We are all searching for more consistency off the tee. Driving the ball more consistently will result in hitting more fairways and that usually makes for a more enjoyable day on the golf course! Punching out of the trees and hitting out of the rough or fairway bunkers all day will tend to add strokes to the scorecard pretty quickly. So what are some simple keys to improving your driving distance and accuracy? I will answer that question in this article as well as provide you with additional recommendations for getting fit for some of the hottest new drivers on the market.
The quickest and easiest way to improve your driving stats is to focus on improving your setup. The nice thing about working on your setup is that this is something all of us can master. Being great at the basics of setup and pre-shot routine will often improve your ability to hit the driver longer, higher, and more accurately without burdening you with an overabundance of swing thoughts. See the pictures of Adam Scott, as well as the driver setup and swing keys checklists below.
Adam’s textbook setup allows him to maintain stability throughout the swing with the driver. Hands and arms are beautifully in sync with the rotation of his body during his one-piece takeaway (everything moving back together).
Adam’s head remains perfectly still behind the ball as he lets it all go – focusing on the back of the ball is a great way to achieve this feeling. Right shoulder and forearm continues to rotate all the way through the hitting area. Notice how he finishes facing the target in a tall and balanced position.
Weight 50/50; slightly wider than shoulder width stance
Ball position forward - off inside of left instep
Hands slightly back forming a broken line between lead arm and club shaft
Upper body tilt of your spine away from the target - right shoulder lower than your left
Straight back, low, & square club face takeaway - creating width between butt end of club and right side
Head remains well back behind the ball through impact
Right shoulder rotates towards target and right forearm rolls over the left to release the club
Finish facing the target in a tall balanced position
It is very important to make sure that your driver has enough loft and that you are using a club with the proper flex and length of shaft. A properly fit driver will allow you to hit the center of the club face more often and give you the ideal combination of high launch and low backspin. Centeredness of contact along with a high launch and low backspin will result in more distance and accuracy off the tee. The latest technology in drivers such as the new Callaway Paradym, Titleist TSR, and TaylorMade Stealth 2 allow you to add loft, reduce backspin, and fine tune directional control using various weight and hosel configurations. I always recommend scheduling a fitting at your local Golf Galaxy. They use TrackMan Launch Monitors to allow them to determine the proper settings for you by analyzing the data received after each shot. The numbers do not lie and you may be surprised how dramatically your drives can improve simply by switching to a new properly configured driver.