Golf Tips And Lessons

How To Take Control of Your Tee Shots

Here are some tips to help you get the most off of your tee shots.

It does not matter if you are hitting your driver on a long par 5 or hitting your 9-iron on a short 3 par, you have to visualize the shot before making it.

Visualizing your shot is more than just seeing it in your mind's eye as it lands. Visualizing is seeing the flight path:

Does this tee shot require a draw, a fade, or straight down the fairway?

Do you need to keep the ball low because of wind or can you play with some height?

Are there hazards or obstacles that you need to avoid?

Seeing the tee shot in your head is crucial. And here is why.

Until you can "see" the shot, you cannot make the right club selection. And until you answer the questions posed above you cannot select the right club for the job.

The second step to taking control of your tee shots is to appreciate and understand the limitations of your clubs. Expert golfers can hit the ball "harder" from time to time and get away with it. But most average golfers will only find themselves in trouble if you approach their tee shot with the attitude of smashing the ball as hard as they can.

If you need more distance, concentrate on swinging the club faster, not harder. There is a difference. Faster club head speed imparts more energy into the ball upon impact. This is how the pros get those long, graceful drives. You can do it too.

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You might be surprised at how many added yards you can get simply by increasing your club head speed. This applies to all your clubs, from driver to 9-iron.

A common mistake that often takes place on the tee is the tee itself. It is important that you don't tee your ball up too high or too low.

If you tee the ball too low, chances are you will end up hitting the ground or the ball on too vertical a bias. If you tee the ball too high, your club head will want to go underneath the ball and this can result in some very bad shots.

In general, you want to tee your ball so it is sitting at the same level of the sweet spot of the club you are using.

I am not sure why it is, but driving off the tee seems to be the one shot where golfers have the most "noise" going on in their heads. This mental "chatter" can be annoying at best, distracting at worst, and can cause you to miss your drive.

As far as I know there is no one set rule for muzzling this noise; each golfer has to come up with his or her own method. But getting your golf mind calm is an important step in controlling your tee shots.

I use my pre-shot routine to help settle my nerves and mind-noise. I've done this routine so many times now that it is second-nature and because it "is" a routine, it helps me to calm down.

If you do not have a pre-shot routine, you should consider adding it to your bag of tricks. It does not have to be anything fancy or complex. Just put together a set of four or five things you do before you step up to the ball, and you will soon find you able to settle your nerves much easier and faster than you are able to do now.

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