U.S. Open

Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (Course No. 2)


Off the Tee

June 13, 2007

I see average golfers aim poorly off the tee. Try setting left and right limits for your target area—picture football goalposts. Those limits might take in the entire fairway, and even the rough if there's no serious risk, or they might take in just a quarter of the fairway. Set your limits to allow for your usual shot shape and to gain the best angle for your next shot.

Most of you slice and aim carelessly. The first thing you should do on a dogleg-left like this is tee up as far right between the markers as you can, as I show in the photo above. (I'd draw the ball here, so I'd go left on the tee.) A slicer's left limit or goalpost should be the left edge of the bunker, or even left of it if there's a slice wind, and the right limit should be the middle of the fairway. You might be prone to shy away from the bunker, but if you aim at it, your slice will wind up in the left side of the fairway and you'll shorten the hole. It's probably not a birdie hole for you, but you may well get a handicap stroke.