The Art of Golf: Driving

The Art of Golf: Driving

 
By: Nick Bockenfeld, PGA
⌚9 Minute Read

Introduction

When put together, golf is a series of different arts that create the Art of Golf. Every hole starts on a tee box. Every round starts on a tee box. The art of the game of golf all starts with driving off a tee box. About 14 times a round, you are driving the ball. Hitting a tee shot with your driver, or a similar club. Certainly, a long club, where your goal is to hit a fairway and set yourself up for a second shot. It involves planning, understanding your game, playing your miss, and setting up for the next shot. There is a lot to go into driving the ball and being the talk of your foursome, launching bombs. If you ever need any inspiration about the art of driving the ball, or why I would call it an art, go watch Rory McIlroy, hit driver. There is nothing better than watching Rory bomb drives with absolute perfection.

 

The Stick

I know, I know, the saying is it's the archer, not the arrow, but golf is a little different than archery. The club head you use matters so does the shaft, especially with your driver. Having the right club head is important; you can find a post about that here. So I really want to talk about the launch and the spin and how you get those right where you want them. First is the launch angle; you want your launch angle to be anywhere around 14 degrees with a driver. How you get there can change, but if you want your launch to be at 14, that is optimal. You want your spin to sit right around 2800 for optimal distance. Now, these are very general numbers, and you will want to switch them up if you can’t get one or the other. You can play with the numbers to optimize your tee shot, but if you don’t launch it high enough, you want more spin to get it higher. Or take less spin if you launch it too high. You can achieve this by changing your shaft around. You can buy shafts that launch low and that launch high. Spin low, and spin more. The shaft is everything as far as hitting a consistent, long drive. The face is great, but the shaft is the money maker. Go get fit for a shaft!

 

Play Your Miss

One of the keys to hitting fairways is to play for your miss. It's a very simple concept; I go in-depth in another post. The gist is knowing where you tend to miss your tee shots. Are you missing to the right or to the left? If you have a two-way miss, you have to figure that out first. Once you have a one-way miss, then you start playing it. A one-way miss means that you are, for the most part missing the ball to one side, not every single time. We all hit extremely squirrely shots at times. My miss is a block, so when I play that miss, I aim a little further left than I might otherwise aim. This is huge with driver, you should practice it with every part of your game, but driver specifically, you need to do this. If you miss right of your target line, stop aiming down the dead middle of the fairway. Instead, you need to aim left of the middle of the fairway, or just aim down the left side. You will look really good doing this, hitting a lot more fairways; you don’t need to tell anyone that you are aiming left and missing down the middle; they just know you hit the dang fairway and are set up for the next shot.

 

Bombs

You can’t talk about the art of driving the ball without talking about hitting bombs. The best advice I can give is to master your angle of attack. You can do this by changing your setup. Set up is key standing over a driver. To load up better, you want to tilt your shoulders back so your trail shoulder is lower than your lead shoulder. Your weight should be 60-40 to the back. This will help you to stay behind the ball and let your club hit the ball on the upswing, not the downswing. This will mean your angle of attack is positive, not negative. This will help you to launch it higher with less spin, which is ideal for most players!

 

Tempo

Tempo is the key to hitting great drives. That's all there is to it. Your average player gets way too quick when they want to hit it far. Hitting bombs has nothing to do with being fast on the take-back. You need to take it back steady, don’t jerk it to start the downswing either. It needs to be smooth at the top! Start trying to kill it, and jerk it at the top, and you are going to hit it everywhere. I swear.

 

Sync

You have to keep your body in sync to hit the driver well. If your hips are ahead of your body, you will hit a slice. If your hands are in front of your hips, you will hook it. If you keep your entire body together, you will hit the ball much straighter! The best way to hit get into sync is to do the towel drill, or a medicine ball throw from a golf stance with a golf swing is great too. You should do that with a trainer, not on your own!

 

Drills

CTRL Swing Master

This isn’t a drill so much as an entire training aid! It's a full-game training aid that helps with tempo. In fact, the CTRL Swing Master training aid is the best tempo trainer in the world. Second to none. CTRL will get you hitting drivers exactly where you want them every single time. The revolutionary club face, club path, and tempo feedback tell you exactly what you need to do to hit that one shot that keeps you coming back every single time.

 

Towel Drill

This is one of the best drills that you can possibly do for your golf game. It's simple, and you have everything you need already in your golf bag. Throw a towel under your arms and hit little 75% shots on the range. 3 on 1 off. You always do a drill 3 on 1 off and wean down to 1 to 1, then hitting more shots on than off. It's simple, but it is really effective.

 

Alignment Aids

If you don’t use an alignment aid when hitting the driver and trying to perfect this art, you are doing it wrong. You can use it for feet and shoulder alignment; check out Go Gator Gear for this; great training aid and club and path alignment. Lay a stick down in front of where you are hitting the driver on the ground, pointing down your target line. This will really help you to visualize which way you should take the club face.

 

Conclusion

The best thing you can do to start smashing bombs down the fairway is to purchase a CTRL Swing Master Training Aid. It will help you perfect the art of Driving.

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