One of the most common looks of anguish on the golf course can be found in the tee box of a par-4 for par-5 hole following a shot with the driver.
The drive is one of the most coveted shots in golf and every golfer wants to step into the tee box full of confidence that they are about to unleash a long and accurate drive. However, many beginner players will often struggle to hit their driver, and this is often the first complaint heard from golfers.
If you have been struggling to control your driver, the first thing you need to ask yourself is exactly where you are aiming when you are on the tee.
This often brings a response of ‘down the fairway’ but this is very vague and highlights the first problem when controlling the driver.
You should be thinking about your drive when other players are hitting their shots. Plan your line of attack and look for the obvious dangers which await you on the hole. If there is water down the left side of the fairway for example and rough on the right side, the best plan would be to shape your drive away from the water, as this is the biggest danger.
Not every golfer, especially beginners, can shape their shots so instead you should aim away from the biggest problem, which in this case is the water. So, instead of placing your tee in the middle of the tee box and aiming for the middle of the fairway, place your tee to the left side of the tee box and aim for the right side of the fairway.
Immediately you have a proper target to aim for on the fairway and have set up your tee in a way which will help you to find that target. You are starting to control the driver.
To help you when aiming with the driver, look for something specific to aim for, like a tree in the distance.
If you have had problems controlling the flight of your ball with the driver, try teeing the ball lower towards the ground. Do not change anything else in your set-up, just the height of the tee and play your normal swing.
The lower tee height will encourage to hit down on the ball and this will create more backspin. The ball may not travel as far using this tip but with more backspin comes more control and the more backspin on the ball, the less sidespin you will have.
Make a judgement when you are assessing your options before stepping into the tee box. If the fairway is nice and wide, you can afford to keep the tee higher but if the fairway is narrow and you have been struggling to control your shots, tee the ball lower.
This will help you to keep the ball under control and help prevent it from moving away to the right or left.
So, when controlling the driver have a clear plan of where you would like the ball to land, place your tee in a position which is advantageous for getting it there and tee the ball lower to help you keep the ball under control.