How to Drive a Golf Ball: Guide to Long and Straight Hits
Learning how to drive a golf ball well is essential to becoming a golf player. There are a couple of tips you can use to straighten up your game with long and straight hits. Some of these tips are like knowing your equipment well, standing well, keeping a clear head, and mastering your swing. Together with some practice on the range and the course, these tips can help you become a master at your game.
Most golf beginners often focus on hitting the driver to the farthest end, forgetting to balance the distance and accuracy. This article delves deeper into how you can hit a driver straight and long with a driver swing that mostly relies on sound mechanics than timing. Read on for great golf driving tips for beginners and pros who haven’t played in a while.
Choose the right equipment
Like any other sport, proper equipment is key to being at the top of your golf game.
First off, choose a driver with the right loft. Research shows how golf equipment have evolved since the inception of the game of golf, and the newer, the better. Instead of the old 7 or 8 degree driver, opt for the 9 or 10 degrees as it will give you more carry for consistency in your shots. Are you on the search for the best driver for beginners, and you wonder what the parameters are?
The golf club is another piece of equipment you need to pick right. Although you will mostly use a driver off the tee for a par 4 or par 5, you will need other wood or iron options for some holes. When choosing a club, consider the design of the hole you are playing. Your swing speed can help you determine the club you need off a tee shot. Moreover, irons have a higher loft than woods.
Another important golf equipment that you must choose right is the golf ball. Choosing the correct golf ball is quite daunting as there isn’t any golden ball waiting for you out there. You have to consider a few factors like distance, spin, hardness, and feel.
The best thing to do get the right golf ball is to walk to your local golf shop and get a professional’s opinion. They can help you determine your club-head speed then choose golf balls with the right core density and cover thickness that suit your golfing style. You can even bring several types of balls to play with your friends so you can experiment to choose what works for you. Do keep in mind that professional golf rules prohibit the use of different types of balls in the same round.
Last, you need to pick the right tee. Nowadays, tees come in varying lengths, but most of them are taller to suit the large-head modern drivers. A taller tee will help you avoid hitting the ground before hitting a teed-up ball. Let’s say you are on a long par 3 or par 5, and you need to crush the ball to hit the green within par; a taller tee is your prime option. On the flip side, a taller tee is not the best option when using an iron because you could easily tee the ball too high and cut under the ball.
Your posture is key
You have to mind your posture if you want to drive the golf ball well. Here are some of the things you can do to improve your posture;
The first thing you should do is set up your stance such that it is narrow and just beyond shoulder width. A narrow stance will give you more control with your golf swing than a wider stance that gives a bigger golf swing motion. If you are right-handed, try to stand with the golf ball a little on the inside of your left toe. The few inches provide a decreased golf swing motion, giving you better control. In addition, you should ensure that your body lines up parallel to your target line.
Tee the ball right
A long hitter who knows how to balance distance with accuracy will tee the golf ball high to increase distance. As a beginner who wants to increase driver accuracy, you’d be better off teeing the golf ball halfway up.
Position the ball in line with your front foot’s heel or where your shirt’s pocket/logo is (assuming you are a righty). Avoid placing the ball toward the front of your stance, as this can hinder you from making good contact before hitting the ball. You may also experience challenges with slicing or fading.
Try and grip the golf ball lower so you can gain more control and increase the probability of driving the golf ball straighter. You might end up losing some power but you can always make up for it in control and accuracy, especially if you adopt the neutral golf grip.
Don’t hold the driver too close to you
According to golf experts, driving a golf ball well begins with having a good stance. To get the correct driver stance, move your feet apart in 3-inch intervals then maintain the position with the widest shoulder-width and the ball forward. Bend your kneed to stay balanced.
Getting longer hits
Every golfer desires to hit the ball farthest with their driver. Here are a few techniques that can help you gain the additional yardage you have been dreaming of;
Focus on your target
Focusing on your target will help you achieve consistent distance. It will also help you determine the kind of swing you need to use to control the distance of your shot. The target may be a hole with a water hazard cutting through it or a dogleg to its right or left. You can invest in the best golf range finder to help you figure out your target and improve your shot accuracy.
Power swing or control shot?
There are two types of swings that you must have; the power and the control swing. For the power swing, position your head and the shaft slightly back behind your ball with a slightly wider stance. For the control swing, narrow your stance slightly, place the ball slightly further back in your stance, then slightly choke down on the club.
