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Golf ball on tee next to end of driver as player lines up shot

In golf, the first shot at any given hole is often the most important and exciting one. A great tee shot means an easy transition from the fairway to the green and then par or maybe even a birdie if you’re experienced enough. However, having a weak drive sets you further back on the course, but having a strong, uncontrollable swing puts you too far out on the rough.

Developing a strong drive from the tee takes years of practice, experience, and the occasional missed swing. From novice players to experienced professionals, Basking Ridge Country Club is home to golfers of varying levels of skill, and the one thing everyone seems to agree on is the importance of the tee-off at every hole. Here are a few of our best tried and true tips that will help you improve your tee shot.

Use Your Grip for a Stronger Drive

When it comes down to it, your hands are the only part of your body that comes into contact with the driver. This means your grip and hand placement have a huge impact on the drive itself. While you want to maintain a certain level of consistency, it’s also important to alter your grip depending on the course.

On the course, alter your grip slightly with each shot to see what works best for you. As a general rule of thumb, a lighter grip will open the face of the driver, which adds a little loft to your shot, whereas gripping the club tighter is going to turn the face of the club toward you, which causes the ball to hook.

Start Slow and Gradually Increase the Speed of Your Swing

Many novice golfers assume that a strong, fast swing is the key to a deep drive and a quick par. While there is some truth to this, it does more harm than good if there’s no control behind the swing. A well-executed drive relies just as much on control as it does speed, which is why you should practice controlled swings before you give them a lot of power.

Remember, if you can’t do it slowly, you can’t do it fast, so take some time and practice your drive at roughly a quarter of your maximum speed. You want to focus on hitting the ball with the face of the driver, which may mean making slight adjustments to your stance. Aim to connect the ball and the clubface 10 consecutive times before speeding up your swing.

Ensure Proper Tee Position and Ball Placement

Also contributing to the strength and accuracy of your drive is where you stand in relation to the ball when it’s on the tee. A common mistake is lining the top of the driver up with the bottom of the ball – the assumption here is that this will add some extra loft to your shot. Oftentimes, it adds too much loft, and your ball goes higher than farther. To fix this, adjust the tee so that the top of your driver is in line with the middle of the golf ball. This gives the ball a perfect balance between height and distance, which optimizes every shot.

One last thing you can do to improve your tee shot is to line up the ball with the inside of your front foot. This way, the drive makes contact with the ball on the upswing, instead of at the end of the downswing.

For more golf tips or to learn more about our course, contact Basking Ridge Country Club.