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U.S. Open conditions call for accuracy off the tee

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The 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club will certainly provide one of the toughest tests of this golf season with its thick rough, narrow fairways and small greens.

Playing at less than 7,000 yards, short by modern standards, Merion will challenge the players in the field to get the ball in the fairway from the tee.

Many players will be adjusting their course management strategy more often than they do in a regular Tour event to make sure that they get the ball in the fairway at all costs.

Golfers of every skill level can always benefit from keeping the ball in the fairway.

So when hitting fairways becomes a priority for you, follow these tips and spend more time in the short grass:

• Beware of the overswing. When you overswing, in other words make a bigger than normal backswing, squaring the clubface at impact becomes a difficult task. The general rule of thumb is at the top of the backswing the club should go no farther than parallel to the ground. The length of the backswing will vary from player to player, so focus on making a swing with good balance while holding your finish. If you can hold your finish for three seconds, chances are you did something right to get there.

• Keep the driver in the bag. My driver is my favorite club and I hope it’s yours too. However, it may not always be the best choice from the tee. If the fairway is narrow and you can take a fairway wood or hybrid from the tee and still put the ball close enough to the green to have a short iron into the green, then driver may not be the best play.

• Get fit. Chances are you’ll be using your driver more often than not from the tee. A driver with an inappropriate shaft or loft can do serious damage to your game. Schedule a fitting with a PGA professional who uses launch monitor technology like Trackman or FlightScope and guarantee that your driver matches your swing.

Take an online lesson with Tyrus York.

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