How to hit straighter drives, with Fabrizio Zanotti


Fabrizio Zanotti played the round of his life to claim the Malaysian Open at the weekend.

He bagged seven birdies and an eagle at the last to shoot a final round 63 and secure his first win since the 2014 BMW International Open.

The Paraguayan finished on 19-under and claimed the first prize of just under £400,000 by one shot from America’s David Lipsky, who missed a putt to force a play-off on the final green.

Zanotti’s game is built on some of the straightest driving on tour, and we asked him to share his keys to finding more fairways than just about anyone.


How he does it: Because I’ve a neutral swing my ball flight is pretty straight, so I usually find my misses are still on the fairway. If I have danger on the left side, I tee it up lower and on the left side of the tee box and try and fade it. The opposite applies when the danger is on the right side, which means I never play aiming towards the danger. I don’t have any particular drills apart from when I’m on the range practising I always try to pick a target and it’s the same on the course. My average drive is around 280 yards, but for me it’s more about rhythm and not trying to hit it too hard – you probably only need to ‘kill it’ two or three times a round. It’s a big advantage and a lot easier always to be playing from the middle of the fairway.  


How you can do it: The best advice I can give amateurs is don’t try to hit it too hard; try to maintain good rhythm from the takeaway, impact and follow-through. Everything starts from the first metre of the backswing and if you haven’t got the right rhythm straight away, you’re struggling. Also vital is aiming. Have a target in the distance and on the ground just in front of you, say a small leaf or something. This way it is much easier to aim, and a simple thing like just picking a point one or two metres from your ball should see you find more fairways. Finally, work on your balance; poised golfers hit straighter.