PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club


My Checklist


√ __ TEE IT LOW__

Teeing the ball down promotes a lower trajectory, which gets the ball on the ground quicker and, therefore, is easier to control. Both draws and fades have a better chance of staying in play on a lower flight. Teeing the ball high helps you catch it on the upswing for more carry—great for distance but not for finding the short grass.


Shortening the length of the club is a good way to increase control over your tee shots. You might sacrifice a little yardage when you grip down because the shorter shaft results in a slightly slower swing speed. But what you lose in speed, you'll make up for in better contact and a more penetrating ball flight. You might end up hitting it straighter and farther.


The longer your backswing, the harder it is to return the clubface to square at impact. By keeping the length of your swing under control, you'll reduce the number of tee shots you spray off line. I want to feel like the clubshaft stays short of parallel going back. This prevents a long, loose position at the top and sets up a smooth transition into the downswing.


On demanding tee shots, I picture a "ceiling" that connects the tops of the trees from one side to the other. Then I try to keep my drive below that ceiling. This image helps me swing more down the fairway and less up on the ball, as many amateurs do. If you launch the ball on a flat trajectory, you'll increase your chances of starting it on the line you picked and give yourself a good look at the green.

ISHIKAWA, 20, has nine wins on the Japan Golf Tour, the first coming when he was only 15.