Fortinet Championship

Silverado Resort and Spa North



Why'd I Do That? Hitting An Errant Tee Shot

By Jim McLean Illustrations by Chris Gash
May 09, 2016

You're playing along fine when suddenly a tee shot gets away from you. High and right, into the adjacent fairway. And there's a group there. You yell "Fore!" (yes, you have to), then go over and try to be clever: "Can I borrow your fairway?" Of course, you have to play a shot in front of them, the worst part.

A high-right tee ball usually comes when you fear going left. Or you're trying too hard to drive it straight. Either way, you tighten up. Your hands and arms don't catch up to your body on the downswing, and the clubface points right at impact. The mechanical mistake is, you turn your body too fast coming down, or your lower body slides ahead, causing a severe in-to-out path to go with that wide-open face.

You need replacement thinking. Aim at an object along your intended line—a tree or bunker in the distance. Step into the shot from behind the ball so you get a good look at your target line. Waggle the club to get the tension out, then focus on making a free swing to your target.