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Golf Driving Tips: Teeing off with the Driver

Finally, a word on how to devote a few minutes on the practice tee to developing a pre­shot routine that will equip you to play your best golf out on the course for real (where the last thing you want to be thinking about is swing technique).

The secret is to first stand back and visualise the shot you want to hit and then follow a disciplined routine that gets you all set to repeat the swing you have honed on the range. A trick that has worked very well with many of the players I coach with is to imagine a white line painted on the tee behind the ball, the idea being that you use this line as an interface, a way of triggering and balancing out the left and right side of your brain as you go through the process of hitting the shot.

Essentially, the analysis is a left brain activity, and that's the bit that takes place behind the line as you weigh up the shot in hand. As you step over the line, you engage the right side of the brain, the instinctive, creative part, to play your best golf.

Standing behind that line you take a good look at the shot you are about to play and get a `visual' in your mind. Jack Nicklaus used to describe this as `going to the movies' on the shot, and that's a nice way to think about it. Get the video in your head, make a full rehearsal swing, engage your target and then, once you are ready, move in to the ball.  As you cross that line you are in automatic play mode, and you should execute the shot without further delay. See it, and hit it!

The Drill

Refer to your `up­close' target line marker in the final seconds before you pull the trigger.  `See' the shot you want to hit and fix your sights on a close­ target to help with your alignment.  Draw your right foot back to create a severely closed stance; i.e. a line across your feet aims well to the right of your target.
Golf pre-shot routine teeing offVisualise the golf shot pre-shot routineGolf practice swingGolf Preshot routine getting ready to tee off
As left side clears you can enjoy returning the club along the desired inside path back to the ball.  Commit to releasing the right side through the ball to impart right­ to­ left draw­spin on the ball.  Encourage your swing to follow your toe ­line as you work the clubhead away from the ball.  The club shaft should match your toe­line at the top (i.e. it is `across' the ball­ to­ target line). 

If you make a practice swing, make it a real practice swing, and hold your finish.  Stand back to get a feel for the shot you intend to play.  Cross the imaginary line into `play mode', and let your instincts take over Switch to auto pilot and play the shot for real, 100 % focused on your target.

Study, Visualise, Rehearse, Go Play!

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