Do you want to learn how to swing with confidence?
Learning how to address the golf ball with a driver has more to do with how you position yourself for the shot as opposed to picking the perfect driver.
Once you’re through with our guide, you will have not only mastered how to maximize the distance of your golf ball but also have a firm understanding of how to manipulate the golf ball’s direction.
Think of this guide as your school for practice and of course, practice makes perfect. With that said, let’s dive right into it.
Ease Up Into It
Sergio Garcia once said, “If you worry about making bogeys, it makes the game that much more difficult. You put more pressure on yourself without even noticing it. It makes a difference to take it easy when things aren’t going right.”
As you walk up to the tee, or perhaps your first hole of the day, you’re going to feel a lot of eyes piercing into your back, watching your every move. Ignore those thoughts and focus instead on how you ought to address the ball.
Releasing your mind of negative thoughts allows you to put everything you’ve learned into practice. Speaking of which, with enough practice, it wouldn’t be long before a winning mindset before each drive will become muscle memory.
Driver Loft and Tee Height
Each driver comes manufactured with a loft that stands somewhere between 9 to 12 degrees. You can check for your driver’s loft by resting it flat on the ground. Also, don’t try to vary the loft of your driver by introducing an impromptu swivel in your club. All you need to do is use its natural loft and you’ll be surprised by the results.
Note: Golfers aren’t allowed to shift adjustable lofts (drivers that can be hired or lowered along the shaft) during a round.
When it comes to tee height, the ideal placement should have half of the golf ball meet the topmost part of the driver. However, you should also keep in mind that the club heads on drivers are slowly getting larger with each release. For this reason, a higher tee will place the ball perfectly for the upswing.
Also, by placing yourself in the ideal position, you will be able to square your clubface in a manner that the center of the ball is stuck with the crown of the driver.
Your Distance From the Ball
Don’t stand too near or too far from the ball. Of course, the ideal distance from your golf ball will depend on the length of your club.
To measure for the perfect distance from the ball, rest your club flat on the ground (to calculate its ‘lie angle’) and determine where you should be standing for the perfect swing.
Positioning Yourself Based on the Ball
While standing at the appropriate distance, position yourself so that the golf ball is between your shoes. Now, without shifting the show that is closer to your target, spread your other leg in a manner that both legs are now square with your shoulders. While standing in this position, the golf ball should now face the inside heel of the shoe facing the target.
Once you feel comfortable in your new position, it will be time for you to introduce the optimal position for the club. Don’t let the shaft lean forward because this would lower the loft. Similarly, lowering the shaft would result in the vice versa. This is why the ideal position for the club shaft is the neutral position where the shaft is upright with respect to the position of the ball.
Pro tip: In the ideal club shaft position, if you let go of the golf club when it addresses the ball, it should make some contact with your inner thigh. What’s more, this pro tip applies to all of the different varieties of clubs.
You cannot learn how to address the golf ball with a driver without mastering an optimal body position. Before addressing the ball, your shoulders, knees, hips, feet, and your overall body, should be aligned in a manner which places them parallel to the target. Also, try to shift most of your body weight to your backfoot (the shoe farthest from the target).
To perfectly align your body for the drive, slightly bend your hips and flex your knees by sticking out your backside. This position should help form the perfect axis for rotation during the swing.
A wide stance will allow you to balance your body and feel stable enough for the swing. Commonly, placing your feet as far apart as your shoulders should do the trick.
During the swing, if you let your foot closer to the target flare forward, you will be able to create additional impact for long distances. Of course, you can practice doing so by rotating your hips back and forth towards your target.
This part of your stance is fairly simple. Your arms should be free of tension and ideally, relaxed. However, they should not be hanging loosely and instead, should be in line with your club shaft.
This also serves as an example of how relaxed your body needs to be – relaxed but prepared for the perfect alignment.
Now that your body is perfectly relaxed and aligned to address the ball, the best position to have your head in is to slightly tilt it towards the target during the swing. In doing so, your spine will automatically adjust towards the perfect swing and the backswing. A good rule of thumb is to follow your gaze from the ball to the target to encourage maximum distance.
Our Final Thoughts
A well-structured and consistent body position and stance is perhaps the most fundamental practice point while learning how to address the golf ball with a driver.
The more you practice these positions, the more confident you will feel during opportunities to hit higher scores or to blast wedges safely into the greens.
“Golf is a compromise between what your ego wants you to do, what experience tells you to do, and what your nerves let you do.” – Bruce Crampton
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