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golf club fitting mistakes

The 3 biggest mistakes you make with your driver

Want to drive the ball better? Here are 3 mistakes that amateur golfers make that hurt their performance with the driver.

 

Driving the ball well is hugely important when it comes to improving your golf, but so many amateurs address the ball in a way that makes it very difficult to be consistently good from the tee.

Want to find out how to master the tee shot and drive the ball better? You can watch the video above, but if you would prefer to read the article, click the button below to continue…

The 3 Biggest Mistakes You Make With Driver

I met up with PGA Professional Jack Backhouse to take a look at three set-up keys to drive the ball better…

Tee the ball higher

Most amateur golfers tee the ball too low. I think the main reason for this is players are worried about skying their drivers, but this shouldn’t be a worry as the pros of a high tee far outweigh the cons.

Optimal tee height encourages the player to hit up on the ball, which creates perfect launch conditions for long drives. Hitting up on the golf ball allows the golfer to launch the ball higher with lower spin, which produces more distance.

A low tee forces the player to hit down on the ball and will often make striking the ball difficult and a swing path that’s out to in, resulting in weak fades or slices. Rory McIlroy is the best driver in the world and he tees the ball up incredibly high so that he can give himself the best possible chance of a good shot.

tee shot

Tilt The Spine Angle Away From The Target

Pretty much all athletic sports movements are done with a spine tilted away from the target. Dropping the right shoulder below the left shoulder for a right-handed golfer sets the body in a position to launch the ball up into the air rather than hit down on it.

Hitting the driver up in the air is hard enough without trying to do it from a poor body position. Most slicers or shot hitters will often find an impact position where the spine angle is too straight or even tilted towards the target, which encourages a downward strike and sub-optimal launch conditions.

Tilting the spine away from the target gives you an angle to rotate your body around, which will produce a flatter golf swing and more swing speed, which is brilliant when using the longest club in the bag.

SPINE ANGLE

How Can You Set Up To Avoid A Slice?

A big reason golfers slice the ball is how the setup, but more specifically than that, they often have terrible shoulder and forearm alignment.

Addressing the ball with a high right forearm and open shoulders is a disaster if you want to drive the golf ball straight, as it restricts the backswing turn and makes the golf club swing plane too steep, producing weak slices that won’t help you score well.

Something that can help golfers drive the ball straighter and longer is by addressing the ball with closed shoulders and a tucked right arm. This always helps the player make a bigger shoulder turn (the best drivers of the ball all have the biggest turns) and helps get the players club and hands more behind them in the backswing.

The benefit of this is that this will allow a golfer to have a faster club head speed and is more likely to help them create an in-to-out swing path that produces a draw. There are plenty of images of hall of fame drivers of the ball that show this.

closed shoulders

This video was filmed at Celtic Manor and we are wearing Puma apparel.

Jack Backhouse

Callaway Epic Max driver review

Jack is a PGA Golf Professional who specialises in coaching, teaching golf to beginners and top-level amateurs for 10+ years. He also loves his golf equipment and analysing the data of the latest clubs on the market using launch monitors, specialising in blade irons and low-spinning drivers despite having a chronically low ball flight.

Although Jack has no formal journalism training, He has been reading What's In The Bag articles since he started playing at 12 and studying golf swings since his dad first filmed his swing to reveal one of the worst over-the-top slice swings he reckons has ever been recorded, which set him off on the path to be a coach. His favourite club ever owned was a Ping G10 driver bought from a local top amateur with the hope that some of the quality golf shots would come with it (they didn't), and worst was a Nike SQ driver he only bought because Tiger was using it.

Jack is a member of Sand Moor Golf Club and regularly gets out on the golf course to prepare for tournaments. Jack uses a TaylorMade BRNR Mini driver, a half set of TaylorMade P7MB irons, MG4 wedges and a TaylorMade TP Reserve putter.

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