What’s Different When I Hit Driver?

by Gord Percy, CPGA Head Professional

Invariably during a lesson most professionals hear the axiom that “I can hit my irons but not the driver”.  This may be figuratively true but most people don’t realize that is you curve a 7 iron a few yards then a driver swing with the same technique will hit the ball into the woods.  The main thing to fix is not just the driver swing but also your swing in general.  This being said I do believe there are 3 things that must be understood and applied when hitting a driver that is different than hitting any other club. These should help you with the big stick assuming you have a club that is fit to you with the correct shaft flex and kick point, length and loft.

1.  Ball Position and Setup – The ball must be more forward in the stance (i.e. off the left heel) and your foot placement should be wider.  This will get you into a position more behind the ball, from where you can apply an upwards blow.  This leads us to the second difference.

2.  Drivers, unlike irons, which are meant to be hit slightly on the downswing drivers, should be hit on the upswing.  Because of the new technology of titanium club heads and golf balls hitting a ball on a slight upswing produces a higher launch angle and imparts less spin (which equates into more roll and straighter shots) which through launch monitor technology we know is the avenue towards longer controlled drives

3.  The third difference is the result of drivers being so much longer than other clubs.  Between each iron is a ½ inch difference but a driver in most cases is at least 2 inches longer than any other club.  Because it is so long the swing plane/path will feel much more shallow and around the body.  Have more of a swing image of hitting a ball above your feet when hitting your driver.  Additionally the length of the shaft will require a greater actual swing time.  Just realizing this and not rushing your swing will help you not panic like so many of you do with the driver.

Flagstick Digest delivers the most current and informative golf content directly to your inbox. Whether looking for the latest from the Tours, In-depth Interviews, Product Analysis or just about anything golf...WE DELIVER!