Breaking Your Golf Tee? Here’s What You Need To Know

I’m sure you know the guy who blows through a whole bag of tees every single round. Breaking tees is pretty common for the average hacker, but is breaking tees actually normal, and if not, why does it happen?

For professional golfers, breaking a golf tee is only common when hitting irons and wedges. Average players tend to break their tee too often because their angle of attack is too steep or the ground is just very firm.

When hitting irons, wedges, and even hybrids, breaking your tee is pretty common because these clubs require a downward angle of attack. When hitting fairway woods and driver, breaking your tee is a lot less common. If you’re wondering why you’re breaking your tee, the answer is pretty simple.

Should Golf Tees Break?

There are a number of factors that go into this question, so the answer really isn’t that simple. Everything will depend on what club you’re using, what your swing is like, and also the course conditions.

The two main reasons your tees are breaking often are:

  1. Your angle of attack is steep.
  2. The ground you’re playing on is really firm.

The first reason your tee could be breaking is that your angle of attack is steep. All this means is that you’re hitting down on the ball. When you hit down on the ball, you’ll tend to hit the tee as well.

Hitting down on the ball is how you want to hit irons, wedges, and hybrids. Since that’s the case, breaking your tee with these clubs is perfectly fine.

That being said, things change a bit when you hit your fairway wood and driver. The angle of attack is much more shallow with these clubs, and since that’s the case, breaking your tee is a lot less common.

When you come in too steep with the driver, you’ll also put a lot of spin on the ball. That’s where the big banana slices and hooks come from.

Better players almost never break their tee when they hit driver or wood. They still will when they hit iron or hybrid. What’s kind of funny is that average hackers will either do the opposite or they’ll break their tee with all clubs.

I see a lot of people break their tee with driver, but leave it perfectly intact with irons. With the driver, they’ll either come in too steep or will hit the ball high on the face (bottom of the face will hit the tee).

A lot of beginners and high handicappers tend to sweep the ball with their irons. They normally get a weak little fade, and that’s why they don’t get much distance or have any consistency.

The second reason your tee might be breaking is that the ground is just really firm. If you know that your angle of attack is normal and your tee is still breaking, this is likely the cause.

If you have a long tee and you stick it in the hard ground, it’s almost guaranteed to break. Push a long tee all the way down in firm dirt and try pulling it back up. It’s not that easy.

The reason golfers on tour don’t break many tees is that the ground they play on is in much better shape. It’s watered constantly and it’s not that hard. I know the concept seems too simple, but it’s the truth.

An easy way to fix this is by using a shorter tee that barely sticks into the ground or by putting the tee in the ground, taking it out, and putting it back in. This should save a bunch of tees.

Do Plastic Golf Tees Break?

Plastic golf tees last much longer than wooden tees, and that’s why I’d recommend using them. Plastic tees are much more durable, and I’ve been using the same bag that I purchased three years ago.

If you’re someone who goes through a lot of tees, I’d highly recommend getting a bag of plastic tees. I think I bought a bag of 100 tees like three years ago and I still have a bunch left.

I took a number of them and cut off 3/4 of the tee to use for iron, hybrid, and fairway wood shots. Sticking a long tee all the way in the ground can sometimes be tough to pull back out. A shorter tee makes this much easier.

How To Stop Breaking Your Golf Tee

Just like we said before, the most common reason you’re breaking your tee is that you’re hitting down on the ball. This is fine when you’re hitting iron and hybrid, but it’s probably not the best for driver and fairway wood.

If you know that your angle of attack is good, we talked about how firm ground comes into play. If you’re looking to stop breaking so many tees when you hit a driver, here are some things you can do:

  1. Widen your stance.
  2. Move the ball forward.
  3. Tilt away from the target.

The first thing you can try is widening your stance a bit. Having a wider stance will shallow out your swing, which could help your swing in a number of ways.

When you’re hitting your mid irons (5-7 iron), your stance should be shoulder-width apart. The inside of your feet should align with the outside of your shoulder. Your long irons and fairway woods should be an inch or so wider. You can add another inch when you’re hitting the driver.

The second thing you can do is move the ball a bit closer to your front foot. When you’re hitting your driver, the ball should be just inside your front heel. When hitting your fairway wood, it should be a ball’s length closer to the center.

The final thing you can try is tilting your body away from the target. For a right-handed golfer, all you have to do is slightly tilt your right shoulder towards the ground. Your right shoulder will be slightly lower than your left shoulder.

You’ll want to experiment with this a bit, but just doing this slightly should help you shallow out your swing. It helped me a lot with launching the ball higher, straighter, and longer.

Hey, I'm Jon. I started Out Of Bounds Golf to share my findings after testing golf gear for the past 10+ years. My goal is to make the game a little easier to understand, whether that's with finding the right product or answering common questions. I currently live in the Pacific Northwest.

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