Hitting a driver consistently during a round is the ultimate goal of most golfers, which is why many seek golf tips on driving right from the start. It’s fairly hard to beat the feeling of “crushing” a long tee shot down the fairway, especially if it flies past your playing partners.
Regardless of your skill level, it’s critical to understand that the driver can be the most difficult club in the bag, second only to the 1-iron. It has the longest shaft, measuring 43 to 45 inches, and the widest swing arc. Indeed, many things can go wrong with this club, but nothing is impossible if you practice the right way.
Here’s our guide to hitting longer and straighter drives:
- The key to scoring well is hitting solid drives into the fairway during your round of golf.
- There are key fundamentals you need to learn to hit the driver consistently. They include: checking your alignment before doing the swing, not rushing the takeaway as this movement makes or breaks the swing, and setting the club shaft at a parallel position at the top of your swing.
- There’s no reason why you can’t become a great golf ball driver and drastically improve your game on your way to lower scores. Remember, you have complete control over whether or not you improve your driving. Put in the time and effort, and soon, you’ll reap your rewards.
12 Golf Driving Tips
The following are some of the top golf driving tips that you can apply on the course to help you gain precious yards off the tee:
Widen your Stance
The driver is the longest in your bag and has a larger swing arc than other clubs. Keep in mind that you’ll swing at an increased pace when using it, so you’ll need a solid base for the stability of your swing.
At address, position yourself so that the outside of your shoulders reaches down to the inside of your feet. When you begin to increase your clubhead speed, you’ll have a stable enough foundation to swing the club in balance and with authority.
Tilt your Back, Particularly your Spine
Although the fundamental principles of the iron and driver swings are similar, there’s one significant difference between the two shots.
With an iron swing, the ball is on the ground, and you must strike the golf ball “down.” Since the ball is set on a tee with the driver, you must do the opposite. Hit “up” on the ball instead.
You’ll notice how your left shoulder will be somewhat higher than the right shoulder in the said shot. This is due to a slight spine tilting at address, which places you in a position to hit up on the golf ball, an important factor to consider when boosting driver distance.
Train with a Lighter Club
A PGA Tour player’s average clubhead speed with a driver is 113mph, whereas the average 15 handicap is 93mph.
You must close this gap and begin swinging the club faster to achieve greater distance. Swinging a lighter club is one of the most effective strategies to improve your golf swing speed. Your body is made up of both slow and rapid twitch muscles, which, when triggered, play key roles in the golf swing. Swinging a lighter club will allow you to engage your body’s rapid twitch muscle fibers.
You can practice swinging an alignment stick as fast as you can. When practicing this drill, work on making a loud “swoosh” sound with the club after impact while accelerating as rapidly as possible in the downswing.
Utilize More Loft
There’s a correlation between driver loft and ego. The players with the most oversized egos tend to have the least loft on their drives. They believe that the lower the loft of their driver, the more powerful they are.
While some long drive competitors utilize driver lofts under 6 degrees, the vast majority of PGA Tour players, the world’s most elite golfers, use more loft on their drivers yearly.
Thanks to technological advancements, we now know that the most efficient way to “launch” a ball is with low spin, high loft, and hitting up on the golf ball.
One good example is Dustin Johnson, who has one of the most powerful drivers of the golf ball on the PGA Tour, makes use of an 11-degree driver!
Most modern drivers have adjustable faces, providing players a loft range of roughly 4 degrees to explore with.
Bring your adjustment tool the next time you go to the range and start experimenting with a higher loft; it might be the secret to unlocking a few additional yards.
Train with a Heavier Club
While swinging a lighter club is a great strategy to build speed, doing the opposite is also beneficial.
Take two irons from your bag and practice swings using them together. Swinging two clubs together will be significantly heavier than using an alignment stick and will further develop your rapid twitch muscle fibers. You can alternate between heavy and lightweight clubs to develop these important muscles further.
Swinging the heavier club will gradually strengthen your muscles, allowing you to enhance your clubhead speed.
Adjust Accordingly if you Have Bad Posture
If you’re having trouble with hip mobility, try arching your back like a cat to relax your shoulders and level your hips. It may not be visually appealing, but it will undoubtedly help you to swivel your hips more. This advice is handy for senior golfers trying to gain additional yards.
If you’re not yet a senior golfer, you can practice the “arching cat” stance by curling your back up and then letting it relax to a more neutral posture that accomplishes the same results.
Get to the Gym
A glance at the top of every PGA Tour leaderboard each week will tell that today’s best golfers are all powerful athletic embodiments of power.
The realization is that fitness is a significant factor in hitting the ball far. Exercise is a crucial aspect of daily life as a human being, and it’s equally important as a golfer.
While several exercises directly benefit the golf swing, beginning any form of workout program that improves your general fitness will directly impact your distance off the tee.
