Updated: Jan 18, 2020
If you play a lot of golf, you know that hitting a driver can fun but hitting a driver in the fairway is the key to good golf. The difference for me between a 85 and an 79 on the golf course comes down to how well I am putting, chipping and driving. If you are not hitting your driver well, you are costing yourself strokes by having to chip back into play or attempt some crazy shot to green. These extra strokes add up. I know that if i am hitting my driver in the fairway, I have a good chance to make par or birdie and if i miss the fairway im looking at bogie or double. By concentrate on the two keys below, i was able to hit more fairways and lowered my handicap.
Two Keys To Hitting A Driver
Key #1 – Balance
When trying to hit a driver consistently you must first start with your balance. Most golfers who slice are off balance and therefore do not strike the ball in the center of the club. Good contact with your driver will allow you to hit the ball farther and straighter. To do this you MUST be on balance in your swing. Too many golfers when hitting their driver will either start in an unbalanced position or will sway on the backswing. If you are moving away from the ball the chance of you getting back to the right position decrease. Many golfers can do it but many more can not.
If you want to hit your driver straighter then you need to first look at your stance. Are you balanced? Are positioned so that it is easy to remain on balance? I like to think of myself as an martial artist ready to throw a punch. My toes are flared and im on the balls of my feet. My feet are shoulder width apart with my knees slightly bent. A good athletic and balance position. My weight is centered and “pressurized”.
I really began hitting my driver well after watching Tathata Golf and how it talks about being balanced in your swing. Once i began focusing on this on the golf course, i began to hit more fairways with my driver. Here is a snippet of how to be balanced:
To hit your driver consistently, you also need to stay balanced on your backswing. Everyone talks about how you must shift your weight on the backswing. I feel this is where most problems begin. The average golfer will shift their weight on the backswing and never fully get their weight forward at impact. Impact is where you need to be going forward. Many golfer when hitting a driver will flip their hands to make up for this improper shift causing more problems.
What i have found is that by putting my weight 50-50 and then turning around my back foot and not shifting my weight i am able to get better contact at impact. My weight never goes to the outside part of my back foot. Do i lose some distance? Maybe but being in the fairway is so much better for my game then 10 or 20 yards.
Here are some drills to work on your balance when hitting a driver:
Home Balance Drill
4 Spots Drill
Key #2 – Tempo
After getting into a balanced position the next key i have found to hitting my driver is to make sure i have a good tempo. It is said that a good tempo is consistently at a 3 to 1 ratio, meaning 3 times as long on the backswing as the downswing. This is universal though many golfers swings can be faster or slower, the 3 to 1 ratio still stands. I have found that if i swing too fast i will pop it up or pull hook it. I really tell myself to make an easy swing. By combining good balance with a good tempo you should make better contact.
Here is a great article on this:
By creating a consistent swing tempo with your driver you will be able to hit more fairways. Practice getting the proper tempo with some of the drills and training aids below.
Hitting the driver is challenging so we need to make it simple. Stay on balance and get a good 3 to 1 tempo. These can also serve as your swing thoughts before you hit. If you do these two things, you will find you will score better. Let me know how it goes.