From seasoned professionals to first day amateurs, no golfers can claim they never faced any problems swinging a driver. Knowing how to swing a golf driver properly is instrumental in posting a good score on your card. When you want the ball to drop smoothly on the fairway from a distant spot, a driver is what you’d need to bring out from your carrier.
But, it’s not the easiest club to get used to given its long shafts and low attack angle. Here are 10 tips that would help you hit your driver the right way.
1. TRY A WIDER STANCE
The most common mistake rookie golfers make while swinging their drives is keeping their legs too close to each other. Set your feet wider than your shoulders to get a solid foundation for your driver swing. Make sure the outside of your shoulders is aligned to your inner feet.
The drivers are the longest clubs you will use. Therefore, driver swing paths are larger than wedge or iron swing paths. You can’t get the stability you require when your stance is too narrow. Without stability, it’s impossible to achieve the desired height and distance.
2. LEAN AWAY FROM THE TARGET
There’s one key difference between iron swings and driver swings. You won’t take a tee-shot with an iron as the ball will be placed on the ground. So, you’ll have to aim lower hits with iron clubs. In case of drivers, however, you’ll need to hit the ball up since it will be placed on a tee.
When you are hitting fairways, you must avoid leaning towards the ball. Doing so will disturb your upper body balance and compromise the driver swing plane. Tip your spine back to stack your upper and lower body properly. This will give you the right body balance to hit the ball with your driver.
3. TRY MORE LOFT
More the loft, more the benefits-this notion has become part of the golf driver swing basics in recent years. Choosing the loft is mostly down to individual preference, but most golfers find high loft drivers easier to deal with.
More and more PGA Tour professionals are now opting for high loft drivers. James Day, for example, uses a colossal 10.5 degree driver. High loft drivers keep your ball trajectory on line and demands less swing speed to hit fairways. But fair warning, this is not a universal success formula. Try increasing your drive loft first to see if it suits you or not.
4. USE LIGHTER CLUBS FOR TRAINING
Professional players can hit the ball at much faster swing speeds than others. Although you can’t reach there overnight, you must work on reducing the gap as much as you can. You can use lighter clubs to practice how to hold a driver and swing it. Two types of skeletal muscle fibers can be found in our bodies. Both of them need to be involved when we try to swing a golf driver.
Practicing with a lighter club will help you activate your Type-II muscles, which contracts rapidly when your body tries to execute a brief, powerful movement. Involvement of Type-II muscles is mandatory if you want to exert serious force on your driver swing.
5. USE HEAVIER CLUBS FOR TRAINING
I just told you how practicing with lighter clubs will improve your driver swing. Well, experimenting with the other side of the coin would also aid your cause. After practicing a few swings with a lighter clubs, hold two clubs together and swing them a few times.
The combined weight of two clubs will accustom your Type-II muscle further with proper driver swing mechanics. Use light and heavy clubs in turns to strengthening your muscles to a greater extent. Once your muscles are properly developed, you can accelerate your swing speed substantially.
6. MONITOR YOUR PROGRESS WITH A LAUNCH MONITOR
Thanks to the marvel of modern technology, it’s now possible to monitor your golf progress with a handheld device. Launch Monitors are not exactly the cheapest accessory to buy, but if you can afford it, it’s well worth the money.
You can keep track of each of your shots and find out about important stats like your spin rate and swing speed. If you are seriously committed to better your drive skills, a monitor launcher could be a piece of very useful equipment to have at your disposal.
7. CUT DOWN YOUR SPIN RATE
Reducing the backspin off your drives is a challenge every golfer faces and the newbies fail miserably on it. The spin takes away a lot of out of your hit, making the ball fall short of maximum distance. You can address this issue by placing the ball on higher tees.
This would avoid the risk of downward strikes and allow you to add a few extra yards to your drive. Your equipment might also be at fault for higher spin rates. If you suspect so, try a driver with lower loft and sturdier shaft. As a rule of thumb, try to keep your spin rate below 2500 rpm.
8. PUT MORE PRESSURE ON YOUR DOMINANT LEG
Your trail foot should feel more pressure than your front one, as you setup for the drive. As discussed above, a powerful swing is imperative for a strong driving hit. Initially, try to distribute even weights between your two legs. Then, slowly shift the pressure to your trail leg (for a right-handed golfer it will be the right leg. Vice versa for left-handers).
When you feel like your back leg is supporting more than approximately 60% of your body weight, take the swing. This would provide the supplementary force necessary for taking the shot perfectly.
9. GET RID OF EARLY EXTENSION
Early extension is a problem that plagues players of all categories. And by all categories, I do mean players including the PGA Tour stars! Early extension takes place when a player unwillingly moves his hips towards the ball while attempting a downswing.
This can block shots to your dominant side by drifting the trajectory to the opposite direction.
There are a handful of exercises that you can add to your routine as a preventive measure. You can also try bringing some change to your setup style. Take your stance is if you are sitting on a chair.
Take down the swing without changing your position. This would sync your lower body and upper body movement, eliminating your early extension tendencies in the process.
10. PRACTICE AT AN UPHILL POSITION
You can try practicing at an uphill driving range to polish up your driving skills. Starting out, most players mishit their drivers by striking lower. This takes a significant toll on your confidence. So, if you are on beginner stage, you could find your perfect driving setup on an ascending plane
Once you align your shoulders to the upslope, your spine and legs will simultaneously adjust to accommodate you a textbook driver hit. Make sure the uphill lie is moderately sloped. The incline would serve as additional lofts to your driver. This will allow you to open up your clubface and making a centered skyward strike.
Mastering the tee-shot will set you apart from your competition. Learning how to swing a driver is the first step towards that. Follow the above mentioned tips so that you can swing your drivers with utmost accuracy, find the sweet spot on your clubhead and make some towering drives.