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Tee Height for Irons (Par 3 or Driving Iron. Video)


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Another pretty good video, albeit longer than it needed to be. I will summarize for those that don't have time.

Liam recently caddied for a pro EuroTour golfer, and noticed something different about pros teeing their irons up much higher than almost every amateur golfer. He goes through some testing in the video, but it's a small sample size of course. At the end, he calls the pro and asks why he tees it up so high on par threes. Basically it is just to center the ball on the face instead of catching it potentially low on the face.

I found all of this quite interesting and may try it out during my round tomorrow. It is going to be 72 degrees here in southern Ohio, and I can't wait.

As a question, how high do you tee it with irons?

Edited by Bonvivant
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23 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

albeit longer than it needed to be

Wowzers, I think only the last minute of the video was necessary. Glad you posted a tl;dr  

I have some 3/8” castle tees that I usually use for tee shots with hybrid or 3W. Might try them out with irons on off the tee tomorrow when I play. Usually I tee the ball up just off the top of the grass with a broken tee or something. 

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3 minutes ago, Darkfrog said:

I have some 3/8” castle tees

Not only did he mention newer players using castle tees (he was talking about longer ones), but I think that the 3/8" is the height he described seeing by the pros. Basically they used their fingers as a guide for height, pressing the tee in until their fingers are grounded.

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I try to match the color of my tee with the color of the tee markers.  That is not always possible as I tend to prefer orange tees and no tee markers I have ever encountered are orange.  This creates a philosophical challenge: do I think about it...or not think about it?  Is not thinking about it thinking?  I have to admit, having thought about it, that it is.  

So that can't be it.  There is something to it...but at the same time there isn't.  Much like most things.  Are we voting on reality?  If so we might want to consider what that implies.

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6 hours ago, Piz said:

I try to match the color of my tee with the color of the tee markers.  That is not always possible as I tend to prefer orange tees and no tee markers I have ever encountered are orange.  This creates a philosophical challenge: do I think about it...or not think about it?  Is not thinking about it thinking?  I have to admit, having thought about it, that it is.  

So that can't be it.  There is something to it...but at the same time there isn't.  Much like most things.  Are we voting on reality?  If so we might want to consider what that implies.

I match my tee color to my mood, so they are usually black.

I’ve always felt that teeing to high with irons would cause loss of distance by hitting too high on the face. 

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I tee up my irons just a little above the grass.  My thinking is most of my iron shots are (hopefully) from the fairway and I do not want to alter much from that to have consistency other than a little above the grass reduces the odds of my topping it.

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9 hours ago, Bonvivant said:

Not only did he mention newer players using castle tees (he was talking about longer ones), but I think that the 3/8" is the height he described seeing by the pros. Basically they used their fingers as a guide for height, pressing the tee in until their fingers are grounded.

That sounds about right for me, not that I’ve ever measured the actual height. I used to tee the ball up with just the head of the tee above the ground, but this year started teeing it up slightly higher because I realized it’s stupid to thin a ball off a tee.

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But the center of the face on an iron isn't anywhere near the sweet spot, or where any decent player hits it. Sweet spot is lower on an iron than most of us realize

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More people should be doing this though. I've usually had a higher tee than most on par three shots, people give you that weird look. Then you hit a ball high and soft and they give another weird look, like they don't understand how the two relate.  People often struggle with low point control, why not help ourselves out a bit?  Or just don't use a tee if your going to put it level with the ground.  😊

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(edited)
7 hours ago, billchao said:

I realized it’s stupid to thin a ball off a tee.

Indeed

7 hours ago, colin007 said:

But the center of the face on an iron isn't anywhere near the sweet spot, or where any decent player hits it. Sweet spot is lower on an iron than most of us realize

This depends on what kind of iron you are using. Pros typically don't have mega low weight biased irons. 

3 hours ago, Hardspoon said:

I've always tee'd it up about as high as he indicates the "pros" do.  Visually, standing over it, it seems like it's on the ground, but it gives that little margin for error against fat shots.

I tried it today. Best scoring on par 3s ive had in a while for a single round 3, 3, 4 and 5 which is just fine for me, being 1 below bogey average on them. The 4 was a 3 putt that could have been avoided. The 5....we won't talk about.

For reference I normally use no tee or drive the whole tee into the ground. 

 

Thanks to all for the feedback, and i hope to hear many more chime in!

Edited by Bonvivant
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I've not seen PGA Tour players teeing the ball up very high at all. They're the best ball strikers in the world, and they are used to hitting irons off the fairway, where the ball isn't "up" at all.

I doubt the veracity of the claim the video makes. Maybe a few Euro Tour players who aren't all that great tee it up a bit higher, or the conditions warranted it, but… meh.

I'm not saying bury the tee in the ground, but… yeah… put it maybe half a groove above "normal height" if you're a good player. A bit higher than that if you're not so great.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

I've not seen PGA Tour players teeing the ball up very high at all. They're the best ball strikers in the world, and they are used to hitting irons off the fairway, where the ball isn't "up" at all.

I doubt the veracity of the claim the video makes. Maybe a few Euro Tour players who aren't all that great tee it up a bit higher, or the conditions warranted it, but… meh.

I'm not saying bury the tee in the ground, but… yeah… put it maybe half a groove above "normal height" if you're a good player. A bit higher than that if you're not so great.

This makes sense to me. A highly teed ball feels like it's encouraging me to scoop at it instead of hitting it like it owes me money

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(edited)
5 hours ago, iacas said:

I've not seen PGA Tour players teeing the ball up very high at all. They're the best ball strikers in the world, and they are used to hitting irons off the fairway, where the ball isn't "up" at all.

I doubt the veracity of the claim the video makes. Maybe a few Euro Tour players who aren't all that great tee it up a bit higher, or the conditions warranted it, but… meh.

I'm not saying bury the tee in the ground, but… yeah… put it maybe half a groove above "normal height" if you're a good player. A bit higher than that if you're not so great.

Thanks for chiming in. I know you are in a unique position when it comes to the game. I would assume that these were in person encounters with pros, not just judging by the television. In the video he said all of the players in the group were doing it, one of them being someone who has T-6 at The Open Championship. Perhaps it is a links thing, with taking spin out being potentially advantageous.

 

4 hours ago, colin007 said:

This makes sense to me. A highly teed ball feels like it's encouraging me to scoop at it instead of hitting it like it owes me money

There is no reason you can't have a descending AoA and not scoop with the ball teed up higher, other than a lack of discipline or a mental block.

 

2 hours ago, Zippo said:

I hit off the ground when practicing with my irons so usually also hit off the ground on par 3s.

I did this until today, and today I had good success, hitting 3/4 greens on my home course. I normally miss 3-4. Obviously my anecdotal evidence doesn't hold up in court, and it could have been a placebo, but I was hitting them much better today with a little more tee height.

 

4 hours ago, chicub15 said:

I only use a tee if the teeing ground is chewed up and worse than a nice fairway lie. 

Why not get yourself a "better than fairway" lie by teeing it up a bit? What if the tee shot calls for a FW, do you tee it up then? If so, why are they different?

Edited by Bonvivant
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The spin numbers from tee vs no tee are almost identical. Carry distance is within a reasonable range. The descent angle is quite different. Do the pros tee it up to have a higher flight and a steeper descent?

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