Golf is a game that requires a lot of different techniques depending on the situation and the shot you have to make.
One of the most important aspects of any golfer’s game is the drive, as this is the shot that will start off most holes, and getting it right or wrong can be the difference between a fun and successful round, or a miserable day spent in the rough.
The importance of a good drive can be seen in the professional game, as the most dominant players place great emphasis on powerful, long, and accurate drives that put them at a huge advantage over their opponents.
The most famous instance of this happened in the ’90s when Tiger Woods first started driving the ball much further than his competitors. His focus on technique and athleticism was unprecedented and unparalleled and this led to him hitting drives that totally outclassed almost all other professional golfers at the time.
This resulted in Tiger becoming a dominant player and forcing other players to adapt their game, and even for the golf courses to rethink their design or ‘Tigerproof’ themselves to prevent his drives from totally dispensing with the competition.
This indicates just how important and powerful a good drive can be, and while few of us will ever be capable of the feats Tiger produced, you can improve your game and impress your friends with a quality drive.
First, let’s take a look at the equipment you need.
Unlike most shots in golf, driving requires a few extra pieces of equipment in order to be done successfully, and in this section, we’re going to make sure you have everything you need to get started.
First and foremost you’ll need a driver, which is the largest golf club in a set and features a large head with a low loft angle, as well as a long shaft. These clubs are often fairly expensive but even cheaper versions offer good performance and allow you to hit the ball far further than any other club.
Next, you’ll of course need a golf ball, and for driving, a distance ball with a harder core is the best option.
Finally, you’ll need a tee, which is a small wooden or plastic spike with a platform on the top, which raises the ball off the grass and allows you to hit the ball with distance and height much more easily than simply hitting off the ground.
Stance And Setup
Once you have everything you need, the next step is to prepare yourself to drive the ball, and one of the key aspects of this is your stance.
First, you need to align your body. Stand with your feet just past shoulder width and with the ball and tee a few feet in front of you, centrally located between both feet.
Now adjust your stance so that you’re lining up with where you want to hit the ball. It can help to identify a marker or something to line yourself up with down the fairway.
You can now adjust your feet, and ideally, you want the ball to be in line with the heel of your front foot, meaning the ball will be slightly off-center to your chest and slightly further forward. Don’t position the ball too far forward however as this can make hitting the ball difficult and inaccurate as well as losing distance on your shot.
Your feet should remain just path shoulder-width apart, around 2 to 3 feet depending on your height.
Your arms should form a V as you set up your stance. You should grip the club an inch or so down from the end of the grip and allow the club to rest behind the ball to give you a good sense of where you need to position yourself for optimum swing accuracy.
Grip the club firmly but not too hard as this can result in losing range of motion and fluidity in your drive.
When you begin your backswing, you should shift your weight back slightly, and allow your body to twist with the club to maintain fluidity. Keep your arms straight and do not bend at the elbows very much as your backswing. Allow the club to pass back over your shoulder until your hands are almost above your rear shoulder.
Don’t swing back too far or too fast as these will massively reduce your technique and control. Fluidity is key on the backswing as well as the downswing.
You can take a very short pause as you reach the top of your backswing to prepare for the downswing.
As you enter the downswing, don’t rush and don’t force things. Keep off-arm straight and keep your head down as your club moves towards the ball, as lifting it will cause you to lift the club and scuff your shot entirely.
As you make contact with the ball, keep your hands steady and drive through the ball. The club should be almost flat to the ground as it makes contact with the ball. Don’t be tempted to adjust your grip at this point or you risk ruining your shot. Simply allow the club to pass through the ball and follow through well.
Allow the club to keep moving through the ball and to pass over your front shoulder and don’t look up until the club has almost passed it. To cushion the force of the swing you can allow your arms to bend at the top of the follow-through as the club passes your shoulder.
Driving is one of the most difficult things to learn in golf, and there are many tiny adjustments that can be made depending on your height, club, and technique, and it can be difficult to improve alone.
If you’re struggling or aren’t able to drive effectively, it can be good to video yourself driving to study where you may be going wrong, or using the many aids available to develop better technique, or even seeking a tutor for more bespoke advice if you’re serious about improving.