Is Your 48 Inch Driver Causing A Slice?

By Steve Silverman

driver at address
Golfers are always looking for ways to get more distance on their shots. One of the ways golfers try to add distance to their game is by playing with longer shafts on their club. The standard shaft for a driver is usually around 45-46 inches long, but shafts can be longer. A 48-inch shaft, the maximum length of a driver allowed according to the rules of golf, gives a golfer an opportunity to add 30 yards or more to their shots. However, the added length makes the club and the resulting golf shot quite difficult to control.

Changes in the swing

Golfers who have been hitting with shorter shafts and switch to a 48-inch shafts have to make major changes in their swing. In addition to standing further away from the ball, the golfer must also increase the swing speed in order to get the club head to meet the ball squarely on the tee or the fairway.

A golfer who does not make square contact with the ball will send it veering off course. Most of that time, the club head will be facing to the golfer's right, causing a slice. Here are instructions on how to hit a 48 inch driver.

How to Swing a 48-Inch Golf Driver

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

  1. Go to the driving range to test out a 48-inch driver. If you have never used one, you can probably find one at the driving range or the pro shop may have one that they are willing to lend. The 48-inch driver is 3 inches longer than standard. It will give you more distance, but it requires a faster swing than you need with a standard driver.
  2. Take your normal stance as you address the ball. Pick up the 48-inch driver and see that you are actually quite cramped at the tee box because of the added length of the club. Now step back 3 inches and make sure you are square to the target.
  3. Draw your club and begin your backswing as normal. You will need to add increased speed, but that does not happen until you are coming through the ball. Throw your hips through the ball and make sure your head stays down. Your hands will follow and try to increase the speed in your swing as you are approaching your hips with your hands. The extra speed will help the club's hitting surface get to a perpendicular position with the ball at impact.
  4. Finish your swing as high as possible. Do not let your hands stop at chest or shoulder level as they might with a conventional driver. Finish high so the club has the necessary speed to execute the drive.
  5. Keep your head down as long as possible. Picking up your head to see what kind of distance you got with your 48-inch driver will slow down the swing. Let your playing partners admire how good your shot is. You need to keep your head down.

Getting more loft

When swinging a longer club, one of the goals is to gain more loft. This will happen if the golfer changes the angle of attack and adds more swing to his speed. If the golfer does not alter the angle to the ball and sticks with the same swing they had with shorter driver, the result will be a low show that slices to the right. The golfer must get underneath the ball when playing with a longer shaft.

Driving with the hips

The best golf swings take place when the golfer uses his hips to start the backswing and then start the downswing. When a golfer uses a longer golf club and is trying to generate more clubhead speed, they often do it by trying to swing harder with his hands and a shoulder turn instead of with his hips. As a result of the faster hands and slower hips, the ball tends to slice.

About the Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.