For most golfers, success on a hole begins with a good drive. But hitting a drive long and straight isn’t as simple as just swinging hard. Bombing a drive down the fairway depends on a proper stance, grip--and most importantly--a fundamentally sound swing. Understanding the aspects of a proper swing with a driver can ensure better drives, shorter shots into the green and lower scores.
“Low and slow” is a common phrase when describing the proper takeaway when using a driver. To reinforce the wider swing arc needed with a driver, take the club back slowly and resist the urge to lift it quickly. When the club is halfway through the backswing, the toe of the club should be pointing nearly straight in the air. As the club moves backward, the golfer should be transferring weight from the front foot to the back foot. This helps store up power that will increase distance.
The transition in the swing occurs at the top of the backswing, when the player begins his downswing. To ensure the most power in the swing, continue the backswing so that the club is nearly parallel to the ground, then allow the club to easily change direction. One problem that befalls some golfers is that they force the club downward at the top of the backswing. This can throw off tempo and result in shots that go off target.
The follow-through is where the power stored during the swing is released following contact. As the club is moving downward, weight should be transferred from the back foot to the front side. The club should make contact at the bottom of the swing and the golfer should finish the shot with a high follow-through. Halfway through the follow-through, at about waist height, the toe of the driver should be pointing nearly straight up in the air.
When golfers see professionals on television hitting long drives, they sometimes transfer thoughts of swinging hard to the golf course. But the secret for most golfers is maintaining a consistent tempo throughout the swing. By maintaining a consistent tempo and not overswinging, golfers have a better chance of making solid contact with the ball, which is the key to distance and accuracy.
Working on the golf game away from the course can help the swing with the driver. Be sure to stretch your back before playing a round of golf or practicing on the driving range. Exercises like squats or working with a medicine ball can also help flexibility in the back and abdominals, which translate to more distance off the tee.