How do you learn to like a tee shot?

I have few tee shots at my home course I am just not comfortable with. This was my 3rd season being a member and initially I wasn’t comfortable with a LOT of them, but I’ve managed to whittle away at it. There are still a few that plague me though and my average score on these holes reflect it. Most are on the back 9 which most members feel is harder.

There are a few that still don’t suit my eye, but I’ve managed to suck it up and play them better. A few others I am still really struggling with. I get myself lined up, but then I don’t trust that I am It’s frustrating since I’m actually playing some harder holes better now just because I’ve made my peace with their tee shots. Maybe it’s just a matter of sucking it up and swinging away? There are 3 that I’m wondering if I should just not use driver on. They are long, but I have enough distance to get on in 2 using a 3w or 3h off the tee…honestly bogeying these holes more often would be an improvement lol. That said I’m not always straighter with the shorter clubs.

Any advice or thoughts are appreciated.

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I’m all for “trying a different club off the tee”…find something you love off the tee and get the confidence to know that you always have a “go to” if you absolutely need a bogey (or par). If you hit your 3H consistently, use it…I’ve got a 2ironwood that I love on intimidating driving holes. I’ve also been known to play an entire round hitting nothing but 7 iron off the tee just to see what the difference in my score might be playing from every fairway :).

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Have you gotten on google earth and looked at the holes from above?

Measure how much room you have between hazards at various carry distances

Once you feel like you have the correct area and have selected club, get really specific on visual cues for start line.

I think this is big in the sense that you subconsciously know you have a good strategy. After you make the decision, 100% commitment and focus 100% on where you want the ball to go.

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What causes you to be uncomfortable?

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Yes one of them is a dogleg and the other 2 bend a bit so I have mapped out that 3w or 3h might even leave me in a better spot. I’m not always any straighter than with the driver, but the new 3w I just got seems straighter than my old one so it may see more shots as I get used to it. I may start next season comparing a driver vs 3w vs 3h vs driving iron on some tee shots and see what I’m more consistent with.

The biggest key is probably just for me to find a way to commit to the tee shot like I’ve done with other holes. Then I just need some success to breed more confidence.

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The 17th at my club goes steeply up hill off the tee and slopes down to the left to the trees. Straight in front of the tee is a path up and a garden filled with horrible 2ft tall high ball swallowing grassy bushes. I used to really struggle to hit high enough to land on the fairway or hit really low into those grassy bushes. I tried hitting 7i to get the height but it barely reaches the fairway. As a hooker of the ball aiming right takes you over the highest point, the ladies tee up against the trees on the right side. Now I aim left as that is the lowest point and after opening the face to increase loft I swing driver and either hit a baby draw or a push fade. Being less anxious and repeated success has helped me banish this difficult tee shot.

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Confidence plays such a huge role in golf… it’s amazing. Holes that used to scare me I know realize they have the same width of fairways as the rest of the course… just have to get used to picking a good target on the tee box and swinging the golf club. I think tee boxes where you aren’t comfortable make it really easy to focus on steering the ball…

I highly recommend picking out a target (I focus on a target down the fairway, not one 12 inches infront of the ball, but pick what works for you!) and trying to just make a good swing… Do that successfully a couple of times and it will reinforce itself.

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The whole google earth thing has helped with my commitment. I know what I am doing makes sense so just execute.

Hardest thing is that some tee shots are just hard. They don’t fit shape, are tight, hazards at awkward distances.

Sometimes it’s just a tough shot and you have to block out the negatives and go try and hit a great shot

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There are 3 holes that I struggle with the alignment and they really just don’t look right to me. Two of the holes have OB left and right so that’s certainly in my head and the other one is just narrow and woodsy (that’s basically the whole course lol). With all 3 of these holes it’s not uncommon for at least one member of a 4-some to say “I’ll be hitting a provisional”.

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I know the setup!

If ob is that big of an issue and on both sides, laying well back may make sense.