Your driver backswing makes a huge difference. Begin by shifting your weight backward to get more swing power. Most beginner players assume that having a fast backswing is the only way to have more power to crush the ball. This is far from true as swinging fast will only take you out of alignment.
Also, ensure your driving wood is flat on the ground for the first 20 to 25% of your swing. If the club is not flat on the ground, you will end up popping the ball up and fail to get that long smooth drive that you see most golf professionals hit often. Make a steady backswing then pause at the top to reset before taking a downswing. The pausing isn’t necessarily stopping but hovering slightly before going down. Stopping would throw you off momentum.
Calm, yet powerful downswing
The start of your downswing should be calm and unhurried so that you can build up speed, such that the club is still accelerating when it reaches the ball. Your downswing should be one powerful movement that uses your entire body. Just ensure it is not rushed as you may go off plane.
The most important thing to do during your downswing is keep your head down. You may be tempted to look up to see how far you have hit the ball, but moving your head will move your entire body and ruin your shot. Also, trust that the club will do its work to keep your swing consistent. Don’t try to help the ball up by raising your arms.
Watch the position of your arms
With a proper setup and the right equipment, you don’t have to flip your hands forward in an effort to get the ball in the air like most amateurs do. Your leading hand, which is the left one if you are right-handed or the right if you are left-handed, should be angled down towards the ball on the downswing. The angle starts the ball low and allows it to climb on its own through your generated power.
Maintain the arm speed after you’ve hit the ball
Don’t be in a rush to see how far you hit the ball, instead, allow the club to swing over your left shoulder if you are a right-handed golfer and right shoulder if you are a left golfer.
Besides setup, how you hold the club determines the rest of your golf swing. The golf grip has subtle variations known as interlocking, ten-fingered, and over-lapping. They relate to how your left hand and right hand link. Just ensure that your hands are close together and overlapping to work as a single unit during the swing.
High on the grip
This type of grip involves the positioning of the club high in the leading hand. It limits the golfer’s ability to use their wrists efficiently making it very difficult to create good wrist set in the golf swing.
Low on the grip
Unlike the high grip, the low grip involves holding the club a little lower in the leading hand. The club runs diagonally under the heel pad through the forefinger’s base. It allows the golfer much more freedom in the wrists and often makes squaring the clubface much easier.
Here are a few more tips to improve your game;
Try a grip spray
If you are still struggling to maintain a proper grip, you can invest in a good grip spray. It will help you maintain the correct grip pressure throughout the game. Remember a grip that is too hard will prevent you from achieving consistent distance.
According to popular reviews, the Grip & Rip golf grip spray is the best you can get for better golf grip in sweaty and rainy conditions. It works well on both gloved and non-gloved hands and gives you the much needed extra traction on your golf club grips.
Invest in a swing correcting armband
A proper swing path is key to maximizing distance. A swing correcting armband is an alignment aid that you can use to practice achieving a proper swing path at impact.
The TrueBirdie golf swing training aid is one of the most acclaimed swing correcting armbands because it is incredibly affordable and works well to prevent the common ‘chicken wing’ swing by keeping your arms together and coordinated during your golf swing.
Swing in a circle
To achieve maximum distance, you have to swing in a circle. Ensure your clubhead does not cut across the golf ball as it will produce a glancing contact, hindering you from achieving the long distance that you want.
Speed training might help
Some golfers are lucky enough to have speed naturally. The majority of golfers have to practice to gain and maintain speed. One of the easiest ways to speed train is grabbing one of your woods or drivers, and turning it upside down to hold the shaft just below its club head. Make a normal swing but ensure your grip produces a loud swooshing noise every time. Try and increase your swing speed and therefore the pitch of the swoosh noise. You can also use a speed training system like the popular SuperSpeed Golf.
Becoming a pro at golf driving requires great decision making, practice and great technique. Our golf driving tips for beginners will help anyone looking to improve their game hit their driver long and straight. If you focus on all the key moves we have highlighted and maintain the right positions, it will come so easy.
The type of equipment you use also play a huge role. Seek professional advice on the best golf ball and drivers to buy. The professionals, also known as fitters usually have an incredible amount of product knowledge that can help you pick the right loft, shaft flex, or driver length. You can also take advantage of the demo days at your club or in your area to learn about new technology, like face-balanced putters, that can help you hit the ball farther.