Golf Tips With the Driver

By Sharon Penn
Keep your focus and mind clear before hitting your drive.
Keep your focus and mind clear before hitting your drive.

When you drive the ball, there are some tips you should keep in mind to achieve the distance and accuracy you want in a tee shot. Take your time before hitting the ball, and execute a smooth golf swing, remembering to follow through. Drivers have different characteristics, so be sure you are using the one that will give you the best results.

Visualize the Shot

Some golfers are overanxious and don’t survey the drive shot adequately. Before you hit, look at the fairway and decide on a target line. Take into consideration any hazards or obstructions between the ball and the target such as water or fairway bunkers. Notice the curve and contours of the fairway. Some holes have a dogleg left or right, and some slope down to one side or another. Wind direction is another factor to take into consideration before you set your target line. Once you have determined whether you will lay up, use a fade or a draw, or aim left, right or straight, select an intermediary target about 2 feet past the ball and hit your drive.

Smooth Swing

Golfers know that they are using the driver to hit the ball far. You might be tempted to hit the ball hard with your driver, “muscling” through the shot. Once in a while you may get lucky and hit a good drive, but most of the time this approach throws off your tempo and balance. Consistency is the key to a good golf game, and you want to know you can hit a tee shot with accuracy and distance every time. The way to do this is to go back to basics. Use a pre-shot routine to check your grip, ball position and posture. Take a practice swing and begin the takeaway by focusing on having your arms, legs and body working together to produce a smooth, coordinated swing. Turn your back to the ball as you make your shoulder turn, and use a quick weight shift on the downswing to achieve more distance. Hit through the ball for a strong follow-through. Maintain your tempo, balance and posture through the shot.

Distance and Accuracy

Make sure you are using the clubs that are designed to give you the best distance and accuracy for your swing. Check out the length of the shaft, and look at the flexibility. If you have a fast swing speed, consider going with a stiffer shaft for more control. If you suffer from mishits, consider using a driver with a large clubhead and large sweet spot, which will be more forgiving. Look at the loft of your driver. If you are an experienced golfer and you regularly launch the ball in the air, try a clubface with a launch angle of 9.5 or 9 degrees. If you are a higher handicapper, you might want to try a more lofted clubface on your driver, like 10.5 degrees or more. When you hit, make contact with the ball square in the sweet spot of the driver, and allow your arms to generate centrifugal force when you come through the ball for more distance.

About the Author

Sharon Penn is a writer based in South Florida. A professional writer since 1981, she has created numerous materials for a Princeton advertising agency. Her articles have appeared in "Golf Journal" and on industry blogs. Penn has traveled extensively, is an avid golfer and is eager to share her interests with her readers. She holds a Master of Science in Education.

Photo Credits

  • Ryan Pierse/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
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