“I know why your drives keep going into the woods on the right on this hole.”
“Because this hole hates me?”
“No, turn around. You’ll see why right away.”
As we walked up the fairway, him to his disc out in the open, me to mine depressingly kicked off into the woods, we both turned around. At first I didn’t see anything unusual. But after looking for a few moments more I saw it. How is it that in over a year of playing this course, I never noticed it? The tee pad was pointed in the wrong direction!
This hole had usually given me fits. My drives always seemed to end up heading directly into the trees on the right of the fairway. I could never figure out why. As I arrived at my disc, deep in the woods, I peered back at the pad. Sure enough. Not only was it pointing the wrong direction, it was pointing directly at me. No wonder I was always throwing it here, I was just going right down the middle of the pad and never realized that the direction of my run up was making me throw the disc in the wrong direction!
I’ve only played one course with circular tee pads before. One of the things that I liked about them (the course they were on was mediocre at best) was that they allowed you to line up and tee off in whatever direction you wanted. With rectangular or keystone shaped pads, the pads subtly direct you in a particular direction. That’s fine if they point the right way. But what if they don’t.
Also, what if you want to take a different line? One that doesn’t go in the direction the tee pad points. One smart thing to do is first pick your target in the distance. Then draw a straight line back from it across the tee pad. This is now the line you want to take your run up on. It won’t always go in the same direction of the tee pad.
Sometimes it will go from corner to corner. Sometimes it will go down one side or the other. Sometimes, it may even start off the side of the tee pad and end up with only your plant foot on the pad. It turns out this is what I needed to do on the hole that has the pad pointed in the wrong direction. Once I started doing that, I started keeping it in the fairway.
The moral of the story is that you dictate the direction and location of your run up. The pad should not be doing that for you.
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