Whether you are a beginner or have been striking balls for a while, knowing how to swing your driver straight can be tricky. When you master the basic concepts of using your driver, you will have more distance and accuracy in your shot. In this guide, we unravel the secrets to driving the ball straight.
A Common Problem
Your ability to score with your driver can be determined by the early phases of your swing.
One of the biggest problems in driving is a ‘disconnected takeaway’. What this means is that your arms separate from your torso when you start the backswing.
You’ll end up with a whole bunch of issues that can lead to you not being able to play nowhere near your potential.
Elements Of a Good Drive
- The handle of your golf club stays lower in your backswing.
- Your arms are held against your body until you are able to hold the club waist high and in line with the ground.
- From that point, you should hold the club in an upright position so that the shaft is directed at your target line.
All of these elements will mean your backswing is on plane and your drive is most likely to go straight.
The Early Extension Problem
Early extension is a problem found in many golfers regardless of their experience levels. It is also one of the leading causes of not being able to hit the driver straight. Early extensions happen when your lower body shifts forward towards the golf ball during the downswing.
Fear not, there’s a simple drill to help fix this swing fault. Hold your golf club over your shoulders, place the grip end on your lead shoulder. When you start your backswing, envision that you’re about to strike the ball on the downswing. Focus on your posture throughout the entirety of the swing.
If your hips, torso, and head push up, the club head would rise up and make it hard get an accurate shot. By simply practicing this drill multiple times in a row, you will have develop a different feeling in your downswing.
You will also notice that your muscles will be working differently than what you are used to. The main aim is to create a sense of what your body should be doing to improve your swing path. You will also find it easier to create more variation in your swing through the ball using your hips and pelvis.
Smoothen Your Follow Through
The next piece to hitting straight drives is to smooth out your follow through. This will also help in making sure that your swing is on point. In many cases it has been noticed that beginner golfers have an almost upright finish to their swing. This is a tell-tell sign that they’re swinging beneath the plane which ends up in hook shots off the tee.
A great drill to help you swing on plane is the headcover drill.
To do this, you need to put a head cover on the ground outside of your golf ball and behind it. It needs to be inside your target line. If you swing below the plane on your downswing, you’ll possibly hit the headcover. Avoid this at all costs.
Merge these components when practicing will have you hitting your driver dead straight in a matter of days.
There is a lot you can do to land the best driver shots on the course. Buckle up because there’s lots to learn.
Curve Your Shots Less
So here they are, the no fuss no BS tips you can use to drive straight. Some of them are just plain and obvious, don’t hate me for that. The following assessment comes from Mark Broadie, golf data analyst and mathematician. He wanted to know if swinging big is more effective than a straight swing.
The straight-ball hitters won out convincingly.
“To see the connection between curve and accuracy, I computed the correlation of these values across players. Guess what? The correlation was negative 40 percent, which in plain English means that players who curve their drives less tend to hit more fairways” Broadie told multiple golf sources.
Own Your Ball Flight
With any luck, the next tip won’t be met with a lot of egg in the face for self-contradiction. Remember that just because you want to drive the ball straight, doesn’t mean that’s the only possible shot at the time. Many players have a dominant shot shape and should use that through the round.
Going with your stock shot is the most neutral approach. Doing so will help you commit to the shot and allow you to pick a proper aiming point. In case you didn’t know, a stock shot is a shot that starts right or left of your intended target. It then curves back to the target without over-curving.
For years, standard knowledge has indicated that players have to club down off the tee to hold the ball in play. This isn’t the case when it comes to your driver. For one reason, the face of your driver is bigger than any other club you have in your arsenal. Another point is that you’ve probably used your driver more than any other club on the driving range. Make the most of that.
Many golfers have hit many more drivers in their practice sessions than other clubs when they are off the tee. Making a vigilant swing with a club that you hardly use is a formula for catastrophe.
Balance is vital when hitting your driver straight. Good balance guarantees that you make those all-important shots, no matter which club you’re using.
To hold your balance, keep your center of gravity adjusted during your backswing. When you manage to get that right, move it forward toward the target. Warning don’t ever allow your weight to move to your back foot!
A Quick Drill to Keep You in Your Center
For this drill you will need your driver and your golf bag. When you’ve gotten all of that, take up your usual stance. Next you will have to keep your golf bag against your back leg. Start the drill by doing some practice swings. Here’s the catch though, you need to do these swings without pushing into the bag on your backswing. If you brush against it, you’ve shifted your weight.
The next step is to move the bag towards your front foot. Hold the bag so that it’s in line with your front shoe. Keep some room between your shoe and the bag. When you do this, your front leg can move somewhat in the direction of the target and become vertical to the ground. Do some practice swings without tapping against the bag.
Keep Your Swing Width Wide
The width of your swing is how far you spread your hands away from your chest. Swing width is important to keeping your club shaft on plane. When you move your hands too close to your body, you have to move your hands out wider at address. If your backswing is not wide enough you’ll battle to bring the club back to its previous plane. Novice golfers tend to move the club outside the shaft line. This does nothing but give slices and pulls.
Here’s a drill that will help you with your swing width: Using your driver, assume your usual address position. Now swing the club back with just your trail arm. Do your best to hold a 90-degree angle between your forearm and upper arm. Move your head back when the club is at the top. Make the adjustments needed to accomplish at least a 90-degree angle if it’s not there when you look.
Stop at the Top for Straighter Golf Drives
Take some time to stop at the top of your backswing. There is a good reason why this is so important. It gives your body a chance to get back in the perfect striking position. Don’t dwell on this though. Your pauses should only be short, and not excessively drawn-out “go-slows”.
A short break allows your body to build up strength while letting the club change paths. It also gears you up for the perfect slot position for the downswing. Here’s another quick drill that you can practice:
Right, so when you’re at the practice tee, start with a few practice swings. Don’t move for a second when you get to the top before you swing down. To make this easy, you can count to two and then come down on your swing. Accelerate your swinging speed on the downswing, have quickest part coming from the bottom of the swing.
Now strike a couple of balls using the same sequence. If your shot happens sooner than it should, you could be hitting the shot too hard. Keep practicing this golf drill until you’ve solidified the move and have landed straighter shots.
That recaps this guide on how you can hit your driver long and straight. Pay attention to these key elements, get in a good position early and then loosen up through impact.
Using your driver correctly requires a blend of skill, execution practice and skillful decision making in play. Swing straight, don’t miss and have fun.