The one thing we all know is that optimal launch characteristics and the proper impact point are the keys to hitting consistent and longer drives. What the Trackman has taught us about these two factors has created a revolution in the way of more forgiving club designs and drivers with different centers of gravity.
However, in the quest for better “numbers” people often forget the simplest of solutions in lieu of working on something more complex. I guess it’s human nature to think that “it just can’t be that simple!”
For this article, I will hit a series of 10 drives using my normal tee height. Then I will tee the ball lower and higher than my “normal” heights and you will instantly see the differences. We will look at three correlations: impact bias and location, ball height and landing angle, angle of attack and carry distance. It’s here that you will find the “best” tee height for your game and fundamentals.
Impact Bias and Location (NOTE: We’re Only focusing on Impact Height)
Normal Tee Height— As you compare the three impact photos you can see on the impact height is better with my “normal” tee height and I believe that this is related 100% to the look that you are more comfortable with. It seems that tee height can influence impact location but usually your best chance for more centered impact is to use the one that’s most comfortable for you.
Lower Tee Height— When you tee the ball ultra-low, you can see that obviously it will influence the ball to be hit lower on the face and this is proven by the impact location photo. We once thought teeing the ball lower would be better in the wind. This is refuted by this impact photo: hitting the ball lower on the face will cause the ball to spin more, and this is proven by the data.
Higher Tee Height— What is most interesting is that teeing the ball ultra-high does not tend to influence the impact height as much as you would think. Yes, I do feel that this tee height might give the player the feeling of more “room” for the driver head to come through the impact zone. I wish it was cut and dry that to control the impact position on the face you only need to change the tee height but that is not the case. However, I feel that it might mentally make a difference and sometimes that’s all you need.
Ball Height and Landing Angle
Normal Tee Height — With the normal tee height, we can see that the height average was 79 feet with a landing angle of 32.7, which is pretty good, but both are still a touch lower than optimal.
Lower Tee Height— The lower tee height provided a very flat launch at 61 feet and much flatter landing angle at 28.4 degrees. If your fairways are harder, then something between the normal tee height and the super low tee height might work better, but be careful not to hit the ball too low on the face and spin it too much!
Higher Tee Height— It’s funny, seeing the balls I hit with this tee height, that looked SO high were actually closer to the Tour Averages! They were only 92 feet in the air and landed around 38 degrees, which for me is awesome. The key here is keeping the spin low while you tee it higher, and my average of 2500 is right where it needs to be for what I’m looking for.
Angle of Attack and Carry Distance
Normal Tee Height — My AOA with my normal tee height was 4.2 and the carry was 248.4 here at sea level. The carry would be better if my impact was less on the toe overall.
Lower Tee Height— The AOA was flatter at 1.8 degrees with the lower tee height by a few degrees. We can see that teeing the ball lower will cause you to have some issues if you already have an AOA that is too shallow. The carry was 10 yards shorter than the normal tee height which is to be expected. As stated, if the fairways are hard this isn’t a bad way to play.
Higher Tee Height— On the high tee height, we see that the AOA went up slightly to 5.0 and the carry went up as well by 10 yards. Remember that if you have wet conditions you want the ball to stay in the air longer and this tee height could influence you to make that different motion. A higher tee height can also help the struggling downward AOA player a touch as well but be careful with this as well too much of anything can get you in trouble.
So now that we have examined tee height and drivers, we can see that it helps with certain issues and does not make much difference with other things. Take your time to understand your issues with Trackman and from there you can make better and more educated decisions when it comes to your best and most optimal tee height!
Normal Tee Height
Low Tee Height
High Tee Height
Lesson of the Day: Understand cause and effect to make permanent swing changes
In our “Lesson of the Day” video series with V1 Sports, we match a different GolfWRX member with a different V1 Sports instructor. It’s extremely important to both V1 Sports and GolfWRX to help golfers improve their games and shoot lower scores, and there’s no better way to do that than getting lessons. While we not only want to provide free lessons to select GolfWRX members, we want to encourage and inspire golfers to seek professional instruction. For instructions on how to submit your own video for a chance at getting a free lesson from a V1 Sports instructor as part of our Lesson of the Day series, CLICK HERE.
This week, V1 Pro Dan Marvosh looks at WRX Member Matt Chappellie’s swing.
About the pro
Dan Marvosh is a PGA Professional as well as TPI Certified instructor based at Sterling Hills Golf Club in Camarillo, CA. In addition to providing a TPI physical screen to understand your body’s movement patterns he also uses the advancement of technology to accurately measure all of the key components that go into making you a better player. These tools include V1 Pro software for analyzing your golf swing, Flightscope launch monitors as well as a brand new wrist sensor called Hackmotion. In addition to in person coaching and programming, Dan offers his students the ability to learn from anywhere in the world via his golf academy.
My first impression of Matt was that he has an athletic setup and likely plays regularly, but like many of you, definitely will benefit from understanding the core cause and effect of why his inconsistencies in ball striking occur. Matt has a very weak grip, evidenced by the “v” of the trail hand pointing in front of his sternum. Players with weak grips generally get the club face fairly open in the back swing and thus have to react accordingly on the down swing to match up the open club face. While most high-handicap players usually react to an open face by swinging left or “over-the-top” to square that open face, Matt has a better players match up where he combines his weak grip with pressure towards his toes at address which cause him to stand up (to maintain balance) in the back swing.
As Matt makes his transition, you’ll notice he continues to early extend (note the loss of tush line) which for him does get his swing direction to the right, however in doing so he will have a significant loss of forward shaft lean and most importantly, face control. In short, standing up in the downswing reduces your ability to create ground force which encourages torso and hip rotation. If you watch Matt’s video, you will be able to understand the connection more clearly. Notice that when the shaft is parallel to the ground in the downswing (Golf Machine aficionados call this p6) the club face is still fairly open (hence why just working on rotation will not work), however just past impact the face has rolled significantly closed, further showing the effect on not utilizing the ground properly to stabilize the face.
