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How High Should the Golf Ball Be Teed?

Tee the ball at different heights depending on club

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close up golf ball and tee
Roger Spooner/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

You're a beginning golfer stepping up to the tee box. You have a tee in your hand and you press it into the ground. But how far down into the ground does it go? How high or low should the ball be teed?

The answer depends on the type of club you are using. The longer the club - driver being the longest, the wedges being the shortest - then the higher the ball should be teed.

Studies have shown that the best height to tee the ball when using a driver is equal to the crown (or top) of the driver. In other words, the bottom of the golf ball, resting on the tee, should be level with the top of the driver.

As the club you're using gets shorter, you'll lower the height of the ball. For a 3-wood, leave about one-half to one-third of the ball above the crown of the club. For other fairway woods and hybrids, leave about one-third to one-quarter of the ball above the crown (about a half-inch of a standard tee should be above ground).

If you're teeing off with an iron, less of the tee will be above ground. For long to mid-irons (2-, 3-, 4-, 5-irons), it is recommended that about a quarter-inch of the tee remain above ground.

For the shorter mid-irons and short irons (6-, 7-, 8-, 9-irons and PW), press the tee all the way into the ground so that only its head is above ground.

To recap:

  • Driver: Bottom of ball level with top of driver
  • 3-wood: About half to a third of ball above the top of clubhead
  • Other fairway woods and hybrids: About a half-inch of tee above ground
  • Long to mid-iron: About a quarter-inch of tee above ground
  • 6-iron and shorter: Only the head of tee above ground

Return to Golf Beginners FAQ index

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