Proper Golf Stance When Using a Driver
The most important fundamental in the game of golf is the golf swing; however, the golf swing, and the driver swing, specifically, is one of the most difficult fundamentals for beginners to get down. Even the best golf players and best driver swingers on the PGA Tour get thrown off from their fundamentals out on the golf course every once in awhile- point is, it is a very difficult skill to get down.
The swing mechanics of a proper driver swing involve the most optimal ball position, swing speed, lead foot and back foot positioning, backswing and downswing. Though it may sound like a lot, when done properly, a good swing can send the golf ball 300-plus yards down the fairway on your tee shots.
Proper Golf Stance
When using a driver, setting your feet properly is the first step to a correct stance.
- Approach the ball and stand with your feet about shoulder width apart and your body weight evenly distributed on each foot
- Align your body to play the ball off the heel of your left foot (right-handers) or the heel of your left foot (left-handers)- this will ensure the ball is hit slightly on the upswing, providing more distance and helping launch angle and ball flight
Practice this alignment on the driving range; moving the ball an inch or two forward or back in the stance can greatly change the results; no matter what, you shouldn’t align the ball in the middle of your stance, as this won’t allow for optimal club head and clubface contact.
One of the most under-appreciated driving tips is the proper grip: It is crucial that you hold the driver with a relaxed grip.
A relaxed grip lets the club turn over easily in your hands from the beginning all the way through the follow through of your swing path. If you hold a driver with a strong grip, it generally means you are trying to swing too hard, which can cost distance and accuracy off the tee.
It is important to be aligned “square” to the target.
This means the left foot and right foot, as well as the left shoulder and right shoulder, are all parallel to the target line. To check your alignment, place a golf club on the ground along your toes. Leave the club on the ground and walk behind the ball to check that you are aimed correctly.
If a right-handed golfer is playing a hole that doglegs to the left, a draw may be necessary.
To set up for a draw, stand with your feet slightly wider than normal and play the ball back slightly in your stance.
Align your body as though you are hitting slightly to the right of the target and swing along your body line. Reverse these instructions if you are a left-hander.
If a right-handed golfer plays a hole that doglegs right, he may need to hit a fade. To align for a fade, take your normal stance, but aim slightly left of the target.
Practicing this alignment on the driving range is important in finding the correct angle for your golf swing.
After aligning your feet, aim your club directly at the target and take your normal swing. This should cause the ball to fade.
A former sports and lifestyle reporter at the "Daily Nebraskan," David Green is a writer who has covered a variety of topics for daily newspapers. He was selected by the "Los Angeles Times" to participate in the Jim Murray Sports Writing Workshop. Green holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska.