Play Better Golf

How to Drive the Ball Straighter

In golf, you may strive to get the ball as far as you can, but you must understand that direction is an important aspect, as well. Driving the ball in the fairway can help you score better. This article is generally tips on how to improve your drive and make the ball go straighter.

Club face is the most important factor in direction. You must hit the target squarely with the face at impact. The grip will be the biggest determinate on the club face. See photo 1. It illustrates the middle-of-the-road position, a neutral grip. You will see two knuckles on the left hand, while both creases between the thumb and forefinger (the Vs) run coextend to one another; pointing to the rear shoulder (or right shoulder for righties).

You may be familiar with the terms: “weak grip” and “strong grip”. When the Vs are pointing to the right or outside of shoulder, then you have a strong grip. On the other hand, when the Vs are pointing up your nose or even worse, your left shoulder, then the grip is weak. Strong or weak has nothing to do with grip pressure. 

When driving, keeping the grip pressure light can help. Use your fingers to hold on to the club with a gentle squeeze, but make sure that the forearms are relaxed with just the right pressure. This neutral grip position helps with the square delivering of the face, and leads to a straight drive.

The second most important factor is alignment. See second photo. You’ll see the cactus circled in the middle of the photo; this is the target line. Your body must be aligned square to target, or parallel left. Do not close your stance; it’s a common mistake players make because they think it helps in drawing the ball. This cliche can result in the ball going too much to the right. You can also see in the photo an important aspect of the stance, which is the proper alignment of chest and shoulder. This is a huge factor in making the correct swing path. Make sure the upper body is in proper alignment by holding your driver up to your shoulders. Players who slice the ball with an exaggerated swing almost always align their shoulder and arms way left of the target. Doing this will not fix a slice, instead, it makes it more exaggerated. See photo 3. Take note that the player aims the club head first, promoting a parallel square body alignment.

 

After focusing on grip and aim, you must check your posture. See photo 4. It illustrates that having a straight spine is important. The term “turn your shoulders” in golf means rotate your torso. HOwever, rotating your torso is only possible when your posture is correct: chin up, the back is straight, the hips are a little tipped over and the legs are slightly flexed. With a good posture like this, combined with a better rotation, you will be able to execute a swing on an arc, and at the same time allows the clubface to hit square up to a swing path. This swing path has higher chance of hitting the ball straighter.

Now, let’s check the top of the backswing. It is not mandatory to set the club in the correct angle and direction. However, it would be much easier to swing in a correct plane and direction. See 5th photo. It shows the club positioned over the right shoulder, in direction of the target line. In photo 6, you’ll see that having the correct grip is important, as it helps you with setting the face squarely against the plane. Check the illustration; there’s a line drawn through the club face, which parallels to another line drawn to the left forearm. Moreover, the “cup” level in the left wrist remains the same. This is another key factor in making sure you drive the ball straighter.

And now, we’ll discuss impact, the most crucial factor in golf swing. See photo 7, which shows the common mistakes slicers do. You’ll see the face wide open. Take note that if the face is open, even if you transfer your weight properly, rotate through, and do all the must do things mentioned above, the ball WILL ALWAYS SLICE. Check out the 8th photo. It shows an improved release of the club and the body. Take note of the position of the forearms as they rotate on an arc. The club swings back around on an arc, which shows how the face closes in to the target but remains square to the arc as it swings on. Check out the body position: the posture is maintained and hips clear; the right side of the body is turning through, removing weight off the right foot.

To summarize it, you have to work on the five factors: grip, aim, stand, posture, and impact, in order to drive the ball straighter.