Establish Width Early in the Swing
Consider Ben Hogan’s classical swing and how much room he creates at the start of his swing.
As we mentioned earlier, you can swing the driver the fastest because it’s the longest club and so provides the most expansive swing arc.
Keeping with the notion that width equals power, it’s critical that your initial takeaway turns the body and extends your hands away from the body.
Work at Reducing your Spin Rate
The longest drivers have a high launch and low spin on the golf ball. Their spin rates range between 1,800 and 2,300 rpm on average (revolutions per minute).
Using a launch monitor is an excellent way to see your current spin rate and receive instant feedback on each swing. Anything above 2,800rpms means you’re giving up valuable yardage.
Most amateurs have excessively high spin rates. One of the most common causes of spin rate issues is a downward strike on the ball, which adds excess backspin to the shot.
We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to “hit up” on the golf ball with a driver. If you use an iron set up to hit your driver, you’ll strike down on the ball, hit shots that balloon in the air, and lose valuable yardage.
Develop a Stretching Routine
While we mentioned earlier the importance of incorporating a gym regimen into your weekly routine, we must also highlight one of the most overlooked exercises for golfers —- the simple habit of stretching.
Let’s face it, your strength will deteriorate as you age; this is not a theory but a fact. Maintaining a high level of flexibility is the greatest method to combat this loss of strength. Touching your toes, rotating your shoulders as close to 90 degrees as possible, and performing a deep squat are all crucial exercises that you, as a golfer, should always practice.
The key to stretching is to integrate it into your everyday routine. Begin by practicing these fundamental golf stretches for the first five minutes each morning. After just seven days, you’ll notice incredible benefits. Keep it up for a month, and you’ll be amazed at the results!
Eliminate Early Extension
One of the most common issues golfers ranging from the PGA Tour to practically every amateur over a 15-handicap encounter, is a condition known as “early extension.” During the downswing, a player’s hips thrust into the golf ball rather than twisting and turning around.
Early Extension is a common issue for many golfers because eliminating it from your golf swing requires a certain amount of flexibility. To eliminate this, perform this exercise:
Hold a golf club in both hands, shoulder width apart, just over your head. Put yourself in an athletic setup stance and squat while keeping your back straight and the golf club above your head.
Your overhead deep squat is deemed a success if you achieve the four conditions listed below:
- The golf club doesn’t travel over your head as you squat
- Knees don’t pass in front of your toes
- Both heels remain on the ground
- Thighs separate parallel to the ground
Consider this movement to be necessary. You should include it in your daily stretching routine to help improve your golf swing and overall body health.
Raise your Left Heel
A simple raise of the left heel in the backswing is one of the best strategies for rapidly improving your backswing mechanics.
Doing this enhances your swing by giving your hips greater flexibility to rotate and allowing your shoulders to spin more in the backswing.
If you observe the vintage swings of Bobby Jones, Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Tom Watson, you’ll note that they all raise their left heel in the backswing.
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Drills to Help You Hit your Driver Better
Check out these drills for tangible instructions on how to improve your game, work on that slice, and hit bombs like DeChambeau or Mickelson:
The Takeaway Drill
The takeaway drill is an easy yet effective way to help you master your golf swing takeaway. Doing this drill will help you ensure you’re in the correct position, parallel on the way back.
With several games already tucked under your belt, you can now tell that if you get your club inside too early in the swing, it’s more straightforward to make an over-the-top move to start. This over-the-top action causes the dreaded slice all golfers hate.
You need to ensure you’re taking it slightly more to the outside on the way back. This way, you can shallow out on the way down.
Here’s a video on how to perform the takeaway drill:
The Half-Swing Drill
Doing the half-swing drill helps you improve your clubface control. Take your driver’s address position and begin with some half-swings, focusing on managing the face with regard to the path. Slowly raise the speed as you feel comfortable until you reach full swing.
As you progress through every stage of the drill, you’ll gain a much better face-to-path awareness, which is critical to understanding your release pattern and hitting excellent drives.
Over time, it can become one of your favorite golf driver drills.
The Box Drill
Another drill that will help you hit up on the ball and enable lag in your swing, which is crucial in finding the ideal driver launch angle, is the box drill.
Put an empty golf ball sleeve approximately a grip length in front of the ball. The goal is simple: miss the sleeve. You can also use a headcover or some tees as an alternative.
If you currently have a descending angle of attack, you will hit the empty box after impact. This is an excellent drill since it’s not excessively complicated and provides immediate feedback. It can also become a regular part of your practice regimen to ensure you don’t commit negative habits again.
Keep going even if it takes a while to develop enough of an ascending blow to miss the obstacle consistently; making incremental advances here is already an achievement.
The Closed-Feet Drill
This golf driver tip won’t just help you narrow your driver swing but also enable an in-to-out club path. Golfers frequently commit the mistake of being steep and cutting across the ball. Prevent that from happening by taking your set-up and then moving your trail foot back until the front of it is in line with the heel of your lead foot.
