Golf Swing Tips for Drivers

By Jim Anderson
Tee the ball up slightly higher than the top of your driver.
Tee the ball up slightly higher than the top of your driver.

Understanding how to hit your driver is one of the biggest keys to having a successful round of golf and improving your game. Your position for your second shot off the tee is often the most important facet of your game. After all, golf is an extremely challenging game. It is made even more so when you struggle to get off the tee with distance and accuracy.

Relax, Don't Overswing

More often than not, when a golfer prepares for his drive with the mind-set of, "I am going to crush this ball," the result is a poorly hit drive that hooks way out of bounds or never gets far off the tee at all.

As you prepare to hit your drive, you need to forget about the eight you just took on the last hole, how hot it is and any other distractions that can break your concentration. Seldom is a good drive achieved while a golfer is in a fit of rage. This mentality can get you quickly off to a poor start.

So, take a deep breath, focus and do some warm-up exercises if you haven't done them already. If you have, do them again. The main objective is to relax.

Squaring Your Club

Length applies not only to every golfer's goal off the tee but also to the size of the club involved. Your driver is the longest club in your bag, and as such, it can be more difficult to square the club head on your follow-through.

The larger 460 cc club heads that are so popular also can exacerbate the problem of not squaring your club head. Some of the smaller club heads have a lower center of gravity and are thus easier, not harder, to hit the ball with the so-called sweet spot of the club.

Choking up on the club is the best way to alleviate this problem. Another tip is to roll your forearms over earlier in your swing, in order to ensure that your club head is square at impact. Slices and hooks are the inevitable result of not squaring your club head with the ball.

Don't Tighten Up

Gripping the club too tightly is another way to mishit your drive. PGA professional Patrick Walsh recommends using your big muscles to swing the club, not the little ones in your hand.

Fight the urge to overswing. The phrase "grip it and rip it" is actually a misnomer. Stated simply, if you apply your proper swing mechanics and let the club and your skills do the rest, you'll like the result.

Target Practice

Keeping your head behind the ball as you hit and on your follow-through is essential. As Walsh notes, the aim is for your head to stay back so your arms can extend freely.

As you conclude your swing, take note of your body position and how you are facing the target. You want your chest, belly button and the front of your back shoe aimed at where you're swinging.

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