At some point in our golfing journey, we each get the urge to hit the ball further. It's only natural, right? More distance can help take your game to the next level, particularly if you're sick of being unable to reach long par-4s in regulation, or shorter par-5s in two.
If you can hit longer drives it should mean shorter approach shots and, all things remaining equal, lower scores. There's also the added bonus of outdriving our buddies too.
With all that said, when we set out on this quest for longer drives, a drop off in terms of accuracy can follow. Being closer to the green is ideal, but it's all for nothing when we're blocked out in nasty, heavy rough.
Below we've gathered a few driver tips to help you gain more distance from the tee, hopefully without harming your dispersion.
Nail Your Set-Up
We always start one of our driver tips pieces by hammering home the need to get your fundamentals in place. When trying to hit the driver, we need a positive attack angle - i.e. you're aiming to hit up on the ball after the club passes the bottom of its swing arc. The set-up is vitally important to achieving this.
- Tee the golf ball up high with around half of it poking out above the top of the driver.
- Take a stance that's just wider than the width of your shoulders. This should provide a stable base to really wind up in the backswing.
- Position the golf ball just off your lead (left, for right-handed golfers) heel. Be careful here - at times it might look like the ball is in line with your left heel, but it could be a ball closer to the centre. Video your swing from front on to get reliable feedback.
- Slightly tilt your upper body away from the target. This might be naturally achieved due to the ball position, but be mindful of having your shoulders too flat.
You could also pin your trail shoulder back a little so that they point slightly out to the right. It's a great way of ensuring that optimal in-to-out swing path.
Open Your Trail Foot
Next we have a tip for any golfer with limited mobility, and it's all centred around ensuring a complete turn in the backswing.
If you flare your trail foot (right for a right-handed golfer) a little at address, you will create more space for your backswing to operate within. The result is a fuller shoulder turn and more stored power to unleash in the downswing. You don't need to open it by much - around 10 degrees is plenty - but it could see you gain real distance off the tee.
Shift Your Weight Correctly
The weight transfer is one of the most important aspects of the golf swing. It's impossible to hit great drives if you struggle with your weight shift in both the backswing and downswing.
As a rule of thumb, at the peak of your backswing around 60-70% of your weight should be on your trail foot. By the time you get beyond impact and into your finish position, around 85-90% should be on your lead leg.
Learn to Hit the Sweet Spot
When we search for greater distance, it's obvious that we might automatically swing faster. Done right, this increase in swing speed will get you further down the fairway, but it can also lead to you hitting everywhere but the centre of the face.
A lot of the set-up fundamentals we talked about in tip #1 will come into play here, but it's also crucial that you avoid rushing the downswing. If you're swinging with speed, it needs to be more a 'controlled chaos' approach than merely swinging out of your shoes and hoping for the best.
Use the Ground for More Power
The wide stance mentioned in tip #1 - just wider than shoulder-width apart - will help you increase your ability to use rotational forces for more power - and it all comes from how you use the ground.
As well as helping to amplify those rotational forces, correct use of the ground will assist in sequencing your golf swing and allows you to explode into impact with greater speed.
Coming down toward impact, you need to push off the ground and come up slightly onto your toes. Naturally, this tip will make it harder to hit the sweet spot, so it will be vital that you don't run before you can walk.
Improve Your Strength and Flexibility
Working on your fitness throughout the year will stand you in good stead when it comes to the quest for longer drives. Improvements in strength and flexibility will allow you to swing faster with a more flowing motion.
Going back to one of our previous tips, if you have a greater degree of mobility, you'll generally have a longer backswing, resulting in more distance.
Earlier this year, we pulled together some of our favourite fitness tips. Check them out, and you'll find drills to work on your rotation and balance and others to help you build general speed and explosiveness.
Bonus Tip: Use Hole19 to track your progress
As you work on developing a solid driver swing, there are many ways you can use the Premium features of your Hole19 app to measure your improvement in this area.
One obvious method is to use the Shot Tracker function and see how much distance you are gaining.
COMING SOON: SHOT TRACKER FOR APPLE WATCH
If you're an Apple Watch user, get ready - Shot Tracker for Apple Watch is due for release VERY SOON!!
The feature allows you to accurately measure the distance of a golf shot directly on your wrist. You can track the shot immediately after the strike and watch the tracker count the distance as you walk to your ball up ahead.
After the shot has been successfully tracked, you can also register the chosen club and the resultant lie before saving the shot. The data will then automatically save to the Club Stats section within the Hole19 app.