Breaking your tee when hitting your driver is usually a sign of something amiss with the swing, the way the ball is set up, or the type of ground you are teeing from.
As a rule, when teeing off, you should not break your tee when driving as you could be hitting down too steep on it, or catching the ball thin, having it teed up too high, or it may not be your fault at all and could be the tee quality or the ground conditions.
Let’s find out why you shouldn’t be breaking your tee when driving, the causes behind this, and how you can fix it to achieve better and more consistent drives as well as cut down on having to buy tees before each round!
Should You Break Your Tee When Driving? Could Be Swing Problem
One of the first things to look at if you find yourself breaking tees when driving is the swing plane and the angle of descent into the ball, unlike the irons, which require a descending strike to compress effectively and achieve a good launch angle and spin.
The driver swing is designed to impact the ball on the up-sweep. This means, in simple terms, that the driver is designed to sweep the ball off the tee upwards and forwards, and if the driver is hitting down into the back of the ball, you will lose distance.
This is the most common cause of tees breaking when driving and is especially common with higher handicap players. Here are two quick fixes to stop you from breaking your tee when you drive.
1. Fix This Problem By Checking The Tee Height
When you tee up your ball, half the ball should be showing above the driver’s face. If your ball is higher than that, it may be too high, which will lead your driver to cut through the tee as it makes contact with the ball.
You may also find that this issue will have you hitting the ball higher than most, and by bringing the ball height down and teeing it lower, you could find yourself hitting it further and breaking fewer tees, because tee height does affect driving distance.
2. Place The Ball Further Forward And Widen Your Stance To Fix This
A steep downswing could be because the ball is teed up to far back (toward the center) in your stance. By having the ball set up in that position, you don’t allow the driver to reach the apex of the upsweep action and make contact with the ball in the wrong position.
By moving your tee and ball more forward and setting it up just inside your left foot, you can then ensure that your driver impacts the ball on the upsweep of the swing and doesn’t hit down on it.
You can also look to widen your stance slightly to give yourself more space, stability and balance to swing the driver, and this will also widen the swing arc and give yourself a chance to utilize all the technology in the driver’s face to make proper contact with the ball in the right position.
3. Set Your Driver Swing Properly
Many golfers don’t have the correct setup with the driver, and because of this, they often end up hitting down on the ball, resulting in poor shots and broken tees. Make sure you are properly set up using these tips:
- Aside from the ball position and stance, set your hands slightly back at the address
- Tilt your shoulders up to the left slightly to give you the correct attack angle
- Grip your driver lightly as if your grip is too hard. It creates tension in the arms and shoulders and prevents a free, easy swing
- Don’t overswing and take your club past parallel. Many golfers turn the club past parallel at the top of the backswing, which impacts the swing plane and attack angle on the downswing.
- Keep an even tempo. Don’t try and hit the daylights out of it because it’s the driver; swing it like a 7-iron and let the club do the work.
Your Tees Break When Driving Because They Are Poor Quality
If you hit the driver well enough and straight most of the time, then there is unlikely an issue with you striking down on the ball. You may be breaking tees because they are cheap and not quality tees.
Using good quality plastic tees, especially those with the three height lines marked on the tee shaft, can make your life a lot easier as you can set the tee at the optimum height for your driver consistently.
It also means that the tees are far less likely to break on impact and give you good feedback on your driver’s swing. Trying to understand or fix your driver swing when it’s actually your tees that are the problem can cause more problems than it solves.
Check your tees first before you look at driver swing analysis.
You Could Be Breaking Tees Because The Ground Is Hard
If the ground is very hard, it grips the tee when you drive, and at impact, it doesn’t allow the tee to move a little, resulting in the tee breaking as it has no flexibility in the ground.
This is usually seen when the ground is very dry, and it is difficult to peg the tee into the ground without some force. Cold weather also has this effect as it makes the tees more brittle and the ground a lot harder.
This is more commonly found with wooden tees so perhaps try some good quality plastic tees with inherent flexibility.
Breaking your tee when you drive could well be the result of some fundamental errors in your swing, in which case, you may need a lesson or two to sort it out. However, before you spend money there, check the more obvious elements.
Fix the ball’s position in your stance and the height of the ball on the tee and make sure you use good quality tees as you may find that this problem is not a swing issue at all, and you could find yourself bombing drives and using the money you saved on lessons to get a whole pack of proper tees!
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