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Tee Box Position Essential for First Shot

  • Golfers who tend to fade or slice their tee balls to the right are best advised to set up on the right side of the tee box and aim away from the trouble they're trying to avoid.<br/>Courtesy photograph

    Golfers who tend to fade or slice their tee balls to the right are best advised to set up on the right side of the tee box and aim away from the trouble they're trying to avoid.
    Courtesy photograph

  • Golfers who tend to fade or slice their tee balls to the right are best advised to set up on the right side of the tee box and aim away from the trouble they're trying to avoid.<br/>Courtesy photograph
Peter Harris

Peter Harris

Where should you tee the ball between the tee markers?

The question reminds me of walking into a movie theater and looking for a seat to watch the show. Look for the ocean of open seats and make sure none are directly in front of you.

However, once you’ve selected your seat, there’s no guarantee it will stay a good one. There’s still a chance a fellow patron will plop down in the seat directly in front of you to obstruct your view. Like golf, nothing is guaranteed.

Whether you tee your ball in the center or to the left or right sides of the tee markers, the point where you tee your ball up should always give you the best view and, therefore, a clear picture to hit your shot. This is course strategy, and it all depends on the shot shape you’re trying to produce or the shot shape you’re most likely to produce.

As a rule of thumb, if you curve the ball from left to right, producing a fade or slice, then you’ll want to tee the ball up on the right side of the tee markers. This tee position will give you a better sight line to aim toward the left side of the hole and allow your ball flight more room to curve back to the center. This strategy will also leave you extra cushion in case the ball curves too much and sneaks towards the right half of the hole.

The same holds true if you hit a draw or produce an aggressive right-to-left ball flight. You’ll want to favor the left side of the tee markers to open up visual space on the right side of the hole, giving you confidence your ball will have enough air space to do its thing.

Taking advantage of where you tee your ball in relation to the tee markers is smart golf and a must-do if you’re guarding against a specific miss or trying to avoid hazards or parts of the hole that spell trouble.

If there are more trees on the left side of the hole and you slice the ball, teeing the ball as far right as possible will give a little more wiggle room to play your shot.

In addition, if there are more trees lining the right side of the hole, teeing the ball as far right as possible will allow you to aim away from the trouble if you slice the ball as well.

Play around with the side of the tee markers that best supports your ball flight and try it on the holes that give you the most fits. Typically, the spot you choose to tee up your ball will give you a clear picture to visualize your ball flight and see the line you want your ball to fly. It’ll be the best seat in the house.

Peter Harris is director of golf at the Fore-U Golf Center in West Lebanon.