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Split the fairway off the tee more often like Clark

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Tim Clark birdied five of his last eight holes Sunday to take the RBC Canadian Open away from Jim Furyk in dramatic fashion.

Clark is not known for his length, and he finished just 71st in the field for driving distance at 266.8 yards off the tee. He was extremely accurate, however, which set him up to hit greens in regulation and make putts for birdie.

How accurate was Clark? He led the field in driving accuracy, hitting 83.9 percent of his fairways over four rounds.

It’s always nice to hit the ball far, but if distance isn’t your game, you better know how to hit it straight.

Here are a few tips that can help you keep your drives in the fairway:

1. Grip. The first thing I check with all players who step on my lesson tee is the quality of their grip. Even my regular students need reminding every once in a while to improve their grip. One key I look for in the grip is whether or not the back of the lead hand (left hand for the right-handed golfer) matches the clubface. Take your grip then hold the club in front of you with the clubface pointing up to the sky. The back of your lead hand should closely match the clubface.

2. Aim. Golf is hard enough as it is, but it gets even tougher when you aim somewhere other than where you think you’re aiming. Always use an alignment rod or two to check your aim on the practice tee. Then practice aiming by going through a pre-shot routine each time. You will eventually calibrate your eyes to see what it looks like when you are aimed correctly.

3. Finish. Every full swing you make should result with a majority of your weight on the front foot (left foot for right-handed golfers). In fact, nearly 80 percent of your weight should already be on your front foot at impact for a full swing. Hanging back on the trail foot will change the position of the clubface at impact, causing your shots to go offline. Be more consistent in your finish by ending with your weight on your front foot and you will hit more drives in the fairway.

For more tips from Golf Channel to help you improve your driving, click here.