Improve Your Golf Drive Accuracy. Every Time.
Why the Vector Tee?
Because for many of us, golf is a good walk spoiled. How many times have I thought that as I searched for my ball in the rough only to find it and knock it into the opposite rough. I look up from the giant divot to see my friends waiting for me on the green and the next foursome waiting for me in the tee box. There are times when I hate this game, and I wonder why I keep on coming back, but I always do. To me, golf is like fishing...mostly boring, often miserable, but in those rare moments when I actually catch something, it makes it all worth it. I’ll hit 17 terrible tee shots just to get that one beautiful shot. You know the feeling. The force up your arms as the club contacts the ball in its sweet spot, a crack like thunder, and finally the beautiful arc as the ball travels straight and true down the fairway. At that moment, we are all Tiger Woods, minus the affairs and losing.
I have a couple of engineering degrees and a PhD, so I’d like to tell you that I decided then and there to put those to good use and find a better way. That I hunkered down, and in a flurry of cocktail napkins, logarithmic equations written on slate blackboards, and metal wastepaper baskets overflowing with crumpled papers...finally found the solution, but that’s not how it happened. It came to me one Friday night as I played pool while watching Shark Tank...and drinking Budweiser of course.
After a year of testing and development, we finally have the Vector Tee. Now you can feel like Tiger Woods with every tee shot, minus the affairs and losing. check out the animation to see how it works. There are also a few videos showing Justin using the tee. He hits it straight on, then 30 degrees to the left and to the right. Even on these severely angled shots, the balls goes straight. Believe me, I was just as surprised as you will be that it actually does work.
Q: How durable is it?
A: With the current model, we have found that like all plastics, it becomes more brittle and thus subject to breakage in the cold. Therefore, we recommend using it when the air temperature is at least 65 degrees. Otherwise, it is virtually indestructible. We’ve tried to hit it as hard as we can, and the best we can do is a minor dent where it contacts the club. I’m not saying this is unbreakable. I’m sure if I purposely bent and twisted it, put a blow torch too it, or hit it with an ax, I could break it, but under normal golf conditions, this should last for a long time. We have noticed that after many hard hits, the arm holding the ball may start to bend downward. If this happens, you can bend the arm back up. The ball must be in contact with the sphere in order for it to work properly.
Q: How does it affect distance?
A: This tee is designed for accuracy, not necessarily distance. That said, there will of course be a loss of energy as the force is transferred through the tee. In addition, only the component of the force vector along the line of travel will move the ball, so the better it’s hit, the farther it will travel. These effects are mitigated by the backspin created which act with the dimples on the golf ball to create lift and thus more distance. In addition, because you don’t have to worry about control, you can swing as hard as you’d like. With this constraint removed, our testers could hit shots even greater than their normal distance. We all remember from high school physics that the optimum ballistic angle for distance is 45 degrees, and I’ve often wondered why a golf club driver is not set to 45 degrees. The answer has to do with backspin and club position at point of contact. For drivers, over the years, it’s been found that the optimum angle is between 8 and 13 degrees. For this tee, the loft angle is set for what we have found gives the best flight path, 12 degrees. On average, expect about 20% loss of distance.
Q: Is it legal?
A: Define legal. You won’t be using this on the PGA tour. By definition, a tee can only hold up a golf ball, so this would not be a legal tee. A Mulligan is not legal either, but most of us take those. Many companies, including established companies like Calloway, make nonconforming (illegal) products. This is not for the golf purists, though they would have fun with this too.
Q: How about spin?
A: We initially thought that because the club never touches the ball, there would be no hook or slice. This is basically the case for most golfers who would use this tee, that is those of use with slower swing speeds. We have found, though, that for good golfers with higher swing speeds, ie, 100 MPH or greater (Justin's swing speed in the videos is 100 MPH, for comparison, mine is in the 70's), the tee does not perform as well. The ball will still start in the intended direction, but may hook or slice. We measured the spins with a radar device called a Flight Scope, and were surprised to find that there was often more spin than with a regular tee. Super slow motion videos showed that during the hit, the golf ball would compress against the tee. While it was compressed, the tee would deform slightly causing off center shots and sidespin. The deformation is only a few mm and is only temporary, but enough to cause the sidespin. We're working on strengthening the tee in key areas to counteract this effect. Even with the spin though, we've found that the tee is more accurate than a regular tee. If you watch in the videos where Justin aims 30 degree to the right or left off of center, the ball still goes fairly straight. 30 degrees off is pretty extreme. Even a very poor golfer would have a hard time hitting it that far off, but as you can see, the tee corrects these shots. With these off center shots, you'll also see more spin. As I mentioned, Justin has a very high swing speed which will enhance the spin of an off center hit.
Q: Any tips for use?
A: As I mentioned above, do not use this in cold weather. Most plastics are not designed for this kind of impact. We experimented with many types and found this this is the most impact resistant. However, all plastics become more brittle in the cold, so the impact resistance will diminish in cold weather. We have not done any formal temperature testing, but 65 degrees fahrenheit should be safe. Hit this with a driver...the bigger the face, the better. Other woods may work as well, but the lofted woods, such as a 5 wood, may lift the tee diminishing it's performance. Don't use an iron, as that may damage the tee. Don't try to kill it. The tee works best with the slower swing speeds. The tee will fly after being hit. I've included a tether with each tee which can be used to limit it's flight. This is optional as the tee will work fine without it.
Place the tee into the ground with the arrow pointed in the desired flight path.
Place the golf ball on the small platform that has the arrow. There is a shallow groove on this platform which will keep the ball from rolling to either side. The platform is tilted, so the ball will roll backwards to rest against the sphere.
Now hit the sphere on the side opposite the ball. We recommend using a driver on all shots—the larger and flatter the face, the better. By flatter face, we refer to the loft angle. Higher lofts will tend to lift the tee from the ground, thus compromising accuracy. A 3 or 5 wood will work, but will not be as consistently accurate. Do not use an iron with this tee, as it may damage it. Because you hit the tee, not the ball, the tee will fly. The distance and direction will depend on how it's hit, usually around 15 feet and at an angle to either side, so make sure noone is in it's flight path. We are now sending out the tees with a tether. This can be used to aim the tee, and will also keep it from flying away. Simply put a regular tee in the small loop at the end of the tether, next to the metal clip. Then push this into the ground in front of the tee. The other end of the tether is looped around the Vector Tee. Now aim the Vector Tee by pulling the tether tight so that it forms a line directed toward your target. Push the Vector tee into the ground and you're ready to hit.
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