It doesn’t take many OB balls to offset a 75 - 100 yd distance decrease

It’s a math problem! This assumes there is more room on a long second shot coming in which may not be the case.

I used to play a course with one of the dumbest holes in America on it. Medium par 4 where the fairway pinched in to 15 yds at 230 ish, dogleg right, and the shape / height of trees basically meant you could not cut the corner with a draw without going ob left.

Because of the height of the trees and the funky dog leg, it was not uncommon for me to hit 4 iron, then 7 or 8 iron 25 yds short of the green.

Was I basically surrendering? Yes but my scoring average dropped significantly and was probably like 4.8 or something and that was much better than when I tried to take on corner

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#1 goal of a course architect is to make the golfer uncomfortable. 2 ideas.

  1. as Papa suggested getting a google earth image and looking at it can change how you visually picture the hole. If you know that avoided the OB and trees fit into your dispersion pattern then pick your line and go. It won’t work all the time but you can remove a variable that way.
  2. There are holes that no matter who you are or how you hit it they are just hard. If you are making big scores it may not be a bad idea to just play a par 4 as a par 5. Your score will improve over time. You just have to try different approaches to playing the hole until you are at least semi comfortable.

I don’t know your handicap but I have 3 holes on my home course that I know going into the round I am going to bogey close to half the time. Accepting that going in doesn’t change my approach to them however it changes my mindset regarding them.

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Laying back is definitely something I’d like to try. I sort thought I was getting a handle on the tee shots, but then I started hitting the ball better and farther. Depending on the tees, temp and wind I had to stop using driver on the doglegs because it was too much. I also don’t think it’s a bad idea to play at least some of these holes as par 5’s. I’ve done that with the difficult 11th hole at my club and I’ve pretty much stopped making double and triple.

Hoping to play tomorrow and Saturday and try a shorter club on those holes. It may not be the best time since it’s a lot cooler out, but as long as I don’t try to swing out of my shoes it will be interesting to see how it changes things,

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Lots of good stuff in here

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On my course there are tees that don’t point at the centre of the fairway. Then when you line up straight you feel all skoo wiff. Plays with your head.

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Yes! Some holes that are intentionally visually daunting may actually be forcing your eye away from the “right” line off the tee - so the suggestion about using Google Earth is great; plus now you can point & click on it to measure distances.

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Played Friday and Saturday and did well on all but my nemesis 12th hole. That’s just a tee shot (and 2nd shot) I need to find a way to get comfortable with like I did some other holes. I think the new 3 wood is helping as it seems straighter than the old one. That may have been the last of the good weather and if so I finished with a few good rounds and positive thoughts. Thank you for all the great feedback!

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Try playing them with 3w or 3h a few times and see if your scores improve. We have one hole like this at my home course. I’ve been there 10 years and I’ve never learned to love the tee shot. But I’ve gotten to the point where I just accept that I’m probably going to miss the fairway and will have to make sure I make no worse than bogey.

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Honestly, I think the problem highlights one of the biggest challenges in golf… basically getting rid of the negative thoughts, ignoring external stimulation and focusing on the goal at hand.

I always struggle with tee boxes that don’t “line me up right”… which is silly, why should I worry about how a tee box is oriented? or how the lines in the grass are mowed? I just need to pick my spot, aim at it and ignore everything else…

I think it’s easy to declare a hole a nemesis hole, and hard to undo that line of thinking… My strategy has been to pick the target I want to hit, aim at that and swing… it doesn’t always work, but it works better than anything else I’ve tried!

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Even IF I were a great long driver, I’d still lay up on the 5s (and 4s) with doglegs and trees…Hitting it over the trees, there’s little chance I’d find the ball! I do like that the layup shot doesn’t have to be dead straight, just get into the middle of the dogleg for a good 2nd shot.

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I was able to get out a couple of times over the holiday and did pretty well. I made par on my nemesis hole twice. I laid back to the wider flatter part of the fairway, but I think the key was committing to both the tee shot and 2nd shot. Didn’t putt very well with the slow aerated greens, but overall the last few rounds were better.

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