Golf Tips: Setting up to hit the Driver

The 1 Wood, commonly referred to as the Driver, is one of the most important clubs in the bag.

Most accomplished golfers would agree that the putter, which is used for far more shots during a round of golf than any other club, is the most valuable club to develop skill with if the goal is to shoot low scores. The Driver on the other hand, can put the ball in play.

Hit well from the tee, the driver will send the ball long and down the middle of the fairway, making the rest of the hole a little easier. When not hit well, the driver can knock the ball from the tee to many challenging positions – to somewhere out of bounds, in the water, a fairway bunker or in the rough. Let’s take this opportunity to talk about how to hit the ball off the tee, and down the middle of the fairway more consistently.

When setting up to hit your driver:
Place the ball well forward in your stance and off your forward foot (your left foot, if you are a right handed golfer). This gives you more time to square the club face up at impact, thus creating additional club head speed.

Tee the ball high enough to have at least half the ball above the top of the driver’s club face to allow the club to be on the upstroke when making contact.
To stabilise your stance, set your feet a little farther apart than you would with the irons.

Arms hang straight down from the shoulders and the hands are slightly behind the ball. This helps to maintain the loft on the club face and makes it easier to get the ball in the air off the tee.

Please notice the tilt in the spine, from the waist up, away from the target. This creates a shallower and slightly ascending club head path getting the ball into the air on the higher launch angle for longer carry.

It’s a lot to think of all together, but persistence, practice and patience will go a long way to getting the driver to work with you to lower your scores.