A quick drill to make sure you start your swing on-plane
Every golfer knows how frustrating it is when you have no idea where your tee shots are going. Even worse, those errant drives usually result in big numbers that rob you of your confidence. Producing more reliable contact off the tee will not only keep you out of trouble, but also allow you to use the other parts of your game to shoot better scores.
One of the best ways to improve your driving performance is to get your swing on-plane, and it's easier than it sounds. Use Golf Digest Teaching Professional Erika Larkin's easy drill to get your club tracking correctly and create more consistency off the tee.
Hold your driver out in front of you, making a 90-degree angle perpendicular to your spine. Then, swing the club around your body, like you would with a baseball bat.
"All you have to do is swing the club around you," Larkin says.
While making these "air swings," as Larkin calls them, you will start to gain an understanding for the feeling and the shape of your new swing plane. It’s not up and down, not in to out, it’s simply around your body.
When you're ready to test it out with a golf ball, try Larkin's trick for creating a solid setup: Keep your driver out in front of you, then bow to the ball. The slight hip hinge and bending of the knees will get you into a proper posture and create the right amount of distance between you and the ball.
"Once you've got your spacing, it's the same thing," Larkin says.
As you bring the club back and through, try to recreate the feeling of swinging around your spine. Continue to practice Larkin's air swings in between balls on the range to ingrain that feeling and consistently drive the ball longer and straighter.
Check out "Game Changers," Erika Larkin's series in Golf Digest Schools. Her game-improvement guide will help you understand what's going wrong and give you the tools you need to fix your faults and get out of your scoring rut.