20 Best Golf Driving Tips for More Distance
In this guide we will cover the important of driving the golf ball well and how it can impact your golf game and scores greatly. You’re going to learn our best golf driving tips for hitting more accurate golf shots and hitting longer golf shots.
If you currently struggle to hit the ball far in golf, we also recommend joining a strength training program to build your golf fitness which can enable 15-30 extra yards of golf club distance.
Why Is Driving Important in Golf?
Driving the golf ball far and straight is a very important skill to develop in a golfer’s game. There seems to be a misconception that a golfer drives for show and putts for dough.
While putting is a really important (perhaps the most important) stroke, the drive is the very first stroke of a game and it is also the longest one in terms of distance.
Get your driving right and it could set you up perfectly. Get the driving wrong and you might just end up playing catch up for the whole game.
How to Drive the Golf Ball Well?
In order to drive well, you need to focus on two things: getting the distance and being accurate.
There is no better feeling for a golfer than hitting the ball sweetly with his/her driver, watching it fly down the middle, and making the ball land on a nice patch of the fairway.
Not every golfer has a good drive stroke. If your driving concerns you, then the following tips will help you improve that all-important stroke, and consequently, even help lower your handicap score.
The goal of these tips is to get you to drive the ball longer, straighter, and be more consistent. Let’s dive in…
20 Golf Driving Tips for Beginners
Widen Your Golf Swing Stance
If you notice your golf club bag, then the driver will be the longest club in that bag. Hence, the swing arc of the driver will be the widest, resulting in a faster swing speed relative to the corresponding speed of other clubs.
Swinging the club faster than any other club requires you to have a solid stance to serve as a strong base. Your legs should be far apart such that the inside of the feet aligns with the outside of your shoulders. This kind of stance will give you a good balance and allow you to confidently swing through with a high speed.
Put slightly more weight on the back foot
As pointed out above, you need to have the correct posture in order to hit the ball up. Besides tilting the body through shoulder positioning, you can also re-distribute your weight.
You can have slightly more weight on your back foot and feel more pressure on your back thigh. This re-distribution will lead you to tilt nicely in order to get the correct swing motion to hit the ball up.
You can start by taking your stance as you normally do with your body weight evenly distributed on both feet. Then, you can re-distribute while keeping the spine tilted away.
You will feel a bit more weight on your glute muscles which are on the same side as your back foot (right glute for a right-hander).
Arch the back for better hip rotation
Arching the back along with the relaxation of the shoulders will give you greater hip rotation if that is what you struggle with. This may be especially useful for the relatively more senior golfers.
You basically want to arch the back and bring the hips in rather than have them stick out. It will almost look like a cat arching its back.
If you are not a senior golfer, then you can still use this drill to improve hip mobility. Arch the back and bring the hips in, but then go back to a more natural stance before you hit the ball.
Hit Up on the ball via a tilted posture
When you drive the ball at tee-off, the ball is not in contact with the ground. It is placed on a tee which is slightly above the ground. So, you have to hit the ball up. With other strokes using the irons, you have to hit the ball down because it is on the ground.
In order to hit the ball up and get the right level of leverage from underneath, your body posture has to allow you to swing with that kind of movement.
Hence, when you take your stance, the front shoulder has to be a little bit higher than the back shoulder. This stance will make the body tilt slightly at the spine and put you in the correct position to hit the ball up and get a good distance on your drive stroke.
Use a high loft angle on your driver
The most efficient drive stroke is considered to be one that has low spin, high loft, and is hit up from the ground. If you get these three things right, then your drive will be long, accurate, and down the middle of the fairway.
The loft angle that you use on your driver plays a big role in hitting an efficient drive stroke. Most clubs these days come with an adjustable club face.
You generally get to adjust the loft angle up to 4 degrees. While every golfer will be comfortable with different loft angles, try to be a little generous with them.
There is often the temptation to use a driver with a small loft angle and boast to your colleagues how you can hit long drives with a smaller angle. But that is simply a golfer’s ego at play.
Try not to get too carried away emotionally and use a higher loft angle. The results will be undeniably evident.
