Be Straight When it Counts

Monday October 29th, 2007
Bob Atkins

What it is: Tee-shot strategy

What it does: Helps you hit more fairways

When course architects are feeling especially wicked, a favorite bit of torture is to align tee boxes toward the rough and use other visual tricks to get you to hit your drives into trouble. Here's how to stripe it down the middle when the hole looks really narrow from the tee.

  • Stand behind your ball on the tee and pick out a 10- to 15-yard landing area, then picture an imaginary line from that spot back to your ball.
  • As you address the ball, focus on an intermediate target a few feet in front of you. Align your ball square to that point, and don't worry about hazards, distant mountains or anything else.
  • Right before you pull the trigger, take one last look at your landing area. Take a cue from the Tour players, who by this point are only thinking about getting their ball to that spot.
  • Make a confident swing, knowing that you've done what it takes to line up the shot. Practice this on the range, and you'll be ready to conquer any intimidating visual tricks.
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