We all dream of smashing that one drive 300 yards down the fairway, plus most of you request “a little draw” to go with it! But let’s look today at what strategy tips you can add to your tee game to improve your chances of getting the ball in play and improving your probability of shooting better scores. Club selection is the starting point for thinking smart off the tee. Statistically we want to move the ball as far as possible down the hole and often we can be just as profitable having a 2nd shot of 120 yards from the rough than 150 yards remaining from the centre of the fairway. Our 3 Wood for safety isn’t guaranteed to hit the fairway and certainly dispersion patterns with 3 wood and Driver for amateur golfers are very similar. (See pic. below for fairway hit numbers) With that in mind you still need to do your homework and see how far up the hole the hazards are, find out the yardages to reach them and carry them so you are able to make informed decisions…nothing worse than hitting a great drive into trouble!
Next work out where the most space is and use that as a guide for a potential landing area. If there is trouble on one side of the hole, I would have a tendency to set up on that side of the tee box and hit away from the trouble, this increases the margin for error and the size of your target area. When deciding on where to tee up, I would then pay attention to the teeing area itself, it’s one of the few times on a hole when you can move your golf ball, so ensure your teeing area is flat ( I see a lot of golfer tee it on slight slopes), remember you don’t need to go exactly between the markers where the ground may be worn and can go back 2 club lengths. You also have the luxury of lining up the manufacturer’s logo with your target line and using this to your advantage (Don’t blame the tee markers pointing in the “wrong direction.”)
For higher skilled players you may also build in go to tee shots where you can eliminate certain curvatures, for example you may move the intended strike area toward the heel to eliminate a left miss. Finally, make sure you do your homework before the round…knowing what your actual carry distance with Driver will be much more useful than how far your GPS says your average drive goes. Make sure you put some pressure Driver practice into your range sessions where you only get one go every 20 balls and build in some consequence! Stay smart off the tee.