Distance off the tee will certainly be an advantage for players this weekend at the PGA Championship. But hitting it miles won't mean a thing if those drives are long and crooked. At Bethpage Black, the second cut of rough is so thick that just getting the ball back onto the fairway cut can be a challenge.
Finding fairways at Bethpage Black requires a little strategic thinking on the part of players. For example, take the dogleg designs used by A.W. Tillinghast on many of the holes on the Black Course. Tillinghast laid out holes that bend left-to-right and right-to-left to test the ability of players to hit shots of every shape, knowing that skilled players will curve the ball to fit the shape and direction of the hole.
Fading the ball, curving it left-to-right on a hole that doglegs left-to-right greatly improves the chances of hitting and holding the fairway. Those holes are infinitely harder for players who can only draw the ball (curving the ball right-to-left for a right-hander).
But what if you're among the vast majority of players who can't work the ball on command like the pros? What if your natural shot only curves one way?
Well, we have good news, because Titleist staff member Mark Blackburn shared a simple tip that doesn't require any adjustments at all to your natural swing mechanics. It just takes a little understanding of your own ball flight and some new thinking as far as where you should tee the ball up.
Enjoy the video above and let us know if Mark's strategy helps you to find the short grass more often.
To learn more about Mark's teaching and to take your game to the next level at The Blackburn Golf Academy, visit Blackburn Golf.
And for additional tips to help you play better on long, demanding courses like Bethpage Black, check out the following:
Mark Blackburn - Driving Efficiency and Boosting Ball Speed
Justin Parsons - Getting Strategic on Long Par-3 Holes
Jack Druga - How to Use the Bounce on Your Sand Wedge
Jonathan Yarwood - Whip It for More Driver Speed
Mark Crossfield - Use the Ground for Longer Golf Shots