Golf Tips - Tee it High to Hit it Low

By Bob Wyatt

The title of this teaching tip may sound somewhat contradictory, so allow me to explain.

Have you ever had a student ask for help with his driver because he or she is typically skying the ball? If you haven't as of yet, I assure you it's only a matter of time. All too often people make the mistake of assuming their ball flight is too high because they have too much loft on the driver. When this is the case, the first thing you should do is inspect the top of the driver head for signs of paint or scratches. In most cases this part of the club will be a mess! The most common tendency for the average golfer is to swing excessively downward with a driver causing the ball to pop up. Remember this is a reactionary sport - meaning whatever the club does, the ball will tend to do the opposite.

By having your student tee the ball high you will immediately give him the optical indication of the need to swing more level to perhaps slightly up at the ball. To further reinforce this, I tell my students to swing at an angle which will leave the tee in the ground after the ball is struck. After working with this mental image for a few swings, I think you will find your student enjoying some degree of success.

I once saw Jack Nicklaus give a clinic years ago at the Inverarry Country Club in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Jack hit 12 tee shots of various trajectories from high to low. Not once was the tee knocked out of the ground and in all cases he elected to leave the height of the tee the same - he had the ball teed high. An effective optical aid you may want to use would be another golf tee other than the one the ball is teed upon. Note in the illustration, the tee is angled in the level to sightly upward position in relation to the ground. By placing the secondary tee across from the ball being struck, the student can set for himself the path the clubhead must be on in order to strike the ball with a solid, level blow. *

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