This month Tom Richardson is on hand to help you get more from your driver.

I commonly hear the complaint that golfers struggle to maximise the distance they hit their driver off the tee. The task of hitting a driver off a tee is different to striking an iron off the ground; you need to hit ‘up’ on the ball rather than ‘down’. This will help you launch the ball higher and carry it further, leading to greater distance.

I believe a lot of golfers struggle with their driver because of a flawed set up. A good set up will encourage you to find better technique through the swing, especially into impact when it really counts.

Tee it High

Tee your ball up so there’s at least half the ball above the top of the clubhead. This will allow the club to rise up into the ball.

Stable Base

Your driver is the longest club in your bag, and you generate the most clubhead speed with it, so you’ll need to be balanced to accommodate a dynamic driver swing. Think of your width of stance being a trade off between movement and balance. A stance that’s too wide doesn’t allow enough movement, a stance that’s too narrow doesn’t offer enough balance.

Ball Forward

To help hit ‘up’ on the ball, put it forward in your stance, opposite your left heel is a good guide.

Spine Tilt

The final set up adjustment is to tilt away from the target with your spine, whilst keeping your weight even on both feet, which encourages the upward attack angle into impact. Your lead shoulder will feel higher than your trailing shoulder at set up.

Most of you will already be doing some of these things when you set up to a driver, but if there’s something that you’re not doing I recommend paying attention to it and applying it to your driver set up. Don’t forget hitting a ball off a tee peg requires a different angle of attack to hitting a ball off the turf. Adjusting your set up accordingly will lead to a higher launch angle, less spin and more distance.

As ever, let me know if you’ve made a change and how it went.


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