It will feel terrible at first, but keep in mind that it’s only a drill. Complete your driver backswing the way you’d normally do, and you should notice that rotating behind the ball is simpler with your feet set up like this.
Then, once you begin the downswing, visualize your feet aiming right and follow that line, so the club makes an impact from the inside. This will thin the club out and make hitting the ball on the rise much simpler for maximum power and carry distance.
The Foot Spray Drill
Do you know that you can use a can of foot spray to help, not just with your driver, but with any club?
After hitting a few drivers with the spray on the club, you can instantly see where you’re hitting the ball in the face. This will provide you with immediate feedback and let you determine whether you’re hitting it too low, too high, off the toe, or off the heel. Knowing those details will allow you to make the appropriate club adjustments and changes to your swing.
Hitting a Driver vs. Hitting your Irons
You should already know by now that hitting a driver differs from hitting irons. Your driver is a totally different beast than your fairway woods, wedges, and irons. Although this is the case, many golfers don’t hit their drivers straight or very far because they don’t take into account the differences.
Once you consider and begin to understand the differences, it’ll be easier to make the necessary adjustments to outdrive your buddies and get more wedges into greens.
Here are the top three ways your driver is different from all the other clubs in your bag:
You Hit the Driver Off the Tee
One key difference between a driver and the rest of your clubs is that the ball is teed up when you hit it. While it’s possible to hit it off the deck, experts don’t recommend it for most beginners and amateur players. A driver off the turf is a shot that few professionals attempt, so stick to teeing it up.
So why is hitting off a tee so important? It’s because your impact position is completely different. With irons, wedges, and woods, you want to hit down on the ball, causing a divot. But, as you know, a divot with your driver is the kiss of death, and your swing mechanics are off.
So with your driver, you want to hit the ball on the upswing. The ability to tee your driver up allows the club to approach the ball in an upwardly sweeping motion. This is significant because it impacts the “angle of attack” on your tee shots.
Your Driver is Way Longer
First and foremost, your driver is by far the longest club in your bag. Standard drivers are usually 45 inches long, although some manufacturers make driver shafts that are even longer. In comparison, a standard 5-iron is just over 38 inches long.
Those seven inches surely make a difference since a longer swing and distance between you and the ball will alter your attack angle and impact position. Not to mention that the lesser loft, longer swing, and increased speed often result in bigger misses. When all else is equal, you have a wider margin for error when using your irons as opposed to your driver.
Golf experts agree that the driver is the toughest club to hit with consistency. It’s relentless in exposing your swing and thinking flaws. As a result, it’s so much easier to hit a 3-wood or 5-wood much straighter than your driver. The shorter the club, the fewer the movements are in y swing; thus, the greater the consistency.
The angle of attack is the measurement of the alignment of your club head at impact in relation to the horizon. A 0-degree shot is one in which the club head strikes the ball entirely perpendicular to the horizon.
Meanwhile, shots with the club head facing slightly toward the ground have a negative angle of attack. Finally, shots with the club head slightly angled upward have a positive angle of attack.
This is why irons and wedges leave bacon-like divots, whereas fairway woods leave almost none. The angle of attack you use impacts how well you hit each shot. However, if you use a driver, your tee shot will have a positive angle of attack, which will help launch the ball off the tee and into the air.
Hitting Driver FAQs
How do I hit a Driver as a Beginner?
As a beginner, keep in mind that the driver is the longest and heaviest club in your bag, so generating enough speed to get the ball airborne is a must.
You should focus on setting up and practicing swinging the club beforehand to get a feel for it. It’s also critical to keep your grip and swing plane consistent. Finally, you should aim to make contact with the ball in the center of the clubface for maximum distance.
How can I Drive the Golf Ball Straight?
To drive the golf ball straight, you need to have a firm grip on the golf club. This will help prevent the club from twisting in your hand and causing you to slice or hook the ball. You also want to make sure that you keep your elbows close to your body as you swing. This will help keep the club on the plane and ensure you cast it out too early enough. Finally, be sure to follow through with your swing. Doing that will help ensure the golf ball ends up where you intended it to go.
Having said those, you’re better off focusing on distance rather than worrying about hitting the golf ball straight.
How do I Keep Myself from Slicing my Driver?
If you’re frequently slicing your driver, you approach the impact position with an open face. In other words, you’re cutting across the ball instead of a square clubface. This can be frustrating, and it can cost you strokes.
The first step to fixing it is ensuring you’re using the right golf ball. If you’re using a ball that doesn’t have much spin, it’s more likely to slice. You can also try a different golf club. Some clubs are designed to help prevent slicing. Finally, practice your swing and focus on hitting the ball squarely. With a bit of practice, you can fix your slicing problem.