Use width for more power
The widest swing arc delivers the highest power behind a stroke. To create a wide arc, you need to extend your arms out when you initiate the backswing. Establishing a good amount of width early in your stroke is key to hitting the ball well.
When you pull your arms back, imagine that your shirt buttons are rotating backward and consciously focus your attention towards keeping your hands stretched away from the body.
Try to resist the bending or cocking of the wrists. It will only create a fake impression of width, but that isn’t real width.
Real width only comes from extending the arms out. The earlier you create this width in your stroke, the better the results.
RESOURCE: Golf Practice Routine to Break 80
Raise the front foot heel for more rotation
A good backswing requires you to rotate your shoulders. In your normal stance, observe how far you rotate your shoulders. Then, try raising the heel of your front foot as you bring your arms back.
This tweak in your technique will allow your hips greater flexibility and you will automatically be able to rotate those shoulders a bit more. Raising the front heel will improve your backswing quite significantly.
Cut out early extension of the hips
Early extension is a common problem among golfers of all experience levels. It basically occurs when the hips thrust towards the golf ball during the downswing. Ideally, the hips should be rotating with the downswing rather than thrusting with respect to the ball.
In order to rectify this problem, you need to perform an exercise called the Overhead Deep Squat. In this exercise routine, you have to get a golf club and hold it with both your hands.
Your hands have to be shoulder-width apart. Hold the club above your head. Then, squat down like you normally would, keeping your hands overhead and your back straight.
The golf club should not drop below your head, both your heels should remain in contact with the floor, the knees should not extend beyond your toes, and thighs should be parallel to the ground as you lower yourself.
Imagine the pocket pull
Some golfers tend to sway their hips laterally when they go through their backswing. This restricts the rotational movement of the hips.
Without hip rotation, the downswing gets affected and you do not get as much distance from your stroke as you want. There is an interesting fix to this problem.
You basically have to imagine that someone is pulling the pocket which is on the same side as your back foot. For a right-handed golfer, that would mean the right pocket.
When you imagine that the pocket is being pulled, it will automatically lead you to rotate your hips. Use this “mental” fix to improve your backswing posture.
Slightly angled stance for greater rotation
Another hip rotation improvement tip is to change your stance slightly. Shift your back foot slightly behind the address.
So, the front foot will be a little bit ahead of the back foot and the tips of the toes of your feet will not align with each other in a straight line. Rather, you will be standing at a slight angle with respect to the target.
This stance variation will allow you to rotate your hips a bit more than usual and you have the possibility of getting a smooth backswing. The better your backswing, the more power you will get behind the ball when you hit it.
Hit the gym!
Any athlete or sports person has to be fit in order to compete. Fitness is both mental and physical. For the physical part, it is important to do exercises and build your strength. Go to a gym and condition your body to meet the rigors of golf.
After all, you need power and strength to hit the ball and get the right distances. You also need to be fit enough to play the game for a few hours on a trot. The lower the average age of a golfer gets, the more emphasis there is on fitness. You do not want to be left behind, do you?
Daily stretching exercises
It is important to keep your muscles and body flexible. This will not only help you stay fit, but it will also add strength to your strokes. If you are aging, then you can compensate the loss of strength with a higher level of flexibility. Age has its effects on everyone and nobody is exempted.
Regularly performing a set of stretching exercises will help loosen up the muscles. You should do these stretches every single day. In fact, make it a part of your daily routine by performing these exercises every morning or before every practice session. Being able to do deep squats, touch your toes, and rotate your shoulders through stretching will give you incredible results in the long run.
Also Read: Best Stretching Exercises for Golfers
Train the non-dominant side of your body
When you train and practice your strokes, you are effectively strengthening the muscles of one side of your body.
While it is important to do that first before anything else, you can then take your performance to the next level by strengthening the other non-dominant side of your body.
In order to do so, practice swinging the golf club in a left-handed stance if you are a right handed-golfer and do the opposite if you are a left-handed golfer. You can start with a light club and swing at a lower speed.
Gradually, work on increasing the club speed and getting to within 5% of the speed that you can generate from your regular stance.
