While swinging a golf club may look easy, many issues can arise before, during and after you hit the ball that can send it on the wrong path. Even the right swing in the wrong situation can get you in trouble, making strategy important. Knowing a few basics and how to execute them will keep you out of the rough and in the fairway more.
Set Up Correctly
Many golfers focus exclusively on their swings, trying to fix mechanics, when the problem may actually be their setup. Experiment with your ball placement to gauge it's effect on your shots. Moving the ball forward can help you draw or pull a ball; moving it too far forward can cause a hook. A more forward ball placement lets you get more weight into your swing, creating more distance. Placing the ball back in your stance helps you loft the ball on shorter shots, such as pitches, but can create a slice or decrease your distance if placed too far back. Standing too close to or too far away from the ball can create swing paths that cause slices and hooks.
Tee the Ball Correctly
Teeing the ball too high or low can create a variety of problems, as well as offer solutions to several problems. Teeing the ball higher helps eliminate a slice, according to top golf instructor David Leadbetter. Teeing the ball higher also helps you get under the ball, creating more elevation to fly your ball over obstacles. But teeing it too high also can create a loss of distance. Teeing the ball lower can help if you are trying to draw or pull the ball. Champions Tour pro Nick Price recommends a strategy of teeing the ball lower as you raise the number of your club. Tee the ball highest when using a driver, and lowest on par 3 holes that require shorter clubs.
Play for a Full Swing
Getting as close as you can to the green on your approach shots is not always the best strategy. Pitches and chips from off the green require abbreviated swings that can be more difficult to control than a full swing. Depending on your skill with various clubs--or possible hazards near the green--it may make more sense for you to leave yourself 150 yards away from the flag on your approach shot if you can take a full swing from that distance, rather than putting your ball within 100 yards of the green, requiring you to use a wedge.