5 Step Guide on How To Hit A Driver Straight
A round of golf usually runs the entire gambit of emotions, from feelings of content and joy to feeling anger and frustration. What’s one of the best feelings you can experience on the golf course?
If you are like me, it’s teeing up your ball, taking your driver out of your bag and hitting the driver straight and seeing your ball find the fairway. What’s keeping you from consistently hitting the driver straight? When you don’t consistently hit your driver straight, you usually wind up costing yourself extra strokes, from either having to take a penalty stroke or not having a clear second shot to the green.
Just like you, I don’t enjoy having to take a penalty stroke or having to punch my second shot out into the fairway because I haven’t hit my driver straight and given myself an opportunity to hit my second shot onto the green. In order to help you hit the driver straighter, let me introduce you to the pneumonic GASPs. The “G” stands for grip, the “A” stands for alignment, the “S” stands for stance, the “P” stands for posture and the lower case “s” stands for swing.
In order to practice using GASPs, you will need the following items:
- A golf club, a driver, iron or even just the shaft, as long as it has a grip;
- Alignment rods, or a pair of straight sticks, or a pair of golf clubs;
- An old golf glove, small towel or head cover;
- An open area where you can make full swings.
Step 1 - Grip
American golfer Ben Hogan once said, “Good golf begins with a good grip.” Although there are a number of different ways you can grip the golf club, in order to consistently hit the driver straight you need to focus on making sure that your palms are facing each other when you grip the golf club.
To implement this, grab whatever golf club you have or golf shaft with a grip. You are going to put your left hand on the grip first, before when you do this, make sure your fingers on your left hand are pointing downward, then put your left hand on the grip, from the side, using your usual grip making sure the back of your left hand is facing the target.
You are then going to place your right hand on the grip in the same manner, make sure your fingers are facing downward and place your right hand on the grip from the side, using your usual grip and make sure the palm of your right hand is facing the target. If you did this correctly, both your palms will be facing each other . This YouTube video from the guys and Me and My Golf, demonstrates what you should be doing.
Step 2 - Alignment
When focussing on alignment, you should picture a set of railroad tracks. The track closest to you is the line you align yourself with and the line furthest away is the target line and the line which your ball will be on.
We will use our alignment rods or set of straight sticks or golf clubs to make sure we are aligned properly. You will use one stick to make a target line. The target line is where your club face will be pointing when you address the ball. Place the target line directly behind where you are going to tee up your golf ball and in line with where you want to hit your golf ball. You will use the other stick and place it across your shoulders parallel to the target line.
After you have aligned your shoulders, make sure your hips are also aligned parallel to the target line. Your feet should also be aligned on this railroad track closest to you. If you have done this correctly, then you are in a good position alignment wise and if you use your imagination, each stick will extend towards your target like a set of railroad tracks. Here is Martin Hall from the Golf Channel demonstrating these techniques,
Step 3 - Stance
When thinking about your stance, we want to have our golf ball teed up and then walk into our stance in the following way. Place your driver behind your teed up golf ball and then take your stance.
You are going to want to have your feet a little bit wider than shoulder width apart. Our back foot is going to be perpendicular to our target line. Our front foot is going to be open to about thirty degrees with our toes pointing on an angle beyond where the golf ball is teed up and we want to be able to draw a perpendicular line from the inside of the heel of our front foot to where our golf ball is teed up.
Step 4 - Posture
When thinking about our posture, think athletic. You don’t want to be stiff and upright, nor do you want to be hunched over.
Instead, you want to have a slight bend in your knees, bending at the waist and having your weight more towards your toes and definitely not on your heels. This image of Jason Day captures what you should look like posture wise,
Step 5 - swing
Finally, we get to the swing. I used a lower class “s” because the tendency for most amateur golfers is to swing as hard as they can with their driver and overswing.
The reality is that while you can swing hard, you should focus on swinging smooth and letting the club do the work. If you take the club away from the ball smoothly and transition from your backswing to your downswing smoothly, you are going to have a smooth swing.
To practice a smooth takeaway and a smooth transition into the swing, I suggest you use an old golf glove and place it under your lead armpit and take swings trying to keep the glove under your armpit.
When you are taking the club back, also keep in mind the railroad track concept and try to deliver the golf club back down the railroad track and into impact. Once you have finished your swing, make sure you hold your finish until the golf ball has landed.
Pro Tip # 1
When you are teeing the ball up to hit the driver straight, it is suggested that you tee the ball up high. If you are a bit more familiar with your golf swing and know what kind of ball flight you have, these tips from Calloway Golf will help you determine what height to tee up the golf ball,
Pro Tip # 2
When you are doing your pre-shot routine, make sure you have your ball teed up and take your practice swings behind the ball, looking out onto the fairway and visualize what you are going to do before you swing.
Did you find this tutorial helpful? For a long time I struggled with being able to hit the driver straight, but over time I have used the GASPs method to be a more consistent driver of the golf ball. A smooth swing coupled with a good grip, proper alignment, a solid stance and athletic posture is going to help you hit the driver straight. I hope this tips will help you as well. Please let me know what you think in the comments section below.