Today, our friend Matt from TruGolf.com is back and he’s got lots of tips for new golfers on how to make the most of your long game.
The driver is the most exciting club in your bag. Picture yourself golfing this weekend, you probably picture yourself crushing it off the tee. Nailing a solid, straight drive is one of the best feelings in golf. However, the driver is probably the toughest club to learn. Getting the fundamentals right out of the gate is crucial, because it’s easy to develop bad habits as you learn. The following is a basic guide on how to drive a golf ball.
Stance & Setup
The proper stance for hitting the driver is a bit different from the other clubs. You’ll stand with your feet at shoulder width. Your body should be parallel to the target line. In other words, if you shot a straight line through your shoulders, it would go through your target. Your front foot should be aligned with the ball to ensure that you’re hitting the ball on the upswing.
A lot of beginners are trying to crush the ball off the tee. The result is a grip that’s much too tight. Your grip should be loose and relaxed to let the club turn over easily. You should be gripping the club with your fingers, not the palm of your hand. It’s counter-intuitive (like many aspects of golf), but a tight grip and a hard swing will cost you distance. For more details on grip pressure, check out this post.
Bring the club back and all the way up to the top of the swing. If you rush and cut the backswing short, you’ll lose power. There’s no rush once you get there, either. Allow the club to pause at the top of the backswing so your body can transition into the swing. This pause may cost you a few yards as you learn, but it will help you learn to keep a nice rhythm in your swing, rather than hurrying.
As you begin your swing, you’ll move your lower body first, then follow with your upper body and arms. Your front knee will be moving toward the target. Hip rotation will add power to your swing. Your wrists will stay cocked until just before impact. As the clubface strikes the ball, your arms will be fully extended. Swing all the way through the ball and allow the club to come all the way around for a full backswing. And, of course, keep your head down until after you’ve hit the ball.
Balance is crucial when swinging a driver. Your weight will shift from the center during your backswing and move forward as you swing the club—but you should never be off-balance. If your swing is off-balance, chances are you’re trying to swing the club too hard. It’s important to note that golfers who put 100% of their effort into the swing are probably losing distance. Your swing should be fluid and balanced—once you’ve perfected this you’ll be getting the greatest distance.
The game of golf is easy to pick up, but it takes lots of time and dedication to get good. Driving the ball off the tee is one of the most frustrating and rewarding aspects of the game. There’s a ton of technique involved, but if you keep the fundamentals in mind and avoid developing bad habits, your drive will gain distance and consistency, and you’ll get that amazing perfect-drive-feeling more and more often.
Matt is an avid golf enthusiast and part of the TruGolf.com team. When he’s not working on his fairway shot, you will find Matt writing about his passion for the process of the game.
Do you have a tip for hitting a great drive? Share in the comments below!