Try this 1 trick from Jack Nicklaus for pinpoint accuracy off the tee

The PGA Tour heads to Jack Nicklaus’s home this weekend for the Workday Charity Open, the first of back-to-back tournaments at Muirfield Village Golf Club. It’s only fitting, given the Tour’s recent distance craze, to kick off the first of the two Muirfield weeks with a tip on how to prioritize accuracy off the tee. In this week’s Flashback Jack, Nicklaus explains his trick for ensuring pinpoint precision and setup on every tee box (hint: the devil is in the details).

The key, Nicklaus says, is to start small. Rather than trying to stripe the cavernous fairway that sits in front of you, shift your mind to find something minuscule but memorable.

“What’s easier, a 2-foot putt or a 40-foot putt?” Nicklaus asked. “Well, obviously a 2-foot putt. Likewise, it’s much easier to line up a tee shot from three feet than it is from 250 yards.”

jack nicklaus after his win at the 1980 U.S. Open

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As Nicklaus explains, the key isn’t to focus on the three feet directly in front of the tee box, but rather to pick the most specific 3-foot line or location you can find in the fairway. This will narrow in your target, which will guide the remainder of the swing and rid you of accidentally lining up a shot in the wrong direction.

“I try to pick out a spot whether it be an old tee or a piece of dirt or a divot or a piece of grass, something that’s easily identifiable,” he says. “Draw a line from that spot back through the ball.”

Once you’ve found your line, use it to orient yourself throughout the swing, from your stance and set up through to the backswing.

“So here we are, parallel lines, we know the ball’s in the proper place in the stance, I look up for comfort and now I’m ready to hit,” Nicklaus says. “Not too bad for an old man, huh?”

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