Starting The Hole
Advice for all levels with the tee ball

The golfers of today are very distance minded. Many of them ask the questions regarding how they can get more distance, especially at the start of a golf hole. All golfers should remember that distance is great advantage only after it is combined with accuracy and consistency. A player must control his tee shot in order to set up his next shot. If the tee shots are controlled, the iron problems become simpler, also the short game problems also become simpler. With good driving you learn to be on the offense instead of on the defense.

To become an efficient driver, you must make full use of your physical attributes and timing. Below are a few key areas of focus based on the various skill levels of golfers.

Higher Handicaps (Learning to break 100)

My advice for this level of golfer is to understand the importance of set-up along with the mechanics of the swing (hopefully from a qualified PGA professional); the type of stance you take on any shot should insure good balance and firm footing. Most players at this level have poor turns and incorrect ball position. When playing a tee shot, set your right foot back slightly to create a closed stance. Position the ball even with your left shoulder and left toe. All the above enables you to turn your body more freely behind the ball on the backswing, and deliver a more powerful blow into the ball at impact. This stance also encourages a swing path toward the inside back part of the golf ball for impact - creating a draw or a hook.

Mid Level Handicaps (Learning to break 90)

This level of golfer should concentrate on combining accuracy with an accelerating clubhead through impact. This is a little trick that will help you to understand hitting the ball while the club is travelling the fastest.

Hold a club upside down with your hands on the bottom of the clubshaft and the handle by your feet. It is very important the club is above the level of the ground when you make this swing, and listen for the handle as it creates a “swoosh” sound from acceleration. Focus on hearing the “swoosh” at the point where the ball would be in your set-up, or even beyond it. As you become accustomed to accelerating through impact, turn the club back around and swing with a golf ball. You may be wild for a time, until you learn to control the clubface. The driver is NOT always your best friend in this scenario. The driver has the longest shaft and the least amount of loft. I advise using a 7, 5, or a 3 wood as you learn to hit it further with accuracy.

Low Level Handicaps (Breaking 80)

Learning how to control your trajectory with tee shots, high or low, can come in very handy when playing in all conditions, especially in the wind.

Anytime you play golf on a windy day remember to widen your stance. You will be surprised how little the wind will affect a low ball. Start by teeing it with the equator of the ball level or higher than to top of your wood at address. The swing should be a sweeping motion through impact, allowing the clubhead to travel parallel to the turf through the hitting area. Allow the hands to lead the clubhead through the bottom of arc. Just like playing tee-ball and driving it towards the pretend pitcher.

To hit the ball higher, change your set up slightly. Move the ball forward in your stance (left toe area), aim a little right to compensate for ball position, and tee the ball high. Swing the wood, and catch the ball on the upswing. Well-trained hands can control the clubface and in turn control ball flight.