Tip From the Archives

Tight Fairways

Problem

You are about to tee up but notice that the fairway is very narrow or there is brush obstructing a clear shot.

Cure

Although distance is ideal for any tee shot, you could end up taking more strokes due to a lack of control. Try using a utility club or your 3 wood. This can provide more loft but it will increase the chances that the ball will fly straight by reducing sidespin.

Therapy

Use your longest wood or hybrid club for less lateral spin. Tee the ball a little lower for more distance and a lower trajectory for the club. Avoid attempting to swing steeply to punch the shot because this will only give you more sidespin. Use a normal swing and this will give you a little topspin with more roll. If you decide that distance is more important than control, then use your driver. Tee the ball up a little so you hit towards the top of the sweet spot on your driver. This will give you a little more loft to allow the ball to fly a bit straighter. Choke down on the grip by a little less than an inch to help increase the odds that you will hit the sweet spot. Take five or more steps behind the ball and take a practice swing while envisioning the ball soaring straight down the fairway towards the target. Now go back to your ball and swing with confidence because you already have the shot you are going to achieve imprinted into your mind. As always, accelerate during your forward swing continue to do so past the ball.

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