How To Hit A Driver
[Complete Guide - Tips, Tricks, and Drills]
Have you been struggling with figuring out how to hit a driver? If so, you’re not alone!
It takes skill and practice to effortlessly hit those big, long, booming drives on the golf course. Every amateur golfer dreams of striking the ball cleanly from the tee and landing it on the green, but learning how to hit a driver consistently requires technique and practice.
Being able to hit a driver effectively will make your approach shots easier and is one the most effective ways to lower your handicap, especially on challenging golf courses.
If you want to learn how to hit a driver, you have come to the right place. Our team has spent countless hours researching the best tips and tricks on how to hit a driver. We’re excited to share some of the simple tips, techniques, and secrets that will help elevate your game and ensure that you can hit those booming drives you’ve always dreamt about.
Let’s get started.
Fundamentals of Hitting a Driver
There are some critical differences in how you hit the driver compared to how you hit your other clubs. The main difference is that the driver is longer in length than other clubs; therefore, when setting up your stance it’s important to take a slightly different approach. Interestingly, your stance will plays a massive role in how far you hit the ball and the speed at which you manage to strike it.
We thought it would be best if we shared some of the fundamentals of hitting a driver so that you can achieve the maximum distance from your drives. Here is what you need to know:
The main differences between hitting your driver and nearly every other club in your bag is in the setup.
Tee it up High
We recommend starting with a high tee. In order to hit the sweet spot with your driver, it’s important to tee up the golf ball approximately 1-2 inches off the ground. This is not an exact science because shape and location of the sweet spot will vary from club to club. You also need to remember that every golfers swing is unique so you’ll need to find a height that works best for your swing.
An excellent method of determining the right tee height for you is by examining where on the club face you’re striking the ball. There are a few ways you can do this. Applying Athletes Foot Spray or Impact Tape on the face of the club will allow you to see where you are striking the ball.
Widen Your Stance
You also want to ensure that you widen your stance, but not too much where it becomes uncomfortable. We recommend a stance that is slightly wider than your shoulders. A wider stance will also help to promote greater weight transfer throughout your swing.
Position your ball towards the front of your stance. By positioning the ball just inside your front foot, this allows more time to hit up on the ball, which we’ll discuss more throughout this article. It’s important to remember that the lowest point of your swing is in the center of your stance; therefore, if you’re swinging a driver which requires hitting up on the ball, then the ball must be positioned closer to your front foot.
Lower your back shoulder
Another important factor to consider when setting up your driver swing is to ensure that your back shoulder is positioned slightly lower than your lead (front) shoulder. This might feel strange at first; however, it will help promote an upward swing – exactly what we need to achieve an effective drive off the tee.
When thinking about proper golf posture, ideally you should be from tension and comfortable. Your hands should be able to hang freely in front of you. Also, we recommend keeping your back free from any curvature. Keep your back as straight as possible without feeling uncomfortable.
Lighten up your grip
We also recommend lightening the pressure of your grip. Drivers have been designed to be very light weight; therefore, you have more flexibility when it comes to the amount of pressure you need to impart on your grip. As you apply more pressure, this leads to increased tension in your arms – tension is never a good thing when trying to hit a golf ball straight. For more information on gripping a golf club, check out our complete guide on How To Grip A Golf Club.
It’s human nature to want to rush up to the tee box and swing as hard as physically possible in hopes of hitting the ball 300+ yards. However, without the proper mechanics the vast majority of golfers will not be able to consistently hit effective shots with their driver.
We recommend focusing on maintaining your balance throughout your golf swing. Most amateur golfers try to swing their driver too hard and end up losing their balance, which means they don’t get the distance they desired from their shots.
It can be easily rectified by simply maintaining your balance. When setting up, your center of gravity should be in the middle of your stance. This will allow you to have a stable core and swing the driver without any breakage. Many golfers make the mistake of improperly transitioning their weight during their swing.
