Playing Offense

Rob Rashell
Director of Instruction
TPC Scottsdale
Scottsdale, AZ

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I remember one of my coaches always talking about the driver being the real offensive weapon in the bag. If you can hit the driver solid and in play golf gets a whole lot easier. I’m not saying easy, just easier, and usually a lot more fun. Here are three strategies I use to stay on the offensive with the driver.

Where’s the middle?

Standing on the tee box on most desert golf courses, finding the middle of the fairway or landing zone can be really difficult. One of the tricks I used in my playing days was to stand in the middle of a fairway (at the distance your tee shot would normally land) and lay a club down with the grip end pointing back at the middle of the tee box. If you walk around to the grip end of the club, your club head will be pointing to the target that represents the middle of the fairway for your tee shot. I can’t tell you how many times I thought I was aiming at the middle of the fairway, only to find I was 10 or even 20 yards off with my aim.

Know how far your clubs go.

Just because you have a driver in your hand doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be trying to hit your tee shot both a certain direction and a certain distance. Using distance control can keep you short of a bunker or water hazard, it can also help you make a much more controlled and consistent swing. I’m not saying you should baby something out there, just be aware of your landing area and maximize the possibility of hitting your tee shot in play.

Turning up the volume.

Three or four times a round you’ll be faced with an opportunity to let the driver eat. Most of the time for me these holes were par 5’s and I chose to take a calculated risk. Trackman has been extremely helpful in building the playbook on the best way to get 10 extra yards of carry. I always thought if I missed my tee shot, the worst thing I would have to do would be to lay up on a par 5.  If I pulled off a big tee shot, I would be in a great position to possibly make eagle and hopefully at worst, birdie.

Each golf hole is its own little chess match. Formulate a plan for the hole and commit to your shots, hopefully it will make the game just a little bit easier. Good Luck!