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On the range, focus on where you want the ball to start, while feeling like you are hitting it down the tunnel.
On the range, focus on where you want the ball to start, while feeling like you are hitting it down the tunnel. (Mike Bailey/WorldGolf.com)

To improve your accuracy off the tee, make the most of your driving range time

Les MillerBy Les Miller,

Problem: You can't seem to find the fairway with your driver, OB right, trees to the left, your inaccuracy off the tee is moving that handicap higher and higher. How do you put that tee shot in the fairway?

Here's a tip that can help: On the practice range, pick out a spot a few feet in front of your ball (place a ball or tee on that spot) and make sure you focus on it. As you look down the fairway, feel as though you are driving the ball down the center of a tunnel that starts over the spot you have picked out.

Now hit drives, but concentrate on hitting the ball over the spot down the tunnel without any thought of where you want the ball to finish. (Next time you watch PGA Tour players on TV, take notice of how many seem to be looking at a spot in front of their ball during their pre-shot routine). Jack Nicklaus was one of the first players to do this, and it really makes it much easier to start the ball online off the club face.

This works because focusing your thoughts on the ball and where you want it to go immediately after being struck helps you concentrate on the hitting area, not the landing area. This allows you to lock-in to the club head striking the ball, which all great ball strikers do.

When you become too fixed on your target, you lose focus on the ball, which causes missed-hit shots that travel off-line. Keeping focus on where you want the ball to start while feeling like you are hitting it down the tunnel will also help eliminate negative thoughts during the swing.

These tips will help you be a better ball striker, with a more consistent swing, which will have you driving that ball in the fairway.

Les Miller was a longtime Golf Writers of America member who covered golf instruction for several newspapers and golf publications. His many years of experience as a golf professional, director of product development and tour relations for several major golf companies gave him a unique background and ability to help golfers increase their enjoyment of the game.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • Hitting fairways

    Ravi wrote on: Sep 13, 2014

    I have a question on this tip.
    @ driving range, I have been doing this by aligning the ball to a tee at a few feet before the ball, and the ball goes straight and towards the end it goes to left or right(too far). So, it is not starting right but lands at right of the fairway.
    What I can do to correct this?