How to Hit the Driver off the Deck

By Contributing Writer

There is a danger that hitting a driver off the turf could become a dying art in golf. Professionals rarely need to do it as the huge distances they hit from the tee make it unnecessary. Vijay Singh is one of the few remaining exponents of the shot on the PGA Tour. The new larger and deeper heads on modern drivers also make the shot if not actually more difficult, then at least more visually intimidating. But it still is a shot worth learning to play effectively for better amateurs who struggle to reach par 5s in two as it typically can add 20 yards to the distance obtained by a fairway 3-wood.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate
Step 1
Grip down an inch or so on the shaft. The driver is the longest club in your bag (if your putter is standard length) and you need to ensure you don't hit the shot fat.
Step 2
Position the ball opposite your left heel (for a right-handed golfer). Widen your stance a little by pulling your right foot a bit farther back. This will make you favor your right side a little in your weight distribution.
Step 3
Flex your knees a little; this will help prevent you topping the ball.
Step 4
Swing the club back low to the ground. This will encourage you to return the club to the ball in the same arc and sweep the ball away off the grass. What you are aiming for is to swing slow, low and smooth.
Step 5
Make no other adjustments in the way you normally would swing your driver. You need to trust your swing and make a smooth, confident strike at the ball. Do not try to hit the ball hard; the strength of the club you are using will do the job of hitting it a long way if you can make a good contact.

Tips & Warnings

Allow for the ball to have a low left-to-right flight (for the right-hander). Make sure you do not roll over your hands and clear the left side to allow the club to swing through to the left after you have struck the ball.
Be selective over trying this shot; it is not easy. Your lie is crucial. If you have a tight lie, you probably are better off taking a 5-wood or even a hybrid. If the ball is sitting up in a grassy lie or even the semi-rough, then the driver is worth a try. Despite the larger faces on the driver, the low center of gravity in the modern club will help to get the ball into the air.

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