"Drive for show, putt for dough" is a common refrain on the golf course. However, if your drive puts you in a bad situation, it is very difficult to score well regardless of your putting prowess. The practice tee is the place to develop control of your driver. If necessary, take a lesson from a pro. Too many people spend time on the practice tee trying for more distance. Direction beats distance every time.
Five Golf Driving Tips for Beginners
1) Tee Height: This is tricky as it depends on several factors even down to the weather. For most players, it depends on the face angle of the driver. The perfect height fluctuates depending on the shot you're trying to hit, the playing conditions, and what works for you. The general rule is that the highest height to have the tee is where half of the golf ball is above the top of your driver. The lowest placement is where the top of the ball is slightly higher than the top of the driver.
2) Ball Position: Place the ball just in front of you so it aligns inside your left heel (unless you’re left-handed) and move slightly forward in your stance. Make sure your left arm and the shaft are lined up as this will give you better alignment for striking the ball.
3) Posture and Alignment: After positioning the ball, stand up straight with a straight spine. From there, bend your back from the waist, keeping your spine straight: this will ensure a consistent swing. Remember not to slump or hunch over the ball. Now, flex your knees slightly while pushing your rear end out.
4) Swing: Nerves can get the best of someone new to the sport. This will typically make your backswing fast and short. The key is to breathe, relax and focus on making a full, rhythmic motion, turning your right shoulder (unless you’re left-handed) behind the ball. From there, load into your right side so you can shift forward coming down. A fluid swing, steady tempo and follow through are vital to hitting your driver off the tee. One thing to remember: the ball is stationary until you hit it… so, take your time on the backswing.
5) Don’t Overpower the Shot: Everyone wants to hit the ball from tee to green. However, trying to hit the ball as far as you can is counterproductive. To hit the ball long and straight, you need a full, smooth swing. As stated above, direction beats distance every time.
Golf is a challenging sport – most players take years to develop their swing. Whether you’re just starting out or have been playing for years, the driving range is always a great place to get your swing on. You can go at your own pace and practice, practice, practice. It just so happens the driving range is also a great place to get to know your driver (and all of your clubs) and build your confidence while you learn the great game of golf. Check out more tips for excelling at your golf game.