Have you heard the old saying, “you have 14 clubs in the bag and only one golf swing”.
This is not strictly true nowadays, as it is accepted that the swing with the driver will be slightly different from say a seven iron swing.
So the driver is a unique beast that has to be swung slightly differently.
Take a look at the first picture and I will try to explain.
The ball position for a start requires to be further forward in the stance, opposite the left heel to allow the club to be rising slightly at the point of impact and to strike it on the upswing.
The stance should be roughly shoulder width, with the weight set slightly on the right side on a 60-40 basis.
Now here is the first common mistake that some players make, note just how much I am leaning to my right side; my head is tilted well behind the pillar on the back wall.
This position is classically overdone and from here I will struggle to shift my weight during the downswing resulting in falling back at the point of impact, with a loss of direction and power.
Now have a look at the second picture. This time I have got just the right amount of spinal tilt for this driver shot.
My right shoulder is set slightly lower than my left one, but note how my head is now on the target side of the pillar behind me.
My stance is slightly closed as my right shoe is just behind the left one. But my body weight is still set slightly on my right side to allow me to catch the ball on the upswing.
There are basically three ways to strike the ball with the driver on the downswing, level, (and by far the best method) on the way up.
This allows for a launch angle somewhere between 12-15 degrees, to maximise distance and control.
In terms of tee height, half the ball above the top of the club is considered the norm, but if you like it slightly higher, then go for it, as it encourages an ascending blow.
If you tee the ball too low you will have to hit it on the downswing. This will result in excessive spin, and a severe loss of distance.
So there we are, the ideal set up for the driver only; the other woods and irons require to be handled slightly differently. Good luck as always. Next week: Handle dragging.