How to avoid driving out of bounds

How to avoid driving out of bounds

In this exclusive video, Golf Monthly Top 25 Coach explains how to avoid driving out of bounds when it runs down the entire length of one side of the hole

Here is a situation we often face on the golf course. You are stood on the tee and there is trouble down the entire length of one side, in this case it is the left. The danger it poses to your scorecard is obvious so you need to be smart about what to do if you want to know how to avoid driving out of bounds. Some coaches will tell you to ignore the trouble and focus on the shot but in my experience this is impossible. You can’t trick your subconscious to forget that it’s there. Instead, you need look at it, acknowledge it and then devise a gameplan that helps you feel as comfortable as possible. Finally, a great quick tip is to tee up on the same side as the danger. This will ensure you are playing away from it as much as possible when you set up to the ball.

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Swing checks

Whether you suffer with a slice or a hook, the thing you really need to avoid is allowing for the shape by adjusting your alignment. In this instance, you’d be aiming further right to allow for the hook but by doing this, you are only going to accentuate the right to left ball flight. Head to the range and hit shots from a perfectly square (or even slightly open address position). This will get your swing working on a much better path and should help straighten out the hook. Likewise, if you are struggling with a slice set up square or even slightly closed. The same rules apply in opposite. This approach is your first step in how to avoid driving out of bounds and eradicating your bad shot.

Why do I hook the ball?

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More loft, less sidespin

As you take a look at the hole and devise your strategy, think about your club selection. You don’t have to do what your playing partners are doing and if you choose a club with more loft (a hybrid or a 3-wood) you’ll produce less side spin and more backspin. This should help you hit a straighter shot. Above all remember that when you get to a tough hole like this, half the field will be caught out. Your number one aim should be not to fall into that trap and a shorter, straighter drive is a much more sensible option.

Plan and commit

When learning how to avoid driving out of bounds, the more knowledge you have, the more likely you are to make a good decision. On any given day, in any given conditions you’ll be able to judge which clubs will carry or come up short of the trouble. Once you have looked at the planner and made your choice, commit to the shot. This means making a full, powerful release through the ball. Being tentative, guiding the club through impact is an error we have all made and rarely results in a straight shot.

Neil Tappin
Digital Editor

In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."

Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSR2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X