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Hit More Fairways and Lower Scores Using These Tips

July 7, 2015

We all know what can happen and how much of a confidence booster hitting fairways can be for your golf game. The difficult part is actually figuring out how to be consistent off the tee for long periods of play. Here are some suggestions for improving fairways hit in regulation:

1. Positioning and set up
Beginner to intermediate golfers tend to overlook the fundamentals and pre-shot routine and its impact on the swing. Grip, posture, and alignment are all critical factors to the result of hitting fairways. Here is a quick three step routine to improve fairway accuracy.
1. Stand roughly three feet from the ball. Let your arms hang in order for your left hand to be below your hip pocket, and grip the club with your left hand. You should be able to see the top of your left forearm and the thumb is facing 1 o’clock.
2. Bow to the ball so your chest points toward the ground, then place your right hand on the club in an underhanded motion to complete your two handed grip. Your right thumb should be pointed at 11 o’clock, and your arms should hang comfortably against the sides of your chest.
3. Bend your knees keeping the weight on the balls of your feet and begin to slowly shuffle your feet until the clubhead is resting directly behind the ball. The ball should be in line with your left shoulder… then let it fly!

2. Mentally Prepare
It is very important to focus on the execution and process of the shot rather than the result. Make sure you come to the tee having thought through where you want to go with your shot as well as performing the process above to position yourself. If you are an auditory learner, it may be best to count in order to have a feel for the length of your swing and tempo. For visual learners, it may be helpful to focus on a mental picture or snapshot of the setup and finish position. Lastly, for those who are kinesthetic learners, focus on the feeling of the club resting on the top of your left thumb (pictured below) at the top of your back swing as the trigger to begin your downswing.

3. Listen for Contact
Hitting the ball for distance is great but only if it is straight and does not create a more challenging approach shot. Focus on consistently hitting fairways before power and length becomes a concern. As a way to check for club speed, flip the driver upside down so the shaft is in your hand and the grip is closest to the ground. Swing a few times this way and see if you can hear a swoosh at the bottom of your swing. If you hear it, your swing speed is likely fast enough otherwise if you cannot hear your club against the wind, it is not reaching its ultimate speed. After hearing the club make noise against the wind, flip it back the correct way and hit balls to test the progress. Your arms and body must be in sync and working together to create the most zip on your drives.

The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.

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