Hit more consistently with your driver

Published 27/09/2009 08:00:12

The drive, or the tee shot, is perhaps the most important psychologically on the hole. A long, straight tee shot benefits your whole game and makes each subsequent shot a little easier. A longer driver will enable you to hit a shorter approach shot into the green, which is likely to enable you to hit the ball closer to the hole and sink more putts.


Our bitesize tips are easy to digest - and easy to remember!


Get your tee height right

For a regular drive, tee the ball so that the top of the clubface is level with the logo on the ball. 


Clear your hips for long drives

John Daly recommends in The Killer Swing: "Since a tee shot demands that you hit with a sweeping action, you must create a shallow angle of attack by rotating your hips to your left at the start of the downswing.

"This clearing action of the hips allows your arms to swing away from your body and whip the club powerfully through the ball."


Swing better, not harder

If you need extra yards, try to make a better swing, not a harder swing. Your aim should be to get the ball coming of the middle of the clubface - the sweet spot. The club does the work, though a fast swing speed helps, obviously.


Reach maximum swing speed just after impact

Most amateur golfers deliver the power at the wrong stage in their swing. In most cases, they generate the power too early  - at the start of the downswing in an effort to lunge at the ball.

However, by the time the clubhead reaches impact it is actually slowing down and transmits less power to the ball.

On the contrary, you should look to achieve maximum swing speed just after impact as this means you'll be certain of accelerating as you pass through the hitting area.


Stretch upper body against knee resistance

Stretch and trun the larger muscles in the upper body against the resistance of the knees and hips - this creates a whipping coil effect. Careful though, many believe this is how Tiger Woods got his knee injury.


Straighten left leg for 20 more yards

When Tiger Woods wants to generate a few extra yards of distance off the tee, he snaps his left leg straight just before impact. This enables his hips to clear faster and increases the speed of his shoulders, arms and legs.


Tee the ball as high as you can

Many club golfers slice their tee shots because they tee the ball too low and therefore have to hit down too steeply to get the ball in the air. To reduce your chances of slicing, tee the ball a little higher.

This will force you to swing the club more around yourself on a slightly flatter plane in order to strike the ball powerfully.


Left hip pocket toward the target

To feel the correct driver setup stand tot he ball and imagine that someone is tugging your left hip pocket towards the target and your right shoulder away from it.


Draw your right foot back for a draw

Sam Snead writes in The Game I Love: "On my normal driver swing, I would always drop my right foot back a little, giving me more room to turn and promoting an aggressive inside attack. With this alignment I could play a nice draw and feel a nice easy turn."


Rehearse driver swing with 3-wood first

Getting confidence with the driver is tough - especially when it feels like nothing is going right with the big stick. Sometimes, it pays to practise with an easier club - like the 3-wood, until you have gained enough confidence to take the inevitable bumps and bad shots you may get.


Think "R.B.P" for extra distance

RIght Back Pocket - a reminder to make a full hip turn in which your right front trouser pocket rotates around toward your back as far as possible.


Keep driver low to the ground in takeaway

In order to ensure that as much of the clubface as possible makes contact with the ball at impact, keep the driver low to the ground at the beginning of the backswing.


Better long than short

John Daly advises, and take this one with a pinch of salt:

"It's better to be long and inaccurate than short and inaccurate."

Amen brother.


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