Golf Tips on How to Hit a Driver
Hitting the driver correctly can help a golfer have a good round of golf. Many golfers are intimidated by stepping up to the tee with driver in hand. They tee the ball up with trepidation and pray that they don't embarrass themselves by dribbling the ball with their swing or send it winging into the woods. Golfers who have that fear regularly end up with a poor shot. Those who hit the driver well, however, can play a round without much pressure -- and with much more enjoyment.
Tee the ball up higher when you hit the driver. If you are using any club other than the driver, teeing the ball up 1/4-inch may suffice. However, with the larger head of the driver, you should tee the ball up 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch to hit the ball well off the tee.
Play the ball about one ball-width closer to your front foot when you line up at the tee. Many golfer hit most of their shots with the ball played midway between their feet. With the driver, you will probably have a harder time hitting the ball squarely with that stance. Give yourself a little bit of extra room and time to hit your drive by teeing it closer to your front foot.
Address the ball squarely when you hit the driver. This is important for all golf shots, but it is essential for the driver. Your left shoulder -- for a right-handed golfer -- must be facing the target. Your left foot needs to be directly under your shoulder. Your feet should be about shoulder-width apart and your knees should be flexed so you can transfer your weight easily. If you are not square to the ball, your ball will likely veer off course. An open stance usually leads to a slice, while a closed shot may result in a hook.
Choke up on your driver for greater control. Most golfers are looking for maximum distance when using the driver, but if the ball does not end up in the fairway, there's no benefit to hitting it 300 yards or more. Pro golfer Anthony Kim says choking up on the club will give you greater control. "Over the years I've noticed that the choke gave me more control -- especially with the driver -- and I've never looked back," Kim said. "Since the choke automatically makes the club shorter, I sacrifice some distance. But it's less than you think -- 10 yards at the most and I still average 300 yards off the tee."
Finish your swing with a strong follow-through. Many beginners and high-handicap golfers are anxious to see the result of their swing with the driver. As a result, they stop their swing shortly after contact. This almost always results in a shot that is blocked and goes into the rough or out of bounds. Keep your head down and finish the shot. Make sure your hands have reached shoulder height by the time you finish your shot.
- driver image by Xavier MARCHANT from Fotolia.com