How To Drive A Golf Ball Long And Straight
Driving accuracy is incredibly important. A good drive sets you up well for a great game, helping you lower your score and maintain a low handicap. You only need to look at the world of professional golf to see why driving accuracy is so crucial. Those golfers who rankly the highest in terms of driving accuracy tend to enjoy a sizeable stroke advantage later on in the game.
The last thing you want to do is miss the fairway with your initial shot. Golf courses are designed to accommodate driving accuracy, so driving a ball long and straight will put you in good stead for the rest of the game. Need some pointers to help improve your playing ability? Our how-to guide on how to drive a ball long and straight is essential reading.
How to Drive a Ball Straight and Long
Before we continue, it is worth remembering that a driver operates differently than any other club in your golf bag. Compared to other clubs, the driver is considerably longer and offers less loft than other options in your bag. A driver will also require you to make many minor adjustments to your stance and address, particularly if you are looking to use it to strike from the tee itself.
Key Steps for Driver Success
Firstly, you will want to ensure your tee is high enough that the driver head will make a clean strike with the ball itself. Once you have this nailed, it is time to consider your stance. If you think your stance is wide enough, it probably isn’t. Take some time to widen your stance a little more than usual to correct your balance and ensure you remain stable in your stance throughout the entire swing.
Next you need to ensure the ball is positioned slightly away from your front foot. Once you have confirmed this, your hands should be set back at address. Following this, take some time to tilt you shoulders to correctly change your angle of attack. You should now think about removing any excess tension from the arms. Make sure you are not gripping your driver too tightly as too much tension will derail your swing. You also need to ensure you n ever take the club beyond a parallel position, while also ensuring your tempo remain consistent at all times. Once all this is perfected, you are in a good position to begin driving balls straight and long down the fairway.
Drivers vs. Irons
Your fairway woods might look very similar to your driver, but they are two different entities entirely. Drivers also perform very differently to wedges and irons. However, even the most experienced golfer can overlook the inherent differences between drivers and other clubs in their Sunday bag. This ignorance often factors into how they handle them, meaning they fail to unlock their potential. Once you understand the individual properties of your driver and how it really is a breed apart from other club varieties, you can begin to utilise it effectively on the fairway.
Why Driver Length is Important
The driver is almost always the longest club in any golf bag. Most drivers have a total length of 45 inches, although many leading manufacturers produce drivers even longer than this. A standard driver therefore offers a marked improvement on length when compared to everyday irons. This additional length has a significant impact on how a driver performs. The longer length makes for a longer swing, while also increasing the overall distance between the golfer and the ball. This has a direct effect on the ultimate attack angle, as well as the exact point of impact. However, a longer length brings distinct drawbacks.
Less loft, faster speeds and a longer swing makes for a wider margin of error. If you are not proficient with your driver, you are far more likely to miss with it than if you were using a standard iron. Even the best golfer can consistently miss the ball when wielding a driver. If your swing needs work and your head is not in the game, this inconsistent performance is even more pronounced.
A driver is also designed for hits off the tee. Some golfers will use a driver to hit off the ground itself, but a high level of skill is required in order to carry out this swing effectively. As it is designed to hit a ball off a tee, the design of the driver is tailored toward this very specific application. The main reason for this is that the impact position is wholly unique when compared to other cubs like irons and wedges. With those types of clubs, you are aiming to strike downward on the ball. However, this type of impact is something you should always avoid when handling a driver.
A driver is unique in that it is designed to make contact with a golf ball on the upswing. This type of club allows for you to approach a golf ball in an upwards sweep, which drastically impacts the angle of attack.
Attack Angle Explained
Angle of attack refers to how club head alignment is measured at the moment of impact, taking into account the horizon. If you are perpendicular to the horizon at the moment your club head makes contact with the ball, the angle of attack would be measured as 0 degrees. However, if the club head is facing toward the ground at the moment of impact, you are dealing with a negative attack angle. A positive angle of attack occurs when the club head is facing upwards at the moment of impact with the ball. When playing with a driver, you want to aim for a positive angle of attack to ensure optimal launch conditions, lifting the ball off the tee and getting it into the air. Put in simple terms, your aim is to hit the driver on the upswing. This will ensure the best ball flight results, increasing carry and overall distance.
Driving a Golf Ball Straight and Long
Compared to other clubs types, the driver yields the best ball speeds and has the lowest overall loft. While greater distances are often welcome, unruly drives can lead to ball trajectories that stray from the straight and narrow. To ensure you are hitting straight with your driver, you need to consider the club face at the moment of impact. Face angle has a huge impact on overall ball direction. If your drives result in significantly slow ball speeds, the face angle can completely determine the direction of your ball.
If your club face is significantly open or closed to the path of your swing, it will noticeably curve in one direction or the other away from your desired target. You should take the time to familiarise yourself with your face-to-path ratio. If you do this, you will be able to make minor adjustments to your shots to ensure they remain on a straight trajectory as frequently as possible.
Ensuring Consistent Drives
When it comes to ensuring consistent drives, you should first forget about trying to make contact with the ball every time. Even the most experienced golfers struggle to successfully hit the ball on the fairway, so there is no point setting yourself an unrealistic goal here. For best results, pick a driver you are comfortable with and practice as regularly as possible. Spend plenty of time at the driving range or consider investing in a golf simulator so you can practice your drives from your own home. Maintaining a consistent tempo will also benefit your drives, ensuring you achieve faster ball speeds, longer distances and straighter ball flight consistently.
The Importance of Setup
Driving golf balls long and straight does not require you to make substantial changes to your backspin. You also do not need to worry about investing in premium equipment with superfluous features. Ultimately, it is your setup that will determine how regularly you achieve straight and long drives. If you have a good setup, the chances are high that you will consistently make contact with the ball. If you make optimal contact with the ball, you can expect ideal launch conditions and essential forward spin. This will have a direct impact on distance and ensure your trajectories are as straight as possible. If you are prepared to put in the practice and have patience to spare, you should have little trouble hitting your driver straight and long in the future.