In conclusion, like many swings it is often easy to notice the symptoms of Matt’s flawed pattern, however understanding the core cause and thus effect allows permanent change to be more possible and for a lot of my players that starts with the club face. Here are the key steps for Matt to take in order to allow permanent change to show up on the course — where it matters most!
Steps to improvement
- Create a stronger grip at setup- the checkpoint for Matt is to have the “v” of the trail hand to line up more with his trail forearm. Most of you will also benefit from being able to see two knuckles of the top hand from address given its effect on controlling the tendency of an open club face.
- Feel like pressure at address in the feet is more in the mid foot as opposed to towards the toes.
- Work an early extension drill (in the video) to create body awareness and new rotational feels with more ideal pressure shifts (Whenever doing a drill, start off slow and work your way up to speed and take advantage of your smart phone to measure your progress – feel and real are often two extremely different things. Finally, dedicate a portion of your practice to practice swings at 90% speed that incorporate portions of the change you are making and try to match those swings on a ball, this is ultimately the swing you want to take to the course because it has athleticism and incorporates your new pattern)
How-to Series: How to move your hips on the backswing
This is the first installment in our How To Series — follow this plan to master the movements of the hips on the backswing!
This new series is all about helping you improve your golf swing quickly. We’re going to break the swing down into its component parts and give you specific practice direction — master these key elements of the swing and you’ll see improvement fast!
How “long arms” at the top of the backswing can help you hit the ball farther
One of the hardest things to do as we get older is to make a big shoulder turn with extended arms at the top. It’s the swing of a younger golfer! However, every one of us can add width at the top so we can hit it farther, but few know how to actually do so. In this article, I will use MySwing 3D Motion Analysis to help you understand how beneficial long arms are at the top.
As you examine the swing of this particular player, you will notice that the lead arm is “soft” and the hands are close to this player’s head at the top. This is the classic narrow armswing to the top that most older players employ. And as we all know this position leaves yardage in the bag!
Now let’s look at the data so we can see what is actually happening…
At the top you can see that the shoulders have turned 100 degrees which is more than enough, but the arms look jammed and narrow at the top. Why?
The answer lies within the actions of the rear arm, the lead arm is only REACTING to the over-bending of the rear elbow. As you can see at the top the rear elbow is bent 60 degrees. In a perfect world, when the rear elbow is at 90 degrees (a right angle) or more, the lead arm will be mostly straight — depending on how you’re built.
Something to note…in this position the hands are just past the chest and the shoulders have turned almost 90 degrees. However, when this player finished his backswing, he added 30 more degrees of rear elbow bend and only 11 more degrees of shoulder turn! What this means is that for the last quarter of the backswing, all this player did is allow the hands to basically collapse to the top of the backswing. This move is less than efficient and will cause major issues in your downswing sequencing, as well as, your transitional action.
As stated when your trail elbow stays at 90 degrees or wider in route to the top, you will have a much straighter lead arm.
One last thing to note when comparing these two players is that this player two had a shorter backswing length but a BIGGER shoulder turn with WIDER arms at the top, giving this player a short compact motion that resembles Adam Scott — which seems to work for he and Butch!
Therefore, the thing to remember is that if your lead arm is soft at the top and your arms look crowded at the top, then you must fix the over-bending of the rear elbow on the backswing. And if you have wider arms you will have a more solid “package” to become a ballstriking machine!
Spotted: “Titleist CNCPT-01” irons, via Instagram
Phil Mickelson WITB: The Match
Why flaring your left foot out at address could be a big mistake
Charles Howell III’s winning WITB: 2018 RSM Classic
Did Justin Rose confirm his switch to Honma?
Bryson DeChambeau’s Winning WITB: 2018 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
Review: Miura MC-501
Spotted: Callaway Epic Flash, Epic Flash 3-wood
Matt Kuchar’s winning WITB: 2018 Mayakoba Golf Classic
The Refund: Bleacher Report, cable providers to give viewers money back for The Match
Exploring Ireland: Where to golf, drink and stay on the Emerald Isle. Pt. 3. Spanish Point Golf Club, Clare
In these series of articles, I will be taking you around the Emerald Isle providing you with great golf courses...
Tweets of the Week: Rose’s near miss, Rickie’s birthday, a celebration fail, and more
Poom Saksansin claimed the Indonesian Masters, David Lipsky triumphed in South Africa, while Davis Love III and his son won...
Nicklaus: Tiger’s swing is better now than ever
Jack Nicklaus is teeing it with his grandson, G.T., at the PNC Father/Son Challenge. As has been the case since,...
Looks like Little John Daly is a “Long John” as well
John Daly’s 15-year-old son is again the talk of the PNC Father/Son Challenge. JD and LJD first teed it up...
News2 weeks ago
Spotted: Callaway Epic Flash, Epic Flash 3-wood
Equipment2 weeks ago
Callaway Epic Flash, Epic Flash Sub Zero hit USGA conforming list
Podcasts3 weeks ago
The Gear Dive: Ryan Palmer finally switches irons…after 9 years
Equipment2 weeks ago
Jon Rahm’s Winning WITB: 2018 Hero World Challenge
News2 weeks ago
Ryan Palmer on switching irons, learning the game in Texas, and why he doesn’t have an equipment contract
Equipment5 days ago
Bargain Challenge: Putting together a set of clubs for $500
Equipment3 weeks ago
2018 GolfWRX Holiday Gift Guide
Equipment5 days ago
In-hand photos of prototype Ping “Blueprint” irons