Playing golf is not as easy as it looks. You can’t just pick up some clubs and go out on the course without any practice or training or you are going to be in for a world of embarrassment. And even if you have gone to the driving range a few times, it is a lot different when you are out on the golf course ready to hit your ball, all by yourself, with everyone watching you. If you hit the ball at all you should consider yourself lucky.
It doesn’t help that every club you pick up out of your bag has to be swung differently. Are you teeing off, driving the ball for distance, chipping high and far, chipping short, or putting? All of these have different stances, ways to hold the club, swings, etc. So to help out all of you “newbies”, I’m going to teach you about driving a golf ball for beginners and how to do it consistently so at least you can get out of the tee box.
Driving the ball off of the tee is a crucial part of your game. If you do not hit a good tee shot to begin the hole, then your score will start shooting up faster than you can yell, “FORE!” So read on and master this part of the game before anything else.
Without A Good Stance, You Are Doomed From The Start
Before you can have that amazing feeling that hitting a long shot straight down the fairway can give you, you must start with the basics. And the most basic part of driving the ball is your stance. For a good stance you must start with aligning yourself based on where you want the ball to land.
Start with setting your feet about shoulder-length apart with your body weight on the balls of your feet, evenly distributed over both feet and your knees slightly bent. Position your body so you are aligned with a target down the fairway where you want your ball to land. The ball should be lined up with the heel of your left foot for right-handed golfers and the heel of your right foot for left-handed golfers. Imagine an invisible line between the ball and your front heel.
The next important part of the stance is your upper body positioning. Your back should be in a straight line and you should bend at the hips. If doing this correctly, your butt should be sticking out slightly (just picture doing the hokey pokey). As for your arms, they should form a “V” shape and the butt of your club should angle slightly toward your front hip. This is all going to feel awkward at first, but the more you do it the more natural it will feel.
Proper Grip – Don’t Strangle The Club
The way you grip the club is also very important. Many people feel that the harder they squeeze the club, the farther your shot will go. In fact, it is just the opposite. You should hold it with a very relaxed grip at the end of the club so the club will turn over easily in your hand.
To help the club turn over easily, grip the club with your left-hand first (for righties, opposite for lefties) with your thumb on top. Do the same with your other hand, thumb on top of the club, and place your left pinkie finger between your index finger and middle finger of the left-hand (again, opposite for lefties).
Baby’s Got Back Swing
When you start your back swing, shift your weight back along with it. This will help build momentum and create more power on your swing.
Take your time on your back swing, the faster your back swing the more it will take you out of alignment. Proper alignment is more important than power!
In a sweeping arc motion, bring the club back until it is behind your head. Your front arm should remain straight throughout the entire process.
At this point take a slight pause at the top of your back swing before you start your downswing.
The Downswing – Where The Magic Happens
Even if every other part of the swing is perfect up to this point, if you lose your concentration now you could still end up in the woods or the bottom of the pond. This is the part of the swing where you make contact with the ball so this is the most exciting part, but also the easiest part to speed through.
Start your downswing calmly and speed up the club as it approaches the ball. Best case scenario is that the club is still accelerating when it hits the ball. This should be done in one fluid movement utilizing your entire body which will give you the power you need.
One More Tip For The Perfect Drive
The last tip to remember seems like the most simple, but can easily be forgotten. It is the same tip that can be heard in a lot of other sports like baseball, football, basketball, etc. And that tip is to always keep your eye on the ball. During the entire process you must keep your head down and your eye on the ball. Now, you can look up at your target while you are getting in your stance and preparing to swing, but once you are ready to swing your head MUST stay down. You can’t hit what you can’t see.
When you take a great swing you are going to be in a hurry to see how far and how straight the ball is going. This makes it easy to pull your head up early. Make sure you tell yourself before each and every swing to keep your head down all the way through the swing.
Time To Celebrate
If this whole process is followed perfectly, then you will be looking at a great tee shot straight down the fairway and will be ready and willing to start bragging to your golf partners. Unfortunately it is not that easy. Those are a lot of steps to remember each and every time, which is what makes golf such a difficult sport.
So as a beginner do not get discouraged when you are not hitting the ball very well. Go to the driving range as much as you can and continually practice your swing over and over again until your muscle memory takes over. At that point you won’t have to think so much. Instead you can just enjoy the game of golf like it was intended.