What is your process for coming up with a plan of attack when you stand on a tee box? What information are you gathering, and what are you doing with that information? Many people blame themselves or their golf swings for poor shots. However, the reality is that many times bad shots follow bad decisions. Let’s look at the process of creating a plan of attack for a hole.
Ideally the process is one in which you work from the hole location back and incorporate three basic concepts. The first concept is if the hole is cut on the left side of the green perhaps you want to favor the right side of the hole off the tee and vice versa. However, as golf statistician. Mark Broadie, likes to say the priority on tee shots is to avoid the trouble (OB, hazards, etc.). This means that if the hole is cut on the left side of the green and there is OB on the right side of the hole then you must favor the left side off the tee.
Second is finding where the most generous landing area is on the hole. This means where is a reasonable point where there is the most distance to the closest hazard, rough, uneven lie, etc.? Essentially this means treating the tee shot like a long par 3 where you have a specific hole location and therefore spot that you are aiming for. It’s not just a tee shot, it can set you up to be on the offensive.
Lastly, playing to your strengths off the tee is always a good idea. If you are a great driver of the ball and the hole fits your eye, then by all means swing away. Obviously, take this advice with a grain of salt as ignoring the fact that the landing zone is half the size for your driver versus the landing area for your hybrid can yield inconsistent results, regardless of how well you drive the golf ball.
Take the time to create a plan of attack on each hole, and analyze your decision-making as you do your stats. If you do this, you will learn how to put the odds in your favor more often.