If you ask the club golfer which shot they would most like to improve a huge number would say the driver. After all, hitting a long straight drive sets up the hole and give us a reasonable chance of hitting the green in regulation. Also striking the driver well gives us confidence on the course that can filter down the the rest of the clubs in our bag. In this article we will give you six tips to help you when you are next on the tee.
Hitting a long straight means firstly hitting the ball out of the sweet spot of the club. It dosen’t matter how well you swing the club. If you are not hitting the ball out of the middle of the clubface you will lose direction and yards off the tee. We recommend swinging the club in a slow and controlled manner until you are making the correct contact out of the sweet spot. You can then begin to increase the pace of your swing until you can match good clubhead speed with good contact.
Tip number two is to loosen your grip. Many poor shots off the tee are the result of the golfer gripping the club to hard and tightening up the arms and chest. Having a tight grip makes it more difficult for you to swing the club smoothly and will often result in a poor strike.
Tip number three is to pay attention to where you place the tee peg on the tee box. Some tee boxes are deliberately angled away from the natural direction of the fairway in an attempt to lure you off track. Also teeing from the left hand side of the tee or the right hand side of the tee can drastically change the hole perspective. Finally look for a flat even part of the tee where you are comfortable over the ball. If you are not feeling comfortable over the ball then do not swing the club until you are!
Tip number four is to keep the club head as low to the ground for as long as possible in the first few feet of the backswing. This will encourage the correct swing path in the backswing. Getting the swing on path in the first few feet is critical to making a long smooth back swing with the correct shoulder turn. If you want a practice drill for on the driving range, place a headcover on the target line about two feet behind the ball. Try to touch this on your back swing, once you are achieving the correct takeaway remove the headcover and repeat your swing.
Tip number five is to tee the ball at the correct height. A driver is best struck on an up-strike. If the ball is hit before the up-strike you will get a lower trajectory and will lose vital distance. Many tee’s have markings on them to help you tee up at a consistent height. Experiment on the practise tee with different heights for your driver. Once you are gaining consistency make a note of the height you are teeing the ball.
Finally tip number six is keep a note of where your tee shots are going. Are they consistently going to the right with a slice? Or are you hooking the ball to the left?. Having a clear understanding of the shape of your bad shots will help you on the practice tee to eliminate them. Also it may help you keep a score together in your monthly medal. If you know that your bad shots are slicing to the right you could aim a little more left to compensate or opt for another club off the tee to avoid a hazard.
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The Golf Talk team