You're Correct!

Correct answer Youre Striking The Ball With a Downward Blow

Todays operative catchphrase for drives with optimum carry and roll yardage is, “High launch, low spin.”

A pop-up or “skied” drive launches high, all right. Too high. Worse, though, is all that backspin, generated by striking down on the ball. You want to catch the ball as the clubhead is moving slightly upward, or level with the ground, to maximize your drivers loft while imparting just enough spin to keep the ball airborne. Excess spin causes it to drop like a rock.

There are several flaws that can cause pop-ups off the tee. Lets quickly run through them.

Teeing the ball too low: If the ball isnt teed high enough, youll instinctively “go down and get it,” rather than sweeping it off the peg. About half the ball should appear above the crown or top line of your driver.

Standing too close to the ball: This address position creates an “upright” swing plane, bringing the driver into the ball on a steeply descending angle. Giving yourself a little more room will flatten out your plane and get those drives down.

  • Playing the ball back in your stance: The closer the ball is to the center of your stance, the steeper the clubs path. Shallow it out by playing the ball opposite your left heel, but only with the driver. This can cause fat or thin shots with other clubs.
  • Feet too close together: A narrow stance steepens the clubs arc. (Sensing a theme here?) Set up with the insides of your feet aligned with the outsides of your shoulders for a wider, more sweeping swing.
  • Head out in front: This usually happens when the ball is too far back in your stance. When hitting driver, your head should be even with or slightly behind the ball at setup and impact, creating the conditions for an upward or level strike.

Notice that each of these issues occurs at address – in other words, theyre easily fixed. Make sure youve got the correct tee height, distance from the ball, ball position and stance width and your pop-up drives will be long gone.

Want more info on the topics discussed above? Try these detailed tips:

Attack on the Upswing for Longer Drives

Beginner: Proper Tee Height for Hitting the Driver

Widen Stance to Add Power, Accuracy

Address the Ball at the Perfect Distance

The Benefits of Selecting the Right Shaft Flex

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

Many players automatically tee the ball lower after skying a drive. Fact is, its nearly impossible to tee it too high if youre playing a driver of at least 400cc in clubhead size. The idea is to catch the ball on the upswing, best accomplished by teeing it nice and high.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

While a too-wide stance can cause problems (a restricted hip turn among them), it shouldnt produce pop-ups. You want the feet far enough apart to promote a wide swing arc, but not so wide that you cant rotate the hips back and through.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

Intuition may tell you this, but its extremely unlikely. Even the most lofted drivers (12-13°) wont send the ball spinning sky-high without your help. If youre convinced its an equipment issue, check your shaft flex. If its too soft or whippy for your swing, a stiffer model could be the answer.