The aim is to sweep the ball on the upswing. In order to help that a high tee is essential. These days there are different colored molded tees for different heights with red being the lowest, blue, yellow, and white.
White is the drivers’ tee and it should give you an idea of what height you should look even if you are using the simple wooden tee and selecting your own height.
Some golfers seem to think it is more difficult hitting the ball off a high tee. It may take practice — but then the game of golf requires that anyway.
Those low and mid-height tees are of doubtful value with the driver. If you put your ball on one of them and your clubhead behind, you will see immediately how difficult it is to hit the ball as you want it because most of it is below the top of the head.
It is far easier to launch the ball off a high tee and there is the added advantage that there is far less negative spin in doing so. The natural sweet spot on these huge drivers that have become so common these days is above the center of the face; it is obvious that it is easier to hit the ball in the sweet spot if it is higher up. It is the only time golf gives you an advantage, so take it.
If you grip the club too tightly you might find you have a tendency to slice. You may not be aware of what you are doing and feel your grip is perfectly normal when in fact it isn’t.
It is the right hand that will be the problem and the result will be that the clubhead is slightly open when it hits the ball. You may not know what to do about it.
It’s a matter of getting to the point where your grip pressure is correct and then replicating it in the future. Here’s an idea that may help you.
Hold an iron by its head in either hand with the shafts facing the floor. Tap them together!
You’ll be surprised how often you miss until you relax your grip a little at which point you’ll hit every time. That’s the pressure. If you have tension in your arms and hands, let them hang by your side and perhaps shake them a little before getting hold of the club.
Just because Tiger Woods can generate distance using his hips so explosively, it does not mean the rest of us can. Tiger is a phenomenon and few people on the PGA Tour have been able to match him either — at least when he was at his prime. Ordinary golfers must accept certain limitations and look to get everything working together.
Yes, you want your belt buckle facing the target at the end of the follow-through but it is not a race to get there. You should think that at the stance your buckle will be facing the ball and also again when contact is made. That means you are moving at the correct pace.
You need to complete your turn in the backswing of course. If you take your stance and concentrate on moving your right shoulder, your back knee will begin to feel the pressure of the movement and shift of your weight. You’re ready to fire. Your front heel may rise a little during that movement; don’t worry that may actually help when you begin to move your club towards and then through the ball. You are looking to rotate around an axis eliminating lateral movement as far as possible.
You don’t need to sway backward as though you think you can get more weight behind the ball by doing so. If you do you will be out of the central position you have tried so hard to perfect. Many golfers have a great practice swing which bears little resemblance to their swing when they actually hit the ball.
There is no apparent reason for that other perhaps than the tension created in the mind that this is the real thing when they are going to strike the ball.
Perhaps one drill that might help is practicing half shots, back and through, and gradually go to the full swing. The ball should not be seen as an impediment to the smoothness of the swing — more a beneficiary.
Golf is competitive, of course, but it also a game to be enjoyed — a way to escape everyday stresses. It can bring stresses of its own during a round and it is all too easy to allow doubt and anxiety to creep into the mind. One of the best ways to stay calm is deep breathing.
You may not be able to find a quiet place if you are in a four ball but you can move away a little, put your hands on your stomach and chest and draw air through your nose, counting to five. Exhale through your mouth, counting to eight. Repeat that 10 times, though on the golf course you may not have sufficient time. Focus on your golf strengths and play your next shot.
You may need to do this regularly throughout your round; if you do then don’t feel at all concerned though you cannot hold up play. It is essential that you have a clear mind when you stand over the ball, but if it helps to relax you to think about something good away from golf like a future holiday or a nice meal at your favorite restaurant then do so. But clear that away before the start of your pre-shot routine.
If you want to think golf, why not Freddie Couples, whose tempo is excellent yet his drives have been a match for anyone over the year? Copy his tempo and you won’t be going far wrong.
Golf is not a race and you need to select a pace of play that suits you. If that means a little time on the tee getting your breathing under control, so be it. You can always make up any time by walking quicker between shots. If you keep up with the pace of the field you can do anything you like if it helps your game.