Be Precise when Aiming Your Driver

    The fairway is a pretty big target, and just about any tee shot that finds the short grass will do.

    If that describes your thinking with the driver, you’re probably not driving the ball very accurately. And you’re leaving yourself tougher shots to the greens when you do hit the fairway.

    Think about where and how you aim your tee shots. Do you: a) Casually point the clubface toward the middle of the fairway? B) Aim somewhere left of center to account for your slice, or vice versa for a hook? C) Pick a specific target, then carefully align your club and body?

    If you answered “c,” feel free to move on to the next tip – you don’t need this one. If “a” or “b” describes your method, stay right here and keep reading.

    Sloppy, half-hearted alignment can hurt you in several ways. For one, your body and clubface are likely mismatched, causing shots to curve excessively. For another, you’re unlikely to swing with the same focus if you’re “aiming” for a 30-yard swatch of grass, rather than a 5-yard window. Finally, the larger your target, the worse off a miss will be.

    And those times when you do hit the fairway, your next shot may be poorly positioned to attack the green.

    Rather than line up nonchalantly, take these steps for more accurate drives:

  • Identify the best spot for your approach shot: Strategy means always thinking one shot ahead. The greens on many par 4 and par 5 holes are angled to be more receptive from one side of the fairway. You may have to carry hazards or rough from the “wrong” side of the fairway, where an approach from the proper side is trouble-free. Determine the ideal approach angle and, if you’re confident in reaching it with your drive, aim right at it.
  • Choose a precise target: One you know where you want the drive to finish, find a tree in the distance, a mower line in the fairway, an out-of-reach bunker or other landmark aligned with your target. The idea, of course, is to hit your drive directly at your spot. If you miss by a few yards, you should still be in the fairway.
  • Account for shot shape and roll: Every golfer has a natural shot shape, or a shot they rely on more often than not. Let’s say your drives tend to fade (curve left to right, for a right-hander). Because they hit the ground moving to the right with a touch of rightward sidespin, they’ll roll in that direction. Thus, to finish in the center of the fairway, choose a target slightly left of center and set up accordingly.

    Here’s a simple way to line up every shot with precision: Best Method for Correct Golf Alignment

  • Hitting fairways may not be all that important to the pros, but unless you routinely pound drives 300 yards and have the strength to gouge the ball from the rough, it’s a critical part of the game.

    Precision aiming gives you more margin for error and will position you for easier approach shots.