DEVELOP A GO-TO DRIVE
Hitting fairways is a key to saving strokes, especially if you're currently shooting in the high 80s or low 90s. Every missed fairway is a chance to lose strokes, and if you want to reach your scoring goal, you're going to have to start putting the ball in play consistently. I tell my students that they need to hit at least seven fairways per round if they hope to break 80, so this should be your goal. To do so, you'll need to shore up your setup position and then develop a go-to shot shape (see below). Forget about trying to bomb it every timeif you want to shoot a score, you have to think strategy, not ego.
BUILDING AN 'ANTI-SHOT'
Eliminating one side of the fairway means building a swing that you know can only produce one of two "anti-shots": An anti-slice shape to avoid trouble on the right or an anti-hook shape to avoid trouble on the left. This starts by changing your setup to naturally produce the shape you're looking for. The proper setup will help you "feel" the shot shape before you swing.
HOW TO ELIMINATE THE BAD SIDE OF THE FAIRWAY
Once you've determined what shot shape you're going to use as your go-to drive, you need to test yourself and improve your ability to play it under pressure. To do so, find a practice fairway or area of the range with plenty of flat ground in front of you. Picture a centerline to your target and use that as your guide. If you're going to use an anti-right shot (draw) as your go-to drive, for example, your goal should be to start every drive right of the centerline and draw it back toward the line without crossing over it. If you want to fade the ball (anti-left), do the opposite. Take 10 balls and test yourself with the intention of getting at least 70 percent of the shots in the target area. If you can learn to do this, you'll be on your way to breaking 80.
WEEK 2 ACTION PLAN (3 HOURS)
1. Find Your Go-To Drive (60 minutes): Decide if your "get it in play" drive will be a draw or fade. Shore up your setup for the shot you choose and spend some time working on hitting that shot on a consistent basis.
2. Cross-the-Line Drill (60 minutes) Perform the Week 2 drill. If at first you don't succeed, stick with it. Your goal at the end of six weeks is to hit 7 out of 10 drives in the correct area of the fairway.
3. Scoring Club Distance Practice (60 minutes) Perform the wedge drill on the opposite page. At this point in the six-week plan you should be able to get at least 4 out of 10 balls in the 10-yard radius with each of your scoring clubs.