During your backswing, you should begin to transfer your weight to your back foot; however, during your downswing, you need to focus on shifting the majority of your weight onto your lead (front) foot. This will help to promote an excellent follow-through after you have made impact with the ball. Although the majority of your weight will be on your lead foot, you should still be able to maintain your balance. By maintaining your balance through the swing cycle (backswing, downswing, impact, follow-through), you’ll notice a significant improvement in both accuracy and distance from your drives.
Don't Rush Your Swing Golf
It is extremely easy to rush through your swing when swinging a driver because of the adrenaline. However, rushing through your swing generally means that you’re not spending enough time at the top of your backswing, which means that your club and body don’t get into the ideal position to strike the ball.
After studying professional golfer’s swings with a driver, we realized that the majority professional golfers have a slight pause when they reach the top of their backswing. It’s not necessarily a complete stop, but a simple check that allows the club and the body to align perfectly for the swing.
Most amateur golfers don’t pause when they are swinging, which means they don’t let the club reach its optimum height. When the driver doesn’t go to the top of the backswing, it’s difficult to achieve optimum swing speed, which leads to a short drive.
Also, if your transition from your backswing to your downswing is rushed, it’s likely that your club will take an outside-in path towards to ball. A swing path that travels from outside-in typically results in slices.
Remember, the ball will be waiting for you to strike it in the sweet zone. So, take your time with your swing.
MAMBA TIP: When hitting with your driver, practice implementing a slight pause at the top of your backswing.
Practice a Sweeping Motion
For the majority of clubs, we recommend hitting down on the ball, but not when using your driver. The driver is unique in the sense that in order to maximize distance, you need to make impact with the ball as soon as you begin your upswing. When you have a perfect swing, it will create an arc that propels the ball upwards instead of down. This will allow you to get greater loft and flight, resulting in an impressive shot.
It’s best to imagine a sweeping motion when teeing off with your driver. This fluid, arc like movement, will ensure you strike the ball when the driver is moving upwards. Not only will the sweeping motion allow the ball to fly greater distances, but you’re also likely to achieve more spin on the ball, which may result in an extended roll once it hits the fairway. Remember to:
- Implement a sweeping motion
- Make impact with the ball as you begin your upswing
- Create an arc that propels the ball upwards instead of down
- Watch your ball fly further than ever before!
Don't Hit the Ball Too Hard (Don’t Over Swing)
The key to hitting a driver cleanly and precisely is to try not to hit the ball too hard – Don’t over swing. You’re going to see much better results when you focus on striking the ball in the sweet spot versus trying to kill the ball. It’s logical for amateur golfers to assume that if they hit the ball hard, it will have greater flight, but this really doesn’t hold true. Even professional golfer, Bryson DeChambeau, who has an average swing speed in excess of 120mph, is aware that if he doesn’t strike the ball in the sweet spot of the club, he’s not going to achieve his desired distance or location.
MAMBA TIP: Don’t over swing. Focus on consistently hitting the sweet spot on your driver.
Your goal should be to have complete control over your swing so that when you’re striking the ball, you get a clean connection. As discussed earlier in the article, focus on maintaining balance and perfecting your swing’s sweeping motion instead of opting for power. When you go for power, golfers tend to lose their balance resulting in inaccurate shots. Once you manage to find the sweet spot with your driver consistently, you will notice that the ball travels a greater distance, and you have more control over your shots.
Rotate Those Hips
Ensuring that you’re rotating your hips through your golf swing is one of the most effective ways of maximizing distance. Essentially you want to rotate your hips during your downswing, which will help generate greater swing speed and will result in a long drive. Oftentimes amateur golfers tend to rely heavily on their arms to maximize swing speed; however, the secret to greater distance on your shots is to rotate those hips as much as possible.
As you begin transitioning from your backswing to your downswing, focus on rotating your hips towards your target. By rotating your hips, the majority of your weight should transfer from your back foot to your front foot through the impact zone. You’ll know you are rotating your hips properly if you can feel your weight shift from one foot to the other as you’re striking the ball.
