How to improve your drive in golf

 Tags: Golf

Some people see it as a beginner’s shot while others consider it one of the game’s most iconic moves. Your drive is the shot that will take you off the tee and is struck using the driver. Although it doesn’t flaunt the same elegance as your putt, your drive is an essential part of your game. Knowing how to use your driver is crucial to get your round off to a great start, put yourself in an advantageous position and bring down your handicap for the hole.

Though it may seem like a simple shot, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The reason for this? Your drive requires physical strength and careful attention to your positioning: more than for any other shot. In this post, we’re going to give you some tips so that you can master your drive. Fancy coming to practise in the Costa del Sol?


Club number 1 in your golf bag

Most golfers usually have 13 or 14 clubs in their bag, including woods, irons, putters and wedges. Of these, club number 1 is the driver (sometimes also called a 1-wood), and it’s no coincidence: it is often the club used to play the ball off the tee. The driver’s job is to send the ball as far as possible along the fairway. It therefore has a large clubhead, lower loft (smaller angle between the face and the vertical) and a longer shaft. 

The driver enables players to send the ball on a trajectory of around or over 200m. It is therefore a great ally when playing longer courses or on uneven terrain, when reaching the green as soon as possible makes all the difference for the hole. 

golf shot


Three tips to improve your drive

While we previously drew on the knowledge of Jimmy Martin to help you improve your drive, in this post we’re going to turn to Sergio de Céspedes, a trainer at Federación Española de Golf and director of the academy at Río Real Golf in Marbella.


1. Harness the tee’s loft

Before settling into your stance and even picking up the driver, the first thing you need to do is put your tee in the ground. Your drive is the only shot in which you’re able to use a tee, a small stand that raises the ball up a few centimetres up out of the grass. The drive sends the ball up into the air, so make sure the tee raises the ball higher than the clubface. 

Can you hit a driver without a tee? You can, but it isn’t recommended as you might hit the grass, damaging the club and potentially even injuring yourself. If you’re looking for a simple drill to practise your drive, place an additional ball several centimetres in front of the ball you want to hit: the first ball on the tee and the second on the ground. The aim of the drill is to hit the first ball without touching the second. If you manage it, you’ll have achieved the loft you’re looking for. 

This tip, which is ideal for golf enthusiasts and players who are just getting started in the game, is from pro player Sergio de Céspedes as part of his golf tips series for the Río Real Golf YouTube channel. 


2. Step back: the ball needs to be closer to your left foot 

The driver is the longest club in your set and this has an impact on your stance and the distance you stand from the ball. A common mistake is to centre in on the ball, like you would when hitting an iron. Mastering a good golf shot requires knowledge, technique and practice and there are all sorts of factors affecting the result: stance, wind, terrain, equipment, skill and experience, to name but a few. Getting your stance right goes a long way. 

Céspedes says that you need to position yourself slightly behind the ball when hitting the driver. This will help you hit upwards, which is exactly what you want. 

how to use driver golf


3. Relax your posture and grip

Relaxing your posture is as recommended for your drive as it is for other shots. During the drive, you’re aiming to hit the ball far away. For this reason, many golfers tend to hold strongly onto the driver with a level of tension that isn’t required. This can make you lose control of the shot. 


Practise your drive in the courses of the Costa del Golf

As we’ve said before, and we’re going to repeat now, there’s nothing like practice to make your technique improve. So how about booking a weekend getaway with friends to enjoy the courses in the Costa del Sol? Now you know how to use your driver, it’s time to put your skills to the test. The province of Malaga boasts a world-class set of services: courses, golf academies, ProShops, relaxation areas complete with all the luxuries you expect and sunshine pretty much all year round. What more can you want from a round of golf?

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