In the continuation of the series “Helpful Tips for Students,” we move on to preparing for the tee shot. The Tee Box Choose the Correct side of the Tee Box: Don’t just plop the tee and ball anywhere between the markers. Remember that you have the right to tee the ball up anywhere between the markers and up to two club-lengths behind the markers. The smart player uses this to his advantage. If a right-hander tends to fade the ball, he hits from the right side of the tee box; if he tends to hook the ball, he hits from the left side of the tee box. This can also help if there is trouble on one side of the fairway. Always tee the ball on the side of the tee box that has the trouble and shoot away from the danger. Tee the Ball High for a Hook and Low for a Fade: A ball teed high will tend to promote a sweeping swing, making it easier to draw the ball. Teeing the ball low will promote a steeper swing, promoting a fade. Use a Tee on Par-3s: When playing a par-3, too often I see players simply drop the ball between the markers. Use a tee to your advantage by creating a perfect lie. A ball teed low just slightly above the ground level will mimic a perfect lie in the fairway. This will increase the chances of a solid strike. For Your Target, Have Tunnel Vision: As you prepare to hit a shot, choose a target and try to hit the ball only at that target. Many players immediately look for all the danger and spend more thought on what can go wrong, rather than positive images. A good player has “tunnel vision” and simply aims at a single small target. The subconscious mind does not understand negative words. Therefore, when you tell yourself “don’t go O.B.,” you are just telling your subconscious mind to “go O.B.,” therefore reinforcing negative images! Plan Your Strategy for Each Hole: Use the correct club to tee off. It is not necessary to hit driver on every hole. If you watch the pros, they hit driver as little as 3-4 times a round. A good strategy is to figure out what distance off the tee will give you a comfortable approach shot to the green. For example, a 325-yard par-4 may require as little as only 200 yards off the tee to leave a “comfortable” wedge shot. Often, this strategy applies to par-5s, as well.
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