So you couldn't hit the broad-side of a barn from the inside with your driver. It's by far less of a problem than a major league baseball player having trouble with the curve, but there are things you can do to counter that errant tee shot, especially off the first tee.
First let’s think about yardage in terms of ‘what is my comfort zone’ as far as distance from the green for a second shot (on par fours) and third shot (on par fives). Most people are comfortable from 150 yards and in. So let’s do some simple math for the 150 yard comfort range. For the purpose of analysis we’ll say that our yardage to the hole is 365. So, we want to be 150 yards give or take a little for a comfortable second shot, well let’s take 365-150=215 yards. This is what you need to achieve to put yourself in the comfort zone.
Now 215 yards should not be that hard to achieve, the average golfer should be able to achieve this with an easy 3-wood or full-swing with a 5-wood as the graphic above shows. Then you’re left with an easy 7-iron or 8-iron to the green which most average golfers are fairly comfortable using from that yardage.
Most people will actually lower their scores if they left the driver out of the bag all together. Really all you need is a wood that you're comfortable hitting: 3, 5, 7 whatever you're comfortable with give it a chance off the tee for a round or two. You'll hit more fairways with woods and set yourself up for better shots at the green.
Why will you hit more fairways or at the very least set yourself up for better approach shots? Simple, these clubs obviously have more loft. More loft on a club means a lower miss-hit variance left and right. Also when you use a fairway wood to tee off, it allows/makes you focus more on seeing the club strike the ball rather than swinging toward the ball and at the last second looking up to see a bad shot (as my high-school golf coach use to say).
That's just part of the strategy for lowering your scores without driving yourself nuts. In my next post, I'll talk about iron play and ball lie: what to do in what situation to have a more successful shot.