While most golfers and equipment companies focus on driving length, accuracy off the tee is every bit as important.
In fact, straight driving is even more critical to amateurs than pros. Why? Because pros have the strength and skill to advance the ball from deep rough, out of fairway bunkers, or over and around trees. Most amateurs simply lack this ability.
If you hit less than 50 percent of fairways in a typical round, try these tricks to hit it straighter:
• Choke up on the club: Instead of gripping your driver near the butt of the shaft, place the hands with at least an inch showing at the top of the club. This makes it easier to control and find the sweet spot.
• Don’t overswing: If you tend to miss the center of the club and finish off-balance, slow down your swing to about 80 percent. Not only will your shots fly straighter, they’ll be longer because you’ll make better contact.
• Don’t automatically reach for the driver: If a hole is tightly bordered by rough, trees or other trouble, use a 3-wood, hybrid or iron from the tee. You’re more likely to hit the fairway, more than making up for any loss of distance.