Golfers will have different opinions on how to hit a driver vs. your irons. Although, I have found that the majority of experts out there have indicated that you should not change your swing , but rather your setup when hitting your driver. I also believe this to be true and has worked well for my game.
The Driver swing itself isn’t any different, it’s all about the setup. Because of the difference in the length of clubs from driver to wedges, your swing arc will differ. The swing plane will change because of the length and lie angle is “flatter” in comparison to the rest of your clubs.
With a driver you want to hit the ball with a sweeping swing and hit the ball with an ascending blow as opposed to an iron shot that you hit down on the ball with a descending blow.
The first thing to think about when setting up to hit your driver, is how high to tee up the ball. With today’s modern large headed drivers, you want to tee up the ball a little higher than you would with your irons. A good guide would be to have the ball’s equator line up with the top edge of the driver head.
The next step is in your stance and how to setup to the ball. With the driver you want to have the ball further forward in your stance. The ball is typically place just off the inside heel of your forward foot (left for right handed golfers). This will help to hit the ball on the upswing.
When the ball is placed more forward in the stance, beginners often have the tendency to lean forward as well. This actually defeats the purpose of moving the ball forward. Your feet should be slightly more than shoulder width apart and your weight distribution should be 60-70% on your back leg. By moving the ball forward and keeping your weight back with the driver, the club head will bottom out just before impact and will hit the ball with an ascending blow (on the upswing).
When setting up for a driver swing, remember that you want to promote a sweeping motion. So you need to:
- Setup behind the ball (do not lean forward and keep your shoulders square to your target line)
- Have a wide stance for a wide arc and balance
- Your left shoulder should be slightly higher than your right (right handed golfers)
- Have sixty percent of your weight on your back leg
If you are having tendencies of setting up “on top” of the ball with the driver. Then try this drill to help you correct problem.
Set up to the ball with your normal stance. Remove you right hand from the club and place it behind your right knee. Doing this will lower your right shoulder to the proper hieght, positions your head behind the ball and forces your weight to shift to your rear leg. Now that your body is in the correct position replace your hand back on the grip and make sure your shoulders stay parallel to your target line. Beginners tend to open their shoulders up when setup with the ball forward in their stance. Make a smooth swing and let the physical properties of the driver do what it was designed to do.
- 2013 Taylormade Drivers (reddevilreview.com)
- Titleist 913 D3 Driver & 910 D3 Driver Review (ownedcore.com)