Driver characteristics make shots difficult || Golf tips with Cathy Harbin

On the lesson tee golfers frequently tell me that they hit their irons well, but not their driver. Sound familiar?! If you are struggling with your driving, it’s okay. It’s not you, it’s the club! The characteristics of the driver make the shot difficult.

The shaft is long and this makes coordination harder. It also increases clubhead speed. This can be a good thing when the ball goes straight. But if you strike the ball with any amount of spin, that gets exaggerated and the ball will go offline. 

Then there is the clubface loft. The driver is the least lofted club in the bag. Loft not only helps get the ball airborne, but the backspin imparted with higher lofted clubs (like a 7 iron) helps to reduce side spin. With the driver, the lack of loft means lack of backspin and more side spin!

Knowing that the driver is a difficult club doesn’t mean that you cannot hit it well. It is just a reminder that it is a high-risk shot. To increase your chances of hitting a good drive, here are some tips.

  1. The correct tee height is with half of the ball exposed above the head of the driver. This means that the correct height may vary from driver to driver. 
  2. Move the ball forward in your stance (inside of the front foot). This will encourage an up-swing strike. It also gives the clubface more time to square up.
  3. Make a full turn on your backswing. This helps to increase clubhead speed. It also encourages a sweeping, not chopping strike.

For a review of driving, click here.

For more personalized help with your driving, contact Pine Ridge Golf Course’s instructors Cathy Harbin or Mark Andersen