Top 10 ways to drive the golf ball better

Kevin Haime, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:01 PM ET

They say you drive for show and putt, for dough, but the game sure isn’t much fun if you can’t get off the tee. Just ask Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, both of whom have been raced past in the Official World Golf Rankings because they can’t get their ball in the fairway.

Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell all drive the ball much better than Lefty and Woods. At every level, getting your ball in play off the tee is critical. Better drives will only come with a better swing and lots of practice although today’s drivers are pretty terrific and easier than ever to hit.

 

1. Learn Why You Hit Bad Drives: After a bad drive, golfers always say: “What did I do there?” The fact is that if you don’t know what you’re doing wrong, you’ll never be able to fix it. Your first step to better driving is understanding your swing flaws. Take a video lesson to clear up the confusion. There’s nothing like seeing your swing to help you understand the changes you need to make.

 

2. Get Fit For The Right Club: It’s really hard to hit quality tee shots with the wrong club. The way to find the best club for you is to get club fit. Many pros now have launch monitors — high-speed cameras that analyze ball flight — so you can find a driver you hit well. Expect to hit 10-20 drivers over about an hour to find your perfect driver combination.

 

3. Try Before You Buy: If you can’t get to a launch monitor, make sure to at least hit a potential new driver outside before you buy it. There are lots of demo days at local courses and ranges. The worst thing you can do is buy a driver without hitting it, even if it’s an expensive one.

 

4. Buy Quality: When it comes to drivers, I recommend buying a top- name brand. Inexpensive clubs and clone clubs just don’t test very well. Even buying a used brand-name club is better than buying a department store special. You can save a bunch of money and hit better drives by checking out eBay and other used club sources.

 

5. Work on Your Driver Set Up: Your driver swing is different than any other swing because your ball is teed up off the ground. You need to hit the ball on the upswing to hit it in the air. Try to keep everything centered, balanced and behind the ball. The ball should be positioned opposite your forward heel with your head and hands starting well behind the ball. Lastly, don’t reach for the ball. Your hands should be the same distance from your slacks than they are with a 5-iron.

 

6. Control Your Backswing: Most golfers I see, lift, shift, or over-rotate trying to generate a big swing for big results. These extra moves are swing- killers. They’ll actually prevent you from getting back to the ball properly. Better drives will result from a controlled, athletic, balanced top of backswing position, not a crazy windup.

 

7. Support the Club at the Top: Try not to overswing as you swing your arms up and over your shoulder. Keep your arms together and your elbows pointed down. Most golfers also overswing when it comes to their arms. Some players lift their arms too high and even more wrap their arms behind their head.

 

8. Practise Properly: Better drives result from better swings and it’s really hard to change your swing at high speed. You’ll have better results, even with your driver, if you spend more time working on timing and better positions with smaller swings.

 

9. Rhythm, Rhythm, Rhythm: Great rhythm makes up for a lot of swing flaws. If you can’t get to your finish position in balance, you need to focus on tempo and rhythm. You need to swing the club head fast, but you also need to be in control of your club and body.

 

10. Tee It Right: Today’s 460cc drivers work best if you hit the golf ball higher on the club face. Make sure you tee your ball up a little higher than normal for more ball speed and less spin. When it comes to the newest clubs, tee it high and let it fly.

 


Videos

Photos