Why Is It More Difficult To Hit Your Driver Than Any Other Club?•
Posted on May 05 2008
Why Is It More Difficult To Hit Your Driver
Than Any Other Club?
Your initial golf shot or “tee shot” is YOUR MOST IMPORTANT golf shot in my estimation. It’s sort of like first down in football. If you’re second down and twenty every time you get the ball you’re going to have a long afternoon. I’m used to it, being a Dolphin fan.
If you’re having trouble during a round of golf with hitting your golf driver in the fairway then drop down to your three wood immediately. Maybe after some success with your three wood you will gain your confidence back to try your driver again. The little bit of distance you’ll loose by hitting your three wood will be more than compensated by being on the short grass in the fairway. Work out any problems with your driver in practice not on the golf course.
The first thing you need to understand about a Driver is that the length is probably doing you the most harm. A golf swing is very similar to a group of skaters turning in a circle or a group of soldiers marching in a circle. The outside skater or individuals will have to move that much faster than the rest of the line to keep up. Sure the longer the driver the faster the club head will travel in theory, but equally the harder it will be to square the club face at impact thus causing that dreaded slice off the fairway.
To square the golf club up at impact, (impact is actually about three degrees closed with a driver) you need to start rolling your forearms over earlier. Why, because the golf club head is further away from you. If you’re having trouble squaring up the club face first try choking up a little on the golf club. My opinion is golf club manufacturers make the modern drivers too long anyway. Most are about 45 to 46 inches. I prefer 44 inches. Tiger Woods only hits a 43 ½ inch driver.
I also prefer the smaller club heads. Everyone is raving about the hybrid woods that are replacing three irons. Golfers rave about how easy the hybrids are to hit. The heads are SMALL and have a low center of gravity. In contrast the new Drivers have a head the size of a basketball and golfers wonder why they can’t square it up. I recommend the 395cc head as the largest acceptable size, not the 460cc style which is actually more difficult to square up at impact.
Some golfers try to keep their head still or over the top of the golf ball. To make a full turn on a swing with your driver your head might move a little towards your back foot. That’s fine if not desired. You need to be well behind the golf ball at impact. One should have a straight line from the front shoulder to the ball at impact.
Another thing I noticed is that most golfers tend to hit their driver out on the toe. Use some face tape or sometimes referred to as impact tape on your driver and witness for yourself where you are making contact with the face of your driver. Usually the best place to make contact is high on the face and just a little inside of center. Different drivers have difference centers of gravity. See my Blog report on finding the center of gravity on your golf club for help.
Also, the driver has to be swung on a shallow plane. All golf clubs are swung the same…on plane, (the plane being the angle of the shaft at address). The plane angle on a driver might be 55 degrees where on a pitching wedge the shaft angle might be 64 degrees. To maintain a shallow path to the ball it is necessary to turn your shoulders on a more horizontal plane on the back swing. Golfers that swing steep usually are trying to keep their head on the golf ball at the top of their back swing. If you’re right handed, make sure you get the tip of your left shoulder over your right toe at the top of the back swing. You’ll still see the ball out of the corner of your left eye and you’ll gain a tremendous amount of distance on your tee shots.
You might feel like you’re swinging flatter or more rounded with a driver. If so that’s a good thing. Practice starting your downswing with your arms. Get to the top of your back swing and hold your chest still and start pulling your arms down like you were ringing a bell.
Remember Tiger’s comment; “the arms win the race”. He is referring to the arms winning the race to the golf ball. Get your arms started way early on the downswing and make sure you roll your forearms over early. If you start to hook the ball violently just back off a little on the roll over. If you pull hook the ball then you’re still rotating your shoulders too early.