Excelling in any one area of your golf game and leaving the others lagging behind will surely never make you a scratch player. The sport requires proficiency in all areas, pieced together, to form a well-rounded golfer and low scores.
Each golf course is different, so what works well for you on certain links might not translate to another. But what can’t be questioned is the importance of your distance off the tee. Setting yourself up for short irons and wedges on second shots dramatically increases your chances of making par or better, so striking the ball farther — and maintaining accuracy — should be the goal of every golfer.
But how, you ask, do I get more out of my driver? Fear not. The Peninsula on the Indian River Bay wants you to be a successful player, especially when playing magnificent courses, so you can brag about shooting in the 70’s at a place Jack Nicklaus designed.
Keep in mind that not everything works the same for every player or their swing, but these are general principles to hold near and dear in your pursuit of increasing distance with your driver. Study up!
Select the Right Driver
Let’s bury this first misconception right here and now. No, pulling a $900 driver out of your bag does not automatically guarantee you any results. You’ve surely played at one time with a guy who had a no-name, knock-off driver and crush it 100 yards past your ball. That’s probably because he has an appropriate club and set up for his swing, which makes all the difference.
There are so many types of drivers, customizing everything from the head shape to the shaft composition and up to the grip. That’s all great because you have options, but keep in mind your swing style, strengths and weaknesses. So go to a trusted golf shop, hit every driver you can and look for one that feels right, has the right shaft stiffness and proper degree. You’re not Tiger Woods, no matter what you might think, so don’t hit an 8.5-degree driver!
- Choose an appropriate degree
- Maximize speed with the correct shaft stiffness
- Hit several drivers to see how it reacts before buying
Shorter is Better
Naturally, the driver is always going to be the longest club in your bag, but that doesn’t mean longer is better. In fact, just the opposite is true. An average driver shaft is 46 inches long, but most PGA Tour players use much shorter shafts. Why you ask?
In the past it was thought that longer shafts create more swing speed and therefore more distance, however, longer shafts make it more difficult to hit the ball with the sweet spot of the driver’s head, which effectively costs you more distance than the long shaft creates. Work with a club fitter to find exactly how short you should go, but you’ll gain distance and very likely accuracy on top of it all. A true win-win!
- Long shafts create more speed, but more room for error
- A shorter shaft increases your odds and hitting the sweet spot
- Seek a club fitter to find an appropriate shaft length for your swing
Find the Sweet Spot
Tying hand-in-hand with the previous tip, striking the ball with the meaty part of the driver (the sweet spot) is the most sure-fire way to guarantees increased distance off the tee. The closer to the center of the face you hit the ball, the more pure the contact and ball flight.
There are companies that make spray you can apply to the face of the driver, which allows you to see exactly where you hit the ball on the face by leaving behind an imprint of the ball. Most golfers tend to hit the lower part of the face or towards the heel or toe. All affect shot shape, spin rate and launch angle — the fundamental components to accuracy, and you guessed it, distance!
- You want to hit the ball at the very center of the face
- Get a spray to apply to the face, leaving a ball imprint for reference
- Increase accuracy, launch angle and distance by hitting the sweet spot
A driver’s designed purpose is to elevate the ball into the air to give your the maximum distance of any shot you take on the course. Drivers come in varying degrees from 8 degrees up to 10.5 or more. Your swing shape and fundamentals all contribute to your ability to loft the ball with any club, but unlike irons where compressing the ball is the name of the game, your driver is intended to be struck upward.
A “negative angle of attack” is common among amateur players, which means the head of the driver has a downward angle at impact, forcing the ball low and greatly reducing carry. Hitting a driver with a low degree, combined with a negative angle of attack, results in disastrous distances. The opposite is also true by launching the ball too far upward. So find the right degree and try teeing the ball up higher or moving the ball forward in your stance, preferably with the help of a golf pro!
- Your driver is intended to create elevated loft
- The driver head should be attacking upward on the ball at contact
- Select a correct driver-head degree to make the most of attack angle
Faster (Not Harder) Swing
This is by a mile the biggest misconception in golf when it comes to swinging and can’t be hammered home enough — swing speed is NOT generated by swinging harder! When done properly, increasing your swing speed is the most effective way to add distance to any shot, especially with the driver.
To appropriately generate more swing speed, you’ll likely need to use drills and help from a trained eye if possible. Overall, your goal is to have your swing be smooth with no wasted motion and using your body and shift of weight to create a quick, fluid downswing so by impact the ball is getting the full brunt of your force. Try working out, becoming more flexible and developing strong swing mechanics overall. Then watch the ball soar!
- Swinging harder doesn’t create swing speed, only ruins your mechanics
- Develop solid overall mechanics to generate a smooth, fluid swing
- Try working out with golf-specific exercises and increase your flexibility
Pick the Correct Tee Height
The final tip to generating more distance with your driver out on the golf course is without question the easiest. Yet, it still gives recreational golfers fits if they’re not careful. Teeing your ball up can quickly help both launch angle and angle of attack. Long tees are very much in style and easy to find with the increased size of driver heads on today’s modern clubs.
Teeing the ball up too high or too low is an avoidable mistake that no golfer should make. Experiment on the range to find a proper tee height for your swing, the goal being to hit the sweet spot with an upward angle of attack, but an easy rule of thumb is to have half the ball above the head of your driver at address. The ball should also be lined up with the instep of your front foot. Then grip it and rip it!
- Teeing the ball too high or too low damages launch angle and angle of attack
- Experiment on the range to find a strong tee height for your swing
- Generally, half the ball should be above the driver head at address and lined up with the instep of your front foot
Play at The Peninsula on the Indian River Bay Today!
The Peninsula on the Indian River Bay offers you the absolute finest golf course in the entire state of Delaware, and is easily one of the best clubs in the country thanks to an incredible Jack Nicklaus design. The par-72 course will test your skills and maximizing your driving distance is the perfect way to level the competition. So get out there and play a round or purchase a home and play this exceptional course every single day! Either way, contact Insight Homes today!