Keep a Target in Mind
When teeing off with your drivers it’s important to have a specific target in mind – Pick a spot on the fairway where you would ideally like your ball to land. Don’t simply swing away and hope that the ball lands in the right spot. Once you have a spot you can aim at, make sure that you’re following through in the direction of your target. We’ve found that following through towards your target will result in more accurate shots.
Drills on How to Hit a Driver
Now that we have got the fundamentals out of the way, we will share some basic drills that will teach you how to hit a driver sweetly and accurately. When followed properly these drills could help take your 125-yard drives towards the 200-yard monster drives.
Deep Drive Hill
Skills Improved: Balance, controlling weight, driver play
Equipment Needed: Golf club (driver)
Space Required: Open space
Difficulty Level: Easy
This is one of the best drills you can use to improve your driving game on the golf course. It’s a simple, yet effective drill. Start by loosening up with some mini-swings before moving towards your full-powered swings. Place your feet together and hit the ball with your full swing, while only using around fifty percent of your power.
Count to two during the back swing and count to three during the downswing. This drill is designed to help you focus on maintaining proper balance through your entire swing. Try and hit your drives without any pressure or tension in your body. You should follow-through the ball and swing through the ball instead of swinging at the ball.
- You start by loosening up with some mini-swings.
- Moving towards your full-powered swings.
- Place your feet together and hit the ball with your full swing.
- Only use around fifty percent of your power.
- You must count to two during the backswing.
- Count to three during the downswing to ensure you have proper balance.
- Try and hit your drives without any pressure or tension in your body.
You should follow through the ball and swing through the ball instead of swinging at the ball.
The Hip Turn Drill
Skills Improved: Alignment, Hip Rotation
Equipment Needed: Golf club (driver), golf ball
Space Required: Open space
Difficulty Level: Easy
This is another drill that will teach you how to hit a driver cleanly and further on the golf course. The drill is meant to help you align your hips properly, allowing for a more fluid and powerful swing.
- Start by swinging your driver with only your front (lead) hand. Practice swinging at half-speed, while in a squared position.
- When you strike the ball, focus on whether your hips were aligned (parallel with the ball) or if they were in an alternate position.
- When your hips are aligned properly you will manage to generate greater power from your drives and the ball will travel further on the golf course.
Give No Quarter Drill
Skills Improved: Balance
Equipment Needed: Golf club (driver)
Space Required: Open space
Difficulty Level: Easy
If you’re having trouble consistently hitting good drives off the tee, this drill is for you. This drill is designed to help golfers maintain their balance throughout their swing.
- Place a quarter on your lead (front) foot
- Approach the ball in your normal stance, while paying no attention to the quarter.
- Take a full swing
- Your objective is to ensure the quarter remains on the foot when you drive the ball.
If you can manage to keep the quarter on your foot (and not altering your swing), this means that you’re maintaining proper balance through your swing.
Driver Tips For Beginners
Increase the loft: We recommend using a club with a higher loft angle (at least 10.5 degrees).
Widen your stance: A solid base is extremely important, especially with high driver swing speeds.
Shaft selection: Do not purchase a driver with a stiff shaft. We recommend using a regular or senior flex shaft.
Perfect your swing tempo: Maintaining a fluid and controlled swing is critical in hitting effective driver shots.
Purchase a driver that will compliment your swing: Check out GOLF MAMBA’s review of the 2021 BEST DRIVER FOR HIGH HANDICAPPERS.
There’s no need to make drastic changes to your game to learn how to hit a driver effectively. Remember that the driver is different from other clubs in your bag, so it requires a slightly different technique. When learning how to hit a driver, don’t over swing and try to kill the ball. It’s more important, especially when learning, to maintain a balanced, smooth sweeping swing, a focused approach, and always pick a target.
By following the basics, you give yourself the best chance of hitting those long, booming drives with your driver. The best part is that you won’t need to make any major adjustments to your technique, and with just a couple of tweaks, you will be on your way to hitting drives off the tee perfectly. If you’ve found this article helpful, please consider checking out our ultimate guide on golf terminology.