While there’s no denying putting’s impact on scores, it doesn’t mean much if you take too many shots to reach the green. Not counting gimme putts, about 55% of all shots are played from 100 yards or more. And efficient golf begins on the tee.
For all the focus on driving length, accuracy is more important for amateurs. You’ve got a much better chance of reaching the green from the fairway, as opposed to rough, sand or trees. And you’ve got no chance if you drive into a water hazard or out-of-bounds.
To boost the number of fairways you hit – thus improving your greens in regulation and lowering your scores – try these simple pointers with the driver:
1. Stand a little wider: The general rule of thumb is to spread the feet shoulder-width apart, meaning the insides of the feet fall directly beneath the outsides of the shoulders. Any narrower and you risk an incorrect weight transfer and poor balance. A stable stance is a great starting point.
2. Grip down an inch or two: In the quest for greater distance, manufacturers have lengthened the standard driver to 45” or longer. Some golfers simply can’t control shots with a club this long. When gripping the club, make sure there’s at least an inch between your top hand and the end of the club. Don’t be afraid to grip down farther, if it helps. You’ll gain more in accuracy than you sacrifice in yardage.
3. Don’t try to kill it: Too many golfers “come out of their shoes” when swinging the big stick. Fact is, you stand a better chance of making a fluid, efficient swing and solid contact by exerting a little less effort. Strive to swing at no more than 85% of full strength and you’ll not only hit the ball straighter, you’ll hit it longer.