I see it everyday. Golfers hitting their tee shots into the trees on the right side of #10…..and sometimes even the driving range. The funny thing is that I can usually see it before it actually happens. The #1 cause of this – ALIGNMENT! …….. Now I may have a better view (usually from the pro shop) but the 10th tee box is set up so that if you line up square with the tee markers, you will be aimed to the right of the fairway. This may have been necessary when the big limb’d tree was blocking the left side of the hole, but that tree isn’t there anymore. This hole has been made into what I would call an ‘easy hole’ – relatively short with a wide fairway and minimal hazards. A great hole to kick start your back 9. Something to remember: Not every tee box is square to the fairway.
My advice? Take your time when setting up for your tee shot on #10 and DOUBLE check your alignment. Once you have tee’d up your ball, stand behind it and pick a spot 2 feet or so in front of your ball to use as a reference point. You can actually aim for the flag on the green. Forget the direction the tee markers are pointing you in and trust your ‘spot’ you have chosen to hit the ball over. When golfers naturally set up aimed to the right on this hole (unless they are purposely trying to hit a draw – for righties) – only two things can happen – You will swing across your body (out-to-in) and will either pull the ball or hit a huge slice out to the right. Sound familiar? Most of the time it has nothing to do with your actual swing – but instead your mis-alignment.
Next time you are teeing off on #10, remember that you don’t have to let the tee markers decide where you aim. And if you don’t believe me – watch the people you play with……I bet most of them are aimed right of the ‘rock’ in the fairway. #10 and #11 are meant to be holes where you can gain a few strokes……..especially important before you make your way to #12!