How To Hit More Fairways (5 Tips)

While speed has dominated the headlines and the instruction in the golf world as of late, the importance of hitting a fairway remains significant for many amateurs.

Hitting fairways allows the golfer to be able to control distance, trajectory and the overall strike of a shot.  This has a major impact on the overall score of the amateur golfer, especially the golfer that struggles from the rough.

When a golfer can get in the flow by hitting the driver in the fairway, the confidence builds and the golfer starts to make confident swings vs defensive swings out of the rough.  This leads to better ball striking and more consistency in the overall game.

Indecision and a lack of confidence in the golf swing plaques many golfers.  Starting each hole with a quality shot with the driver that puts the ball in the fairway and keeps the golfer in the game is essential to the overall success.

When golfers start missing the fairways and spend time on each hole looking for their ball in the trees, along water lines or in fairway bunkers, the fun of the game starts to disappear and the frustration levels increase.

So how can the golfer hit more fairways?

How to hit more fairways?

The best golfers are able to control their start line and have a predictable curve to their shot.  This starts with the golfer developing and improving upon a stock shot.  A shot that starts on the intended line and curves towards the target.

For example, whether a golfer plays a fade or a draw, when they have a reliable stock shot, you can see the confidence in starting the ball down the left side and fading back towards the middle or down the right side and drawing towards the middle.  

This consistent shaping of the ball becomes a “stock shot” over time and the golfer is able to better manage his or her game.  This leads to more fairways hit and more opportunities to hit quality irons into the green.

Top 5 Tips To Hit More Fairways

  • Develop a stock shot
  • Play one shot shape
  • Pick the proper aim spots
  • Play the right equipment
  • Manage expectations and swing within yourself
Regardless of your stock shot, this tee shot can handle both shapes. There is out of bounds left. You can adjust your aim point (see tip #3 below) for whatever shape shot (tip #2) you hit.

Tip #1: Develop A Stock Shot

This is the single most important tip of the list.  The ability to start your ball down the intended start line and have it curve in a predictable direction is paramount to your overall success as a golfer and hitting more fairways.  If you watch the best golfers you can find at your home golf course, they will often have a predictable shot pattern with a smaller dispersion than the worst golfers.

Whether you play a stock draw or a stock fade, the key is to have your golf ball consistently curve in the same direction.  YOu do not need to work the ball both ways, if you can control the curve of your golf ball.

Practice this drill and then complete an assessment at least once a week and chart your progress.  Understanding the ball flight laws will help you develop this shot.

Complete Post: Ball Flight Laws Explained

The Stock Shot Drill

  • Set up an alignment stick about 6-8 yards in front of you, straight down your target line.
  • If you have a second alignment stick, set the stick 2-3 feet right of the first stick (for a draw) or left of the first stick (for a fade).
  • Complete your initial assessment see how many times out of 10 you can start the ball to the right or left of your target.  Pick one side and measure your game at this point.
  • The goal is to eventually get 7 out of 10 shots to start to the correct side and draw back towards the target.

Here is the drill being explained by Kyle Morris:

Tip #2: Play One Shot Shape

If you polled the top instructors they will more than likely be split on the following questions: do golfers need to work the ball both ways.

My recommendation is to start and get really good at hitting a consistent draw or a consistent fade.  Whatever you can count on when the pressure is turned up and you need a shot down the middle of the fairway.  Most golf holes are wide enough to allow you to hit your stock shot with comfort.

When you can build up the confidence that you know the ball will curve a specific direction, all you need to do is adjust your aim point if there is a hazard or out bounds creeping one one side of the hole.

The Stack and Tilt Instructors said it best when they described what they believed were the fundamentals of golf.  They explained it somewhat similar to this:

  • The first fundamental is the golfer’s ability to control the bottom of the golf swing.  The best golfers will hit the ground in the intended spot, close to 100% of the time.
  • The second fundamental is the golfer’s ability to control the curve of the golf ball. The best golfers are able to start the ball to the right or left of the target line and have the ball curve towards the target without the ball over-curving past the target.
  • The third fundamental is the golfer’s ability to have enough power to play the golf course.  This means they are able to hit the ball far enough to play the course in regulation.

They promoted a draw, I would promote whatever you can hit consistently.

Tip #3: Pick The Proper Aim Spots

Did you know that the average dispersion on the PGA Tour with a driver is 65 yards?  Depending on the shape shot and what your stock shot is, you will want to pick a solid aim point.  The best analytics people in the game of golf with Decade Golf would recommend picking the spot furthest left and the spot furthest right on any hole and having the center be more of an aim spot depending on the curve of your golf ball.

The main goal is to keep the ball in play.  Whether you hit the fairway or not, you live to see another shot and one that allows you to take a full swing whether you are in the fairway or rough doesn’t play a significant spot.  Regardless, you want to be able to hit a consistent driver that finds a safe landing area. 

When you can combine a stock shot and a consistent shaped shot with the wisdom found in the analytics, the driver can become a strength of yours.

Why am I pulling my driver left?

Tip #4: Play The Right Equipment

If you are someone that struggles with the driver, I would recommend going to a club fitting expert and finding the right equipment for your swing.  The loft and driver shaft will play a major role in your overall success with the driver and your ability to hit more fairways.

Are adjustable drivers worth it?

Tip #5: Manage Expectations and Swing Within Yourself

The bottom line is that you must manage your expectations.  Understand that you will hit a bad shot or two, but don’t let self doubt creep in.  Step up to the next tee shot, pick your target and swing with conviction.  The tentative swing where you try to manipulate the clubhead through impact will often result in a poor shot.  Instead, pick that target, commit to the shot and make a solid, confident swing.

Why do I block my driver right?

BONUS TIP: Know Your Swing

When you hit a bad shot, make sure you watch the entire flight and know what the ball actually does.  Too many golfers turn in frustration instead of connecting the feel or the swing with the result.  If you hit a pull hook, did you feel your hands and your body come through too much?  

One thing that has helped me greatly is my SkyTrak Launch Monitor.  

It provides instant feedback on club speed, club face, spin axis and spin loft.  When playing in my golf simulator in my garage, I am able to work on my start line and club head control.  This helps me make adjustments when I actually play on a course.  

The simulator golf has helped me reduce 4-6 shots by working mainly on tips #1 and #2.  The game of golf doesn’t have to be complicated, work to keep it simple and to read your ball flight!

Many of our worst shots are caused by our fears of certain misses and we get in our own way.  Let’s all commit to work on Tips 1 and 2 and use positive vision before each shot where we see our stock shot and imagine it being the most perfect shot.  Let’s then commit and step up and hit the shot!

Play golf 365 days a year with a golf simulator. See the links below for more information. Make it reality for your game!

Take Action – What You Can Do Today to Get Better

What does this mean for you?  I believe in the following recipe to get better:

1 – Improve your motion in the golf swing by identifying a golf instructor.  Here are some options:

Here is a list of golf instructors that we have reviewed:

2 – Train to swing faster and improve your swing speed.  Here are some options:

Looking to gain more Speed and Distance in your swing. Two Options:

3 – Understand course strategy and work to break through your next barrier.  Here is a series on breaking through:

We have provided guides on how to break 100, 90, 80 and 70. Check out more below, if interested.

4 – Practice Frequently

Did you know that I build a golf simulator in my garage and have played over 500 rounds of golf on my SkyTrak system?  It has been a game changer and one worth checking out. Here are some of my other posts on golf simulators frequently asked questions:

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