Charles Schwab Challenge

Colonial Country Club


Driving the ball accurately doesn't require hitting it straight

June 28, 2018

This is going to sound a bit backwards, but if you want to hit fairways with your driver, you don't have to actually hit your driver dead-straight. We'll let one of our top-ranked teachers explain:

"Driving accuracy does not mean you have to hit the ball straight. Some of the straightest drivers in the history of the PGA Tour have predominantly played one shot shape," says Brian Manzella, a Golf Digest 50 Best Teacher. "One thing curving the ball lets you do is play down one side of the fairway. The curved shot then has a lot more than half the fairway to work with."

So, how exactly do you go about working the ball one direction or another? Manzella has some quick tips that will have you realizing moving the ball left to right or right to left isn't only for tour players.

If you're trying to hit your driver left to right:

-- Set up with the ball more forward, playing it off of your front instep.

-- Make sure your chest is open to the target at address.

-- When you take the club back, don't get inside too soon. Think about taking it back straighter, longer.

-- As you come into impact, your chest and hips should be open.

-- Finish with the shaft pretty much horizontal to the ground.

If you want to hit your driver right to left:

-- Play the ball a little inside the front heel.

-- At set up, your chest should be closed to the target.

-- When you go back, make sure you're making a full turn.

-- In your first move from the top, keep your back at the target, so your arms are starting the downswing. It'll make it easier for you to get the clubface back to square or even a little bit shut.

-- At the finish, the shaft should be more vertical, your hands high and the clubhead low.

These tips come from a new Golf Digest series called "Keys to Consistency," which contains six video lessons from four Golf Digest-ranked teachers. You'll learn to repeat your best shots more often, from driving to putting. Sign up for it here.