Having an even strength on both sides will improve your balance. Better balance leads to greater power and a more accurate stroke.
Practice with a light club to up your speed
The faster you hit the golf ball, the more power you will get behind your stroke. It is understood that an average golfer has a clubhead speed of 93 mph while a professional PGA golfer has an average clubhead speed of 113 mph. The more you accelerate on the downswing, the better will be your drive stroke.
In order to improve your speed, you can practice your strokes using a lighter club or driver. In fact, you can even use an alignment stick to hit strokes in the air with your normal stance.
The reason behind using a lighter club is to train your muscles to activate quicker. Your body has fast twitch and slow twitch muscles.
Both these groups of muscles need to get activated in order to hit a stroke. Hence, you need to train these muscles to activate quickly in order to get good acceleration on the downswing.
Heavy clubs can also help train you
Now that you have trained with your alignment stick, you can do the opposite. You can now train your fast twitch muscles using a heavier load.
In order to create that heavy weight, hold the alignment stick along with an iron (or any other club) and practice your stroke in the air. That’s right! You have to hold two clubs (or a stick and a club) in your hands.
You can do 5 practice strokes using the light alignment stick and then switch to the heavier option for 5 practice strokes. Keep alternating this way in order to train your fast twitch muscles to help improve your acceleration.
This process is a gradual one and you will build strength in your muscles over time by regularly practicing with light and heavy clubs.
Reduce the spin rate
An excessively high spin rate can result in loss of distance on your drive stroke. Hence, you want to limit your spin rate when you hit the golf ball with your driver.
For the most optimal spin rate, you want to try and hit the ball at the center of the clubhead, or a little bit higher than the center line. It is observed that strokes hit from this region of the clubhead provide a low spin stroke with a high launch.
What you want to avoid is hitting downward because that puts excessive backspin on the ball. Hitting up and hitting in the middle is the key to getting long distances on your drives.
Remove neck pressure by tilting your head
In order to let your shoulders move freely, you need to relieve any pressure that gets build up around the neck area. One way to do this is by tilting your head slightly when you initiate the backswing.
For a right-handed golfer, you want to take your stance and keep your left eye on the golf ball. Then, when you initiate your backswing, tilt the head counterclockwise by about 1 inch.
While tilting, make sure the left eye remains focused on the golf ball. This will decrease the pressure on your neck. Try this drill very carefully and slowly. Hit a few practice strokes slowly at first and then speed things up.
Hold that follow-through
As you finish your stroke, try and hold the follow-through position or the finish position with your arms behind your back and the back foot heel raised. Holding the follow-through indicates good balance.
If you can have a good balance, then that automatically increases the chances of hitting the ball square on the clubhead, maintaining a good swing path throughout, and building a good rhythm.
You do not have to hold the finish position for a long time. A 3-second hold will do just fine.
Practice all the above tips on an uphill lie
Now that you have knowledge of plenty of tips on how to maintain the right posture and how to hit the ball, you need to start practicing.
While you can always hit the driving range to work on your swing, an even better option is to find an uphill slope at the driving range. A slope that is gentle will do just fine.
An uphill slope will encourage you to tilt your spine away from the target and put more weight on the back foot. It will help you do all the right things that have been suggested in the tips above.
Hitting off sloping lies is more common on a golf course and challenges you as compared to hitting on flat ground all the time, getting easy practice in that doesn’t benefit you as much.
Try a Golf Swing Launch Monitor
Launch monitors are the high-tech tools of professional golfers. They can compile useful information like spin rates, clubhead speeds, launch angles, and other interesting metrics. We do not recommend you to purchase your own launch monitor since that may be very expensive.
However, what you can do is visit a sports goods store like Dick’s or Golf Galaxy and try using their launch monitors. These sports goods stores allow customers to check their metrics via launch monitors on new golfing equipment that the store wants you to try out.
After doing a demo of the new clubs, you can also take your old ones and ask the sports good store to allow you to use the launch monitors to compare the metrics of your old clubs with the new clubs which you just tried out.
Good luck with your practice! We are sure that you will improve your drive strokes with the tips mentioned above.