Want to Hit Driver Better? Think Shoulder Angle and Full Turn
The driver is different than other clubs because to hit driver well, the low point of your swing should be further back than with other full-swing clubs. “The low point of the swing needs to be behind the ball, so the club is traveling in an upward direction and launches the ball without a lot of spin,” says Golf Digest’s Chief Digital Instructor Michael Breed.
A lot of amateurs tend to move the ball too far forward in their stance when they hit driver. Instead, Breed says put the focus on your shoulders. Tilt your shoulders to a slightly upward angle, so that the lead shoulder is slightly higher than the trail. Even this slight change will help you hit up on the ball and increase your launch angle.
Now that we’ve improved the launch angle, let’s talk about how to get even more distance. Breed has a drill to help increase your clubhead speed and get longer off the tee. Take your stance without a club, and cross your arms across your chest. If you’re right-handed, your left hand will be on your right shoulder. Now, in your golf posture, push your right shoulder back with your left hand.
Breed says you’ll probably feel a little pull on the left side of your torso. That’s a good thing—it means you’re turning more than you usually do. Getting that trail shoulder to rotate back makes your whole upper body turn back farther, which makes the swing wider, and will increase clubhead speed. You’ll get better at this drill the more you do it, and you’ll feel the difference when you put a club in your hands.
To learn about proper impact position for the rest of the clubs in your bag, check out our new game-improvement curriculum, The Facts of Impact. This four-lesson series hosted by Breed features lessons between 11 and 14 minutes long and will teach you the proper impact position for putting, short game, iron play and driver, all to help you gain consistency and confidence with every club in the bag. Breed does this through tips, demonstrations and drills like the ones above.