Having distance off the tee is certainly an advantage, but hitting it miles won't mean a thing if those drives are long and crooked.
Finding fairways at Bethpage Black, for example, requires strategic thinking off the tee on the part of players. The dogleg designs used by A.W. Tillinghast on many of the holes on the Black Course bend left-to-right and right-to-left to test the ability of players to hit shots of every shape, knowing that skilled players will curve the ball to fit the shape and direction of the hole.
Fading the ball, curving it left-to-right on a hole that doglegs left-to-right greatly improves the chances of hitting and holding the fairway. Those holes are infinitely harder for players who can only draw the ball (curving the ball right-to-left for a right-hander).
But what if you're among the many players who can't work the ball on command like the pros? What if your natural shot only curves one way?
Well, we have good news, because Titleist staff member Mark Blackburn shared how to tee the ball off without changing your natural swing mechanics. It just takes a little understanding of your own ball flight and some new thinking as far as where you should place the ball within the tee box.
How to Hit the Fairway Off the Tee
The shape of your natural ball flight should influence where you place your ball when you set up on the tee. By considering where your swing naturally carries the ball through its flight path, you can maximize your chances of finding the fairway off the tee.
Understand Your Tee Shots
Many players setup right in the middle of the tee box regardless of their typical shot shape. If your natural swing leads to a slice or a hook off the tee, it may be best to align yourself on the far left or right of the tee box and aim down one side of the fairway.
Tee Box Positioning
You can, and should, utilize the full width of tee boxes during the course of a round. By creating angles off the tee that are more favorable to your natural shot shape, you take trouble out of play and fairways seem wider.
So next time you’re approaching a tee box, consider your shot shape and take advantage of the full width of the tee box and maximize your opportunity to get into scoring position.
Enjoy the video above and let us know if Mark's strategy for lining up your tee shots helps you to find the short grass more often.
To learn more about Mark's teaching and to take your game to the next level at The Blackburn Golf Academy, visit Blackburn Golf.
And for additional tips to help you play better on long, demanding courses like Bethpage Black, check out the following:
Mark Blackburn - Driving Efficiency and Boosting Ball Speed
Justin Parsons - Getting Strategic on Long Par-3 Holes
Jack Druga - How to Use the Bounce on Your Sand Wedge
Jonathan Yarwood - Whip It for More Driver Speed
Mark Crossfield - Use the Ground for Longer Golf Shots