Have you ever had the feeling that hitting your driver successfully is all that's standing between you and a lower handicap? Nothing sets up good scoring like a well-hit drive. Nevertheless, many frustrated golfers leave their driver in their bag, retreating to a fairway wood or long iron to propel them off the tee. Don't think you're far away from success with the big stick; the answer to your problems may lie in the first 18 inches of your swing.
Different Clubs, Different Swings
Most golfers had their first success with the short irons. With lots of loft and shorter shafts, short irons require a descending blow, which promotes the quick, choppy backswing that many beginners use and have trouble changing. However, if you try working your driver with the same swing that brought you success with the short irons, you'll probably hit a lot of short, high slices. Sound familiar?
Swing Low, Sweet Driver
With its longer shaft and relatively flat clubface, the driver requires a flatter, more level swing to sweep the ball off the tee. It's much easier to achieve this if you take the clubhead away from the ball on a level path.
Instead of starting the swing by picking the club up with your hands, drag the club straight back along the target line with your arms and shoulders. Extend the club as far back as possible without breaking your wrists or moving your center of gravity from over the ball. Your shoulders will turn naturally and bring the club around your body when it can no longer go straight back. This will create a full shoulder turn and a wide arc, placing your hands high above your right shoulder at the top of the swing.
Start the downswing by shifting your weight back to the left side and letting the arms drop down without manipulating the hands. As your legs drive toward the target, sweep the ball off the tee on the same level path you achieved on the takeaway.
Private Lessons 1999 Times Mirror Magazines, Inc., used under license by GolfServ Online, Inc. Instructional information provided by Golf Magazine.