Imagine the level of comfort and confidence that you would have when standing on the tee if you could be sure you wouldn’t miss on one side of the fairway or the other. That would surely be a great feeling, and would allow you to make confident and aggressive swings far more often. Whether you eliminate the right or left side of the course off the tee, you are sure to reap the benefits of this strategy on the scorecard.
It might seem like a fantasy to be able to eliminate one side of the course, but it is not as difficult as you might think. During your next visit to the driving range, pick a specific target out in the distance and hit 10 consecutive drives at that target. Don’t worry about which side those shots miss on at this point – just hit the best possible shot each time, and make a quick note of the result. Once those ten shots are hit, take a look at your notes and see if any patterns stick out. Where are your misses going? Which side to you seem to avoid naturally?
For example, let’s say that you missed one drive to the right, hit four drives right at the target, and missed to the left five times. Obviously, the left side of the course is your natural miss. That’s okay – your goal now should be to never miss to the right. Whether you hit a drive right at your target, or miss it to the left, those are acceptable results, as long as you don’t hit the ball to the right.
Why does this work?
Of course, it would be great if you could hit every drive perfectly at your target time after time. However, that isn’t happening – so forget about it. The best you can hope for is to control your misses so that they are playable and don’t cost you on the scorecard. So, knowing you are only going to miss to the left – if you miss – you can pick targets that allow for a left miss without doing too much damage. Often, the right half (or even right edge) of the fairway will be the best choice.
Imagine the following scenario – you step up onto the tee of a long par four and you notice that there are out of bounds stakes lining the right edge of the hole. Down the left side, there is just some rough and a couple of bunkers. Obviously, the out of bounds in the real trouble spot on this hole, while the rough or bunkers shouldn’t be too bad. In this case, you can aim your drive right down the middle and not worry about the out of bounds at all. Hopefully you will hit it right down the middle and the ball will finish in the fairway. Even if it does move a little left, you should still be a playable position.
Pick Your Side
It doesn’t particularly matter which side of the course you decide to eliminate, as long as you pick one and are confident in it. You should go with your natural tendency so you can easily fit your swing to this new strategy. Starting in your very next round you will be amazed to find how much confidence you can gain just by mentally eliminating one side of the course.