of your swing and stay calm under pressure.

With that said, keep calm, tee high, and fix that golf slice. And don’t forget to follow Golf Ace Nation for more tips and tricks to up your golf game!


Q1. Can you tee up a golf ball in the fairway?

No, you cannot. However, you can tee up a ball in the teeing area, which is one of the five defined areas on the course. The teeing area is where you start the hole you are playing. You can play up to two club lengths from behind the tee markers and can stand outside the teeing area.

Q2. Is it better to tee the ball high or low?

Teeing the ball high can allow for a greater degree of control and accuracy while teeing it low can yield more distance. Ultimately, the decision may come down to the individual golfer’s swing style and what they hope to achieve on the hole. 

Q3. Can tee height cause a slice?

A low tee can lead to a hook, while a high tee can cause a slice. A slice is when the ball curves sharply to the right (for right-handed golfers) and travels a shorter distance. It’s particularly frustrating because it can result in lost balls and extra strokes. 

Q4. What happens if you tee the ball too high?

Golf tee height is a crucial factor in determining a good shot in golf. Teeing the ball too high can result in a mishit and a loss of distance, accuracy, and trajectory for the golf ball. When the tee is set too high, particularly for a driver, players are more likely to strike the ball above its center which creates a glancing blow and the ball will shoot upwards.

Q5. Is it easier to tee off with a 3 wood?

Yes, With a smaller head size and shorter shaft length, the 3 wood gives players the confidence to make a smooth, sweeping swing and avoid mishits that can often come with a driver. So the next time you step up to the tee box, consider reaching for a 3 wood – you may just find that it makes your game easier and more enjoyable.

Q6. How do you get consistent tee height for drivers?

Yet, getting that consistent tee height can be tricky, even for seasoned players. Finding the best tee height for the driver impacts the ball’s height and distance of travel. Many experts recommend teeing the ball high enough to ensure half the ball rests above the top of the clubface when addressing the ball. This allows for maximum compression upon impact and sends the ball off on the perfect trajectory.

Q7. Do you use a tee in pitch and putt?

Golf pitching and putting are two skills that require precision and a steady hand. But when it comes to using a tee in pitch and putt, opinions are divided. Some golfers believe that using a tee can give them an advantage by allowing them to hit the ball cleanly from a higher elevation. Others argue that using a tee defeats the purpose of pitch and putt in golf, which is meant to simulate real-world scenarios where tees are not used. 

Q8. Do you tee up a 2 iron?

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to teeing up a 2 iron. Some players may prefer the added height and control that teeing it up can provide, while others may prefer the challenge of hitting it off the fairway. Ultimately, it all comes down to personal preference and what works best for your own game.

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