We all have those tee shots, the ones that just don’t fit our eyes. Perhaps the one you have in mind is on your home course, or another path that you repeat often. Either way, you’re afraid of it, which begs the question: How should I play it?
You’ll be forgiven for thinking that a smart – and safe – move would be to leave the driver in the bag for this. Use 3-wood instead. It’ll give you the best of both worlds: enough accuracy to get on the right track, with enough distance for a manageable next shot, right?
Wrong – wrong – wrong.
Do not hit 3-wood
just ask Lou Stagnerthe data leads to Archos Golf. He collected data from thousands of golf shots by 10 handicaps and found that golfers who pick 3-woods gain little accuracy, at the cost of enough distance.
Assuming a round player hits a motor in the rough and has 125-150 yards left, he will hit his approach shot on average about six feet closer to the hole than a round player who hits a 3-wood in the rough and has 150 and 175 yards to approach it. If the three-round hitter finds the fairway, he hits the ball only about 10 feet from the hitter-round player coming from the rough ground.
Obviously it’s best to hit the right lane, but we all already know that. If you’re going to miss the right lane, the closer you are to the hole (within reason) the better.
With the choice of 3 woodcuts for a little bit of emphasis on a huge increase in accuracy while ensuring a loss of distance, the trade-off simply isn’t worth it anymore.
Tie the ball down
This does not mean that 3-woods are not useful. It’s much easier to land because your driver is, of course, and their primary service off the tee is for when you need to run into something less of a hassle for the long haul. You almost certainly won’t miss 3 wooden pieces as long as you miss them from side to side.
But going back to the original question about what you should do when you need to get on the right track: Top 100 golf instructors Chris Mason suggests thinking of it as a “second serve drive.” Take your driver, but drop the ball down. It will add more spin, which may help you hit the ball a little straighter and higher. It will be shorter than when you reach really high, but still longer than 3 wooden pieces. Best of all, it will go straight.