Hitting the Driver
Hitting the driver properly and with distance will set you up for a better second shot. The problem with hitting the driver is that even the professional golfer only hits the fairway 62% of the time, so don’t expect to do a whole lot better than that. However, you can improve the swing of your driver if you follow these simple steps.
The first thing that you want to do is make sure the driver is fitted for the way you swing. Getting fitted for a driver will immediately improve your results off of the tee. The driver is not hit like the wedges, irons, hybrids or fairway woods. You use a different swing to hit the driver than you do with any other club in your bag.
Once you have gotten properly fitted for a driver, you have to find the correct grip for you. Remember to grip the driver with your fingers and not your palms. This allows you to control the club while still getting your wrists involved.
Set your feet shoulder width apart, lining up the ball on the tee with the heel of your left foot, if you are a right-handed golfer. Bend slightly at the knees, as if you where going to sit down. You also want to tilt your body forward slightly at the waist.
As you take the driver back, keep the left arm straight, while bending your right arm and holding your right elbow against your body. Turn at the shoulders and waist. Always keep your left arm straight throughout the back swing. You don’t need to twist as far back as the professionals do on their back swing, just go back as far as you can without bending your forward arm.
Unlike the irons, you want to use a sweeping swing and not come down on the ball. Since the golf ball is on the tee, it will not compress against the ground like it does when hitting the ball with another club. You also want to make sure you hit the ball on the up swing with the driver.
The major difference between hitting the driver and any other club in your bag is you want to turn your whole body during your transition from the back swing to the follow through. You want as much club head speed as possible to get the most distance out of your driver.
During your address you also want to keep anywhere from 60% to 70% of your body weight on your right side. As you finish your back swing and start to transition, you maintain that weight on the right side of your body, but push-off with your right foot. As you swing through, You want to start straightening the left leg on your follow through.
You want the club face of the driver to hit the ball square and in the center of the club face, also called the sweet spot. If the club face of the driver strikes the ball from an outside to inside swing plane, the ball will have a tendency of slicing. If you strike the golf ball with the club face of the driver from an inside to outside swing plane, the ball will have a tendency of drawing. The only way to make the golf ball go straight is by ensuring that you strike the golf ball with a square club face and on the proper plane.
In order to determine the proper plane for your driver swing, you will have to practice. Remember hitting the drive 300 yards takes your whole body and not just your shoulders and arms. However, once you figure out the proper driver, ball position, address position, swing plane and follow through, you will be driving the golf ball like your were a professional golfer.