3 Tips to Drive a Golf Ball Further and Straighter
1. Select the Right Driver
Huge advances in driver technology have been made in the past few years.
One of the important factors is loft. Sir Isaac Newton invented the branch of mathematics known as the differential calculus in the late 17th century to calculate accurate trajectories for cannon balls and it still applies to golf balls today.
Loft is the angle that the driver's club face makes to the vertical lie of the golf ball as it strikes it.
If you have an older golf driver, it will probably have a loft of 7 or 8 degrees.
A modern driver, as well as being made of higher technology materials, will have a loft of somewhere between 9 and 11.5 degrees, including half-degree graduations.
10.5 degrees seems to be the sweet spot for most average players. It will get the ball into a nice trajectory that gives maximum distance coupled with increased accuracy.
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2. Use the Right Tee
The length of the tee has a surprisingly profound effect on your drive. To accommodate the large heads and increased loft of modern drivers taller tees were needed.
So you should carry tees of varying lengths in your bag, clearly separated. Bamboo tees are best.
When you take a shot, the golf ball should be teed up high enough that the top of the driver's club face connects with an imaginary line running around the equator of the golf ball. To avoid hitting the ground before hitting a teed up golf ball, use a taller tee. If you need as long a drive as possible, it's usually better to hit the ball off a taller tee to get more loft.
However, when using an iron, tee up the ball so it appears to be resting on top of the grass. Only the bottom 1⁄4 to 1⁄10 inch of the ball needs to be above the ground.
Remember that the height that you choose to tee up the ball also depends on the shot you're trying to hit and the conditions of play and the course.
If your driver's loft is 10.5 degrees as recommended above, that means it's 10.5 degrees to the golf ball if and only if you hit it in the sweet spot. set at 10 degrees. A bit further up and it's more like 12 degrees and a bit further down, it's closer to 8 degrees. That's three different shots you can hit with the one driver, all depending on how high you tee it. So the "right" height varies with the shot you're trying to hit and the playing conditions.
With a taller tee, you have a better chance of hitting the ball with the top part of the driver's club face, which launches the ball higher and with less distance-robbing spin. And less spin gives you a better chance of getting some roll.
A good general rule to follow is that the highest it should ever be is with half of the ball above the top of the driver and the lowest is with the top of the ball slightly higher than the top of the driver.
Bamboo tees are stronger and longer-lasting than traditional wood or plastic. You can get them in packs of 100 for just $9.95 and free shipping. Available in 4 sizes: 42mm, 54mm, 70mm and 83mm to cover all situations. Check them out HERE.
3. Choose the Appropriate Swing
Some holes will have a water hazard cutting through them or a dogleg to the right or to the left.
You have to be able to control the distance of your shot as well as its direction. This means you need to have two swings, one for power and one for control.
For a power swing, position your head and the shaft slightly back behind your ball with a slightly wider stance. This will allow you to deliver your maximum power to the shot. For more control and less distance, narrow your stance slightly, position the ball slightly further back in your stance, and choke down on the club a bit.
Your driver swing can be the difference between a birdie and a bogey.
When you go for your backswing, you should shift your weight backward. This will give your swing more power. A lot of times your instinct might be to have a fast backswing, thinking that this will give you more power to crush the ball. This is a trap as swinging too fast will take you out of alignment and encourage your shot to go wild.
Stay flat. Your driver should skim along the ground, barely touching the grass. You don’t want to drive your club into the ground for at least the first 20 to 25 percent of your swing. If you lift your club, you will pop the ball up and maybe even duff the shot. You certainly won't get that long, smooth drive that you want.
Take a steady backswing and pause at the top to reset before begin your downswing. This doesn’t mean stopping as that will throw off your momentum. Think of it as hovering slightly before starting your downswing.
Keep the start of your downswing calm and unhurried. This enables you to build up speed so that the golf club is still accelerating when it reaches the ball. Your downswing should be one single movement that utilizes your entire body at the same time. But don’t hurry. If you rush, you're likely to move out of the plane of your swing and introduce a wobble that will ruin your accuracy..
Make sure that you keep your head down and in place on the downswing. It's very tempting to lift your head to see how far you’ve hit the ball. But moving your head will move your whole body and ruin the shot.
Let your club do the work. All that technology has been designed to take maximum advantage of that moment of impact. Don't be tempted to try to help the ball up by raising your arms. Keep your swing consistent.
Finish the golf swing by following through. The club should swing over your left shoulder (for right-handed golfers) or your right shoulder (for left-handed golfers). Again, don't be in a rush to look up and see where the ball went. If you did this correctly, the ball will travel where you want it to.