Golf Instruction Tips for Driving

By James Roland
Hip and shoulder rotation are key elements to hitting the driver.
Hip and shoulder rotation are key elements to hitting the driver.

The old adage, "You drive for show, but you putt for dough," might capture the wisdom of perfecting your putting to make low scores, but it also reveals most golfers and fans like the big shot off the tee. To make sure your drives are long and accurate, you'll need to make sure all parts of your swing are working, from the stance, distance to the ball, the rotation of your body and the way you bring the club head through the ball.

Line Up Your Feet

Until you're able to purposely put a nice draw or fade on your drives, you should line up your feet in the direction you want to drive the ball. The easiest way to tell if your feet are correct is to lay your driver against the toes of your shoes and see if they are lined up with your target, then adjust as needed.

Build a Better Backswing

The tendency among beginners who want to crush their drives is to make a long, fast, explosive drive. At first, you're better off taking a shorter swing that is more easily controlled, and by holding your driver at the peak of your backswing for a moment to let your hips and legs start the forward motion of your drive.

Use Your Lower Body

Once your body is turned during the backswing, rotate your hips and shift your weight firmly forward before bringing the club head down and through the ball. By letting the club head "lag" behind hips and legs, you store up power in your swing that will help drive the ball much farther.

Follow Through All the Way

As with any golf shot, a good follow-through on a drive will help ensure a solid, complete swing and will help you establish a rhythm you can rely on every time you step to the tee. As you strike the ball, you should continue rotating your hips so you finish facing your target, with your hands and the club grip near your head.

Tee It Up Right

The next time you're on the driving range, try teeing up the ball at different heights and see how the height affects your drives. Watch that you don't tee it too high so you strike the ball low or tee the ball too low so you top it with your driver.

Cure Your Slice

One of the most common driving errors in golf is the slice, a shot that curves to the right for right-handed golfers and to the left for left-handers. This usually happens when the club face is slightly open at the point of impact, so be aware as you hit the ball that you're holding the club so the club face is lined up with the target.

About the Author

James Roland is the editor of a monthly health publication that has approximately 75,000 subscribers in the United States and Canada. Previously, he worked as a newspaper reporter and editor, covering issues ranging from the environment and government to family matters and education. He earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Oregon.

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