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Find the Fairway
by Carly Frost
February 20, 2013

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Learning to hit your driver well is a big deal for most ladies as it can have a massive impact on helping to lower our scores and our handicap. When I was growing up as a junior golfer it was the one club I was scared to take out of the bag, in fact I played a 3-wood off the tee for years until I plucked up the courage to use it. Nowadays, of course, drivers are such forgiving clubs that none of us have any excuse to not use them, in fact if you don't carry a modern, big-headed, high-lofted driver then you are missing out. But the one thing I have discovered since gaining the confidence with the big stick is that hitting the ball a long way is only a success if you can combine it with the accuracy to find the fairway too.
Step in my tip this week - accurate aiming off the tee. It's something that my husband, Elite Golf Coach Dan Frost, works on continuously with me. It's so easy to be lazy and just walk up onto the tee, peg the ball into the ground anywhere, take a quick look at your target and hit it. But actually, there's a lot more to finding the fairway than that.

For starters, you should consider what side of the tee to peg the ball up on. If, like me, you draw the ball (shaping shots right-to-left) you should try to favour the left side of the tee to peg your ball up as this will allow you to aim slightly down the right side of the hole to allow for the ball to start on this line and draw back into the middle. If you fade the ball (left-to-right) you will want to consider doing the opposite and starting with your ball teed up on the right side of the tee to allow you to aim down the left side of the hole and allow for that fade back into the middle.
Other factors to consider will be any hazards on the hole. If all the trouble is down the right side then you are best to aim away from it allowing for your natural shot shape. Either way starting on one side of the tee or the other gives you the advantage of having the whole width of the hole to play with, giving you a greater margin for error.

Once you have your ball teed up correctly the other important thing to do is make sure you aim accurately. I always stand behind my ball and, using my driver as a guide stick held out in front of me, trace an imaginary line from the point in the distance where I want my ball to start its flight back to the ball. I then look for a spot on the ground along this line, like an old divot, a patch of grass - anything really, and when I step into address the ball all I have to do is aim the clubhead at this spot. Remember to aim your body parallel to this point, as though you are stood on the bottom track of a railway line and your ball is teed up on the top track.

With the ball teed up sensibly and your aim accurate you'll soon discover that you'll hit a lot more fairways than before!

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