Drive the Golf Ball Straight to Improve Your Game

by Simon Butler

Naturally, every golfer would love to drive the golf ball straight. After all, it’s much easier to hit your next shot when the ball’s sitting on the fairway than when the ball’s in the trees or some gnarly rough. Unfortunately, the driver is one of the most difficult clubs to hit effectively. In general, the longer the club, the harder it can be to use properly, and the driver is obviously the longest club of all. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to drive the golf ball straight with your driver – it’s just a little more challenging. You’ll need a few good tips and some consistent practice to learn how.

The best drive is a shot that does not put a lot of backspin on the ball, has a low “boring” ball flight and has enough “oomph” to give you some additional distance by rolling after it lands. Your game will improve significantly if you can achieve all three elements.

One of the earliest steps in learning to drive a golf ball straight is gaining the understanding that leverage is important throughout your entire swing. You’ll add leverage by keeping your head behind the ball, from address all the way through impact.

The next important lesson to learn is that distance is imparted more by club head speed than arm strength. Trying to muscle your way through a shot almost always causes you to hit the ball poorly. Use your hips and legs in your swing, because they generate speed and power.

Your driver requires you to be more precise with your swing path than other clubs. Keep your swing plane low (shallow) when you start your backswing.

When you want to drive a golf ball straight, you also need to have your hands ahead of the club head at the moment of impact. Let your wrists break as you strike the ball.

Some golfers decelerate or even try to stop their swing after hitting the ball. You can avoid this common mistake by letting your arms and body continue moving past impact, until your follow through is complete.

Focus on whipping the ball with your driver rather than chopping at it. Don’t grip the club too tightly, either.

If you tend to hit a slice off the tee, try slowing the tempo of your downswing. You might be coming out of the optimum swing path by coming down either too hard or too fast. You should also take a look at your grip: if you can’t see two or three knuckles when you look at your left hand at address, your grip is too weak and you’re setting yourself up for a slice.

Your grip is also important if you tend to hook the ball. If you see more than two or three knuckles on your left hand at address, your grip is too strong and can cause a hook off the tee.

One final thing to remember when you want to learn to drive a golf ball straight is to ensure you’re neither pulling nor pushing the ball. Actually, you might be doing this whether you’re hitting a drive or a ball on the fairway, so look at your fairway divots to learn whether you’re “guilty” of this problem. If your divots point right or left of your actual target line, your body is not properly aligned to hit a straight shot.

Use these tips to see if you start driving the golf ball straight. Your game will get better once you do, but remember, you’ll need to practice.

One great resource that has proved to be very valuable to a lot of my reader is the PurePoint Golf Swing Book. Click on the image below to check it out.

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