Your Driver might just be the most important club in your bag. If you’re hitting it badly – you’re most likely not having a fun time on the golf course. Or to put it in even sharper terms – When you’re not hitting your Driver well – Golf Stinks!
So how do you hit your Driver better? Ahh, there’s probably been a million articles written about this subject!
I believe the first part of hitting your Driver better is to understand where on the clubface you should be trying to hit the golf ball. So let’s do an experiment to see what’s the best place on your clubface for you to hit the golf ball? And with this experiment I’m going to need you to participate. What I’m going to ask you to do is to get your Driver and a golf ball from your golf bag.
Now, there might be a Golfer or two that might be saying – “I don’t want to do a test – just tell me what I need to do.” I wish it could be that easy.
If you want to hit the golf ball the farthest and straightest you possibly can – you should know where the center of your club is. Most Golfers are just teeing up their golf ball and swinging and hoping it goes long and straight. The Player is using their knowledge of what makes their Driver work at its peak performance to attain better drives as the Monkey swings and hopes! And a lot of this is understanding where the center of your Driver is so that you can select the proper height to tee your golf ball.
So take out your Driver and a golf ball.
Hold the shaft of your Driver in your hand about six to 12 inches (15 to 30 centimeters) from the club head with the club face pointing to the sky. Then using your other hand – drop the golf ball from about 12 inches (30 centimeters) above the club onto the center of the club face. Depending on your Driver, it should be between 3 to 7 grooves from the bottom of the club. What you should be looking and listening for is Centerness of Hit. How high did the golf ball bounce off the club face? What did it sound like? Did it sound solid?
Now do it again; though this time drop the golf ball closer to the bottom of your Driver face – maybe only 1 groove from the bottom. What happened? Did it bounce as high? What kind of sound did it make? Did it sound as solid? Did you feel the club vibrate a little more in your hand?
Next, do the same, though this time drop the ball as many grooves high as you did on your first attempt, but let it land closer to the toe of the club face. And to save my fingers from typing more than necessary – ask yourself the same questions you asked yourself above after your previous attempts.
There might only be a little difference between the 3 bounces – or for some Drivers, there might be a big difference. The key to think about is that you imagine what that difference would be if your club was swinging at 95 miles per hour (153 kilometers per hour) as it made contact with the golf ball in those 3 spots. Try to think about it that way as opposed to just dropping the golf ball a short distance onto the club face – swinging the golf club and hitting the golf ball on your club face from these three spots would be a huge difference in distance and possibly direction.
So how can you use this knowledge to boost your Driving skills?
Well one spot is with the height you tee your golf ball. I can say without hesitation that 7 out of every 8 Golfers will tee their golf ball too low. Not just a little too low – way too low. Now I know the reasoning behind teeing the ball as low as you might be teeing it. I understand that you’re afraid of popping up the golf ball. I understand that you feel you might just go underneath the golf ball and leave one of those nasty little marks on the top of your $399 Driver. Yet, it’s almost impossible to hit the center of your golf club with your ball being teed too low.
And I agree, if I had the choice between pooping the golf ball up or hitting a little low on the club face (but getting at least some distance) – I’d take the latter. Though, if you’re always hitting the lower half of your club face – you’ll never improve your distance. Also think of how many Golfers are teeing their golf ball up different heights every tee shot – sometimes high, sometimes low, sometimes medium height. This will breed more inconsistency than you might have thought.
Now if you’re trying to improve the way you hit the golf ball, think about this – I’ve seen countless Golfers that have improved their golf swings dramatically – dramatically – but haven’t improved their distance or direction with their Driver Why? Because it doesn’t matter how great your golf swing is if you don’t allow the ball to hit the proper place on the golf club!
Where’s that proper place?
So let’s use the results of your experiment to try to find a good tee height for your Driver. Again, it’s going take some participation on your part. Set your Driver up like you normally would if you were going to hit a golf ball. Then kneel down so that you’re holding the club head with one hand against the floor. With your other hand, place the golf ball against the spot that we discovered was the center of your club face in our previous experiment (the spot where you want to hit the golf ball). Now I must inform you that this is not the height you should be teeing your golf ball!!!!!!!
Why? Because if you were teeing the golf ball this high – the only way you’d be able to hit the center of your golf club would be to hit the ground first (slowing your club and causing you to hit the ball shorter and off-line) or to avoid hitting the ground first, it would cause you to swing down on the back of the golf ball causing it to pop-up (and in many cases because of other compensations you might make – it will cause a slice). Think about it – as you line-up the golf ball in this experiment to the center of the club face, where’s your Driver? It’s hitting the ground before you hit the golf ball!
So what should you do?
Do our second experiment again – though this time raise the ball about 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) higher up the club face. Now I can’t say this is the height everybody should be teeing the golf ball – everybody’s golf swing is different. Though, I don’t believe you should be teeing the golf ball any lower – if anything, it should be higher. And if you do pop the golf ball up from this tee height – it’s not because the tee is too high. It probably has more to do with compensations in your golf swing – but that’s for another Golf Improvement Weekly.
The Monkey usually tees the golf ball too low, yet isn’t happy with their distance
The Player uses the motto – Tee it high and let it fly, tee it low and it won’t go
Go ahead, Be a Player!
Marc Solomon – Your Instructor For Life