Fairway Finder Drive: What Is It and How To Hit One?

Every golf course has that nasty hole with trouble down both sides. If you are standing on the tee box feeling slightly claustrophobic, resist the urge to pull out your long iron or hybrid. You still need the distance from the driver and, if you can learn to hit a “fairway finder” drive, you’ll have no issues keeping the ball in the middle of the fairway. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to hit a fairway finder drive.

What Is a Fairway Finder Drive?

A fairway finder drive is a controlled and reliable tee shot with your driver. Instead of downgrading to a 3-wood or a 3-iron, you take your driver and hit a consistent, accurate shot with minimal dispersion.

The fairway finder drive will likely not be your longest drive of the day. However, if executed correctly, it may be just a few yards short of a perfect drive and it will be a lot easier to control.

Most fairway finders are lower than standard drives but they can cut or draw depending on your natural ball flight patterns and clubface angle at impact.

Hit a Fairway Finder: Step by Step

Before we dive into this, make sure you know your go-to shot. Do you normally hit a fade, a draw or a cut? Keep that in mind as you walk through the fairway finder drive process. You can use it to your advantage.

Step 1: Tee it Low

Remember, this fairway finder drive is all about hitting a low, controlled shot. Getting it high in the air brings in too many other factors that make the shot less reliable.

So tee the ball about an inch off the ground. Instead of having half the ball above the top of the driver’s face, keep the center of the ball closer to the center of the face of the driver.

You’ll reduce your risks of getting this one up and in the wind and because of the lower tee height, you should also hit a straighter, lower-spinning drive.

Step 2: Choke Down on the Grip

The driver is the longest club in the bag. The longer a golf club is, the harder it is to control. Grip down on the driver about an inch and a half to two inches.

You’ll notice that the club now feels more like your 3-wood, just with a bigger clubhead.

When you choke down, the driver becomes easier to hit straight. You’ll increase your confidence and have no trouble hitting the sweet spot.

Choking down can make the club a little stiffer, giving you a chance to control it.

Step 3: Stand a Little Closer to the Ball

Now that you have choked down on the grip, you should be able to stand just a little closer to the ball. With less distance between you and the golf ball, your swing should be more compact. A more compact swing again leaves less room for error and more consistent contact with the sweet spot on the golf club.

Step 4: Stay More Centered

For your usual tee shot, you probably take a larger turn and maybe even shift your head away from the ball as you swing back. For this fairway finder, adopt a more centered stance.

Keep your chest over the ball and feel like you are making a simpler motion. You can still keep the ball position the same and you’ll still rotate and turn. Sometimes, thinking that you want to hit a drive 50 yards less can help you become more concentrated and controlled.

FYI: The fairway finder drive will likely not end up 50 yards less when you get the process down. If conditions are right, some players hit this controlled drive shot even further than their regular shot. 

Execute Your Normal Shot Pattern

Now that you are set up and in the correct position, it’s time to execute the shot.

Here is where you will want to rely on your normal ball flight pattern. With the fairway finder drive, don’t fight that normal pattern. When professional golfers do this, they often hit a slight fade or a draw but they know that’s their go-to. 

Go to the driving range, hit 10 or 20 of these drives and find the ball flight that feels most comfortable to you. If it’s a cut (and you are right-handed), just aim down the left edge of the fairway when you play this on the course.

Practice and Experiment

Take some control over your golf game. We gave you the basics of hitting a fairway finder so now it’s on you to get out there and play with it until you feel confident with what works for you.

Try different tee heights, swing thoughts and distance from the ball. Some players feel like taking a three-quarter swing helps them square the face more consistently. Experiment and you’ll find something that eventually works for your game.

Final Thoughts

By shortening the club and teeing the ball lower, there’s an implication that you might lose some distance. Don’t get hung up on that. You shouldn’t change every drive to a fairway finder, just use it when necessary. You’ll probably get about 30 yards less carry but, if you are playing the right golf ball and execute this correctly, expect some additional roll, leaving you only about 10 yards short of your standard drive. The more shots you have in your bag, the easier it is to go low on the course. This shot should make you more versatile and confident off the tee. 

The post Fairway Finder Drive: What Is It and How To Hit One? appeared first on MyGolfSpy.

Article Link: https://mygolfspy.com/news-opinion/fairway-finder-drive-what-is-it-and-how-to-hit-one/