fbpx

Is Tee Height The Secret To McIlroy’s Superior Driving At The Players?

Rory McIlroy is using tee height to help control his golf ball at Sawgrass, so what exactly is he changing and what can you learn from it?

 

In a post-round interview on Thursday at the Players Championship, Rory McIlroy explained that he had altered his tee height with the driver around Sawgrass, which had led to more shots in play and a seven-under 65. So what has he done, and why has he done it? PGA Professional Jack Backhouse investigates.

Tee height is such a small basic thing that most of us never even think about it when playing, let alone alter it on a course-specific basis. This is why Rory’s comments at the end of his first round are so fascinating, and there is certainly something for amateur golfers to learn from this.

McIlroy is known for bombing his driver. He swings well from the inside, hits well up on the ball, launches it high, and it carries forever. A contributing factor is how high you tee the ball. The higher the tee, the easier it is to swing up from underneath it and launch it with the high-launch, low-spin characteristics we all dream of.

In fact, in 2011, fresh off winning the US Open at Congressional, McIlroy was said to be searching for extra-long tees as he couldn’t physically tee the ball up high enough; he was hitting up on the ball so much.

But McIlroy has switched to a lower tee height for the Players Championship at Sawgrass this week. He says that with the fairways being narrow, the rough being long, and many of the tee shots tree-lined, teeing the ball down a fraction more than normal gives him an ounce more control in the direction and only costs him a few yards in length. Sawgrass isn’t the longest course they play on tour, and McIlroy thinks that the lost yardage is well worth the gain in accuracy.

Mcilroy tee height

Interestingly, on the 16th hole, a much wider-feeling tee shot, McIlroy teed the ball up at his normal height and launched a bomb that reached a peak height of 149 feet! This is insane and approximately double the height of the average mid-handicapper’s drive. This gave him a huge driving distance. The higher tee obviously freed up his golf swing and resulted in a Rory McIlroy driving masterclass.

What the average driving player should learn from Rory McIlroy’s tee height-gate is that your tee height shouldn’t be a constant. If you are on a hole that is tighter, then tee the ball down, as hitting down on the ball will produce more accuracy but a shorter distance, and when you step onto a hole that feels wide with no penalty, tee the ball up, and try to hit up on the ball more; this may result is a slight reduction in accuracy but will give you more distance.

If you are interested in seeking further information from Jack that is more specific to your golf game, you can book an in-person or online golf lesson by clicking here.

Jack Backhouse

Callaway Epic Max driver review

Jack is a PGA Golf Professional who specialises in coaching, teaching golf to beginners and top-level amateurs for 10+ years. He also loves his golf equipment and analysing the data of the latest clubs on the market using launch monitors, specialising in blade irons and low-spinning drivers despite having a chronically low ball flight.

Although Jack has no formal journalism training, He has been reading What's In The Bag articles since he started playing at 12 and studying golf swings since his dad first filmed his swing to reveal one of the worst over-the-top slice swings he reckons has ever been recorded, which set him off on the path to be a coach. His favourite club ever owned was a Ping G10 driver bought from a local top amateur with the hope that some of the quality golf shots would come with it (they didn't), and worst was a Nike SQ driver he only bought because Tiger was using it.

Jack is a member of Sand Moor Golf Club and regularly gets out on the golf course to prepare for tournaments. Jack uses a TaylorMade BRNR Mini driver, a half set of TaylorMade P7MB irons, MG4 wedges and a TaylorMade TP Reserve putter.

Latest Posts

Learn from the pros

Xander Schauffele Golf Swing Analysis

By

Read full article about Xander Schauffele Golf Swing Analysis

Driving tips

Driver Swing VS Iron Swing (Simple Differences)

By

Read full article about Driver Swing VS Iron Swing (Simple Differences)

Learn from the pros

How To Drive The Ball Like Rory McIlroy

By

Read full article about How To Drive The Ball Like Rory McIlroy

Learn from the pros

What I’m doing to get better at golf this season

By

Read full article about What I’m doing to get better at golf this season

Learn from the pros

Should You Be Shifting Your Hips Like Brooks Koepka?

By

Read full article about Should You Be Shifting Your Hips Like Brooks Koepka?

Learn from the pros

3 Things You Can Learn From Shane Lowry’s Golf Swing

By

Read full article about 3 Things You Can Learn From Shane Lowry’s Golf Swing
how to release the golf club

Driving tips

How To Release The Golf Club

By

Read full article about How To Release The Golf Club

Learn from the pros

Why Does Scottie Scheffler Chip In So Often?

By

Read full article about Why Does Scottie Scheffler Chip In So Often?

Driving tips

How To Hit Driver Straight And Long

By

Read full article about How To Hit Driver Straight And Long