An often overlooked aspect of golf is the where and how to tee up your ball on the tee box. We have a few suggestions for mastering this subtle craft:
- If playing a par 3 and you find yourself between clubs, consider teeing the ball farther back in the box to add more yards to the hole, then hit the longer club. Remember, the Rules of Golf allow you to tee up as much as two club lengths behind the tee markers you’re using.
- On a par 3, place the top of the tee (bottom of the ball) level with the top of the grass. The ball will sit nice optically, and you’ll be able to take proper advantage of your club’s loft and lie. A common mistake is to tee it too high with the irons, which this rule helps avoid.
- If you’re a right-handed golfer and typically hit a fade or slice, tee up on the right side of the box and aim toward the left side of the fairway. This will give you the full width of the fairway, from left to right, for your fade or slice. For a draw (or left-handed golfer with a fade/slice) it’s just the opposite, so tee your ball up on the left side and aim right.
- When playing a par 4 or 5, look down the fairway to check for trouble areas before deciding where to tee up. For example, if water lines the right side of the hole, play from the right side and aim a bit to the safe (left) side. This creates a target line away the hazard.
- A good guide to know how high to tee the ball for a standard wood shot is to rest the wood on the ground and check that half the ball is above the top edge of the face.
- If playing a par 5 and going for the “long ball,” tee the ball higher than normal and a little more forward in your stance. This will encourage more of a sweeping motion so the clubhead will be hitting slightly up on the ball, which reduces back spin and increases your launch angle; that's crucial when hitting for distance.