Golf is one of the most rewarding and fun sports on earth – when things go well. When you’re hitting slices and duds out of the tee box, though, it can be a real nightmare.
Everyone wants to know how to hit straighter and farther drives but it can be hard to find good information that’ll help. I created this guide so you can diagnose your swing problems and different tips to remedy these issues. After you’re done reading I’m sure you’ll be able to hit at least 20 yards farther.
Common Problems When Slicing Off The Tee
It’s sinister and can destroy your golf score. You’re suffering from a common problem, and you’ve likely spent hours of time trying to correct it. In the end, however, it always comes back to bite you. We’re talking about the dreaded slice of course! Here are some common reasons for slicing the ball off the tee which robs you of both distance and accuracy:
• Improper Grip
Many golfers grip their drivers too tightly, which causes arm tension and leads to an outside-in swing. Others suffer from a weak grip, causing their thumbs to lie more on the top of the club. Gripping the club too tightly or not tight enough will inevitably lead to poor distance, accuracy, or a combination of each.
Here’s a video that should help with this:
• Poor Ball Position
Golfers who slice the ball often make the mistake of placing their golf balls too far forward on the tee and in their stance. This causes their shoulders to open up much wider and also create an outside-in swing pattern.
• Not Shifting Your Weight
If you suffer from an out of control slice, you may not be properly transferring your weight from your back foot to your front foot during your swing. This will result in the face of your driver opening up as it strikes the ball, which more often than not has you hitting out of the weeds rather than the middle of the fairway.
This is probably the number one culprit for poor drives. If you’re a right-handed player and your club is pointing left of the target at the top of your backswing, you’re swinging outside-in.
How To Fix These Problems
When it comes to your grip, it should be tight enough to avoid opening up the club face but weak enough to avoid an outside-in swing. To correct this, imagine you’re holding a puppy when gripping the club. You want to grip it tightly enough to keep it from squirming or getting away yet weak enough to avoid hurting it.
As far as ball placement is concerned, try moving it further back in your stance. This will help you line your shoulders up straight with the target and avoid the dreaded outside-in swing pattern.
If you’re slicing is due to improper weight transfer during your swing, try hesitating for just a moment at the top of your swing. Then, transfer your weight from your back foot to your front foot before you begin the downswing. When completing the swing, stepping forward towards the target with your back foot will also help drive the ball further and straighter.
Entire books have been written about swing mechanics, so there could be a number of issues with your swing. However, if you’re swinging outside-in, which is usually the case, you can solve this problem by holding the club above the ball and bringing it back while focusing on the plane of your swing. During the downswing, make sure the plane of the club is inside the plane of your backswing. Do the same thing again, but actually hit the ball. Repeating this process will have you hitting the ball straight in no time at all.
Even More Tips For Farther, Straighter Drives
Tip #1 – Move Your Hips
Ever wonder how sometimes the shortest and lightest golfers can drive the ball further than larger golfers? The reason for this is hip movement. During your downswing, use your hips to pull the club down rather than pushing it. The momentum created during this twisting motion will help you generate more torque and club head speed.
Here’s a really good video to help you in this department:
Tip #2 – Keep Your Lead Arm Straight
The straighter you’re able to keep your lead arm during your swing, the longer the ball will fly. Why, you ask? Well, a straight lead arm causes the club head to travel a longer distance prior to impacting the ball. This extra travel gives the club head more time to generate speed and explode through the ball. A straight lead arm will also help your wrist achieve a proper 90-degree angle, which is key to improving distance off the tee.
Tip #3 – Turn Your Hands Over
Turning your hands over at the right time and snapping them through the ball upon impact will help you finish your swing strong and generate more club head speed, resulting in increased flight distance.
Tip #4 – Learn To Use Leverage
Thin players can hit the ball just as far or even farther than muscular players simply by using leverage. For ultimate leverage, hold the angle created by your left hand and the club as long as possible. However, doing so only works if you hold the angle naturally and make it an automatic trait of your swing. You can also create leverage by shifting your hips towards the target when starting your downswing as discussed above.
Tip #5 – Know Your Limits and Trust Your Swing
Most people make the mistake of trying to swing as hard as possible when hitting their driver. Unfortunately, this usually leads to slices, shanks, hooks, and even less distance. You’ll be much better off by swinging freely, more relaxed, and under control. By comfortably swinging the club, you’ll increase the odds of making solid impact and propelling the ball with proper trajectory and spin – this will improve accuracy and distance. This will come with practice and time at the range.
Some Helpful Drills For You To Practice
The Follow-Through Drill
The follow-through drill is a popular drill used by many golfers. It’s also a simple drill anyone can do. To perform the drill, simply line up and take a normal swing, but make sure your body is facing towards the airborne ball during the follow-through. Your back foot should come up and your toes should tap the ground when finished for optimal weight transfer. Your hands should also finish up near your head.
The Preset Backswing Drill
This is another drill designed for distance and control. To begin, cock your wrists so that the club is horizontal and lined up with the ball. Then, twist your waist to turn your upper body until your left shoulder is underneath your chin and perform a normal backswing. You’ll immediately notice increased control and club head speed on the downswing, sending the ball longer and straighter.
You Need The Proper Equipment
When I first started golfing I played with really low quality clubs and my game suffered – I never made good contact and when I did the ball never went too far.
When I bought a better pair of clubs my game really took off and I began hitting way better drives. There’s a few things you have to consider when selecting a new driver like loft, flex and head materials.
You Should Be Able To Hit Better Drives Now!
In order to shoot your best you need a complete golf game – that means good putting, chipping and yes, driving. I know it can be tough to hit out of the tee box and I’ve had my struggles. If you follow the information in this point, however, you should be able to drive better. Just make sure to practice what you’ve read here.
If you need anything cleared up make sure to comment below and I’ll respond as fast as possible. You can head to the golf section up top for more tips.
Are you ready to hit some fairways now?