So you have gathered your golf balls, worn the right attires, gathered all the tools in readiness for a real golf tournament.
With the help of a coach, you have mastered basic tips on how to improve the quality of your swings.
But that is not all....
You have still not perfected on your golf drive basics. The thought of not doing things right the first time may discourage you from pursuing your favorite sport.
Every golfer must start from somewhere, which is why you need to practice how to hit a golf ball straight with a driver.
But how do you ensure you get it right the first time. Below, we give an insight on golf drive basics and tricks to make you a pro golfer.
What you should know before you start golf driving
Sometimes, the terms and language used in golf driving may be too difficult to understand. Words like "lingo," "bump-and-runs," may not sound simple, but in golf, they are not.
While your coach may try to shepherd you through hitting driver basics, constant practice is the only thing that can make you a perfect golfer.
Whether you are a beginner or a professional golfer, rely on the following tips to keep you straight and narrow:
1. Your golf stance
If you are new to golfing, taking an obstruction is the first cardinal rule you will learn.
Maintaining the ideal posture is as essential as taking a strong shot. The wider your stance is, the better your position will be.
As a beginner, your idea of a wider stance should be in proportion with the width of your shoulders.
While this may seem like the ideal way of doing things, there are still some facts you should consider.
2. Choose the right club
The type of club you are going to use significantly determines the quality of your golf drives.
Though most of them are made from wood or iron, they are not necessary when driving a golf ball.
Still, understanding the design of the hole you are playing is as important as choosing a club for your game.
For example, clubs made of iron possess a higher loft compared to woods, especially in a 3-hole game.
Since you will be focusing on green, you will carry the least of rolls.
3. The type of golf ball you are using
As a beginner, you probably think all balls are the same. They are not.
When choosing the right ball, consider things like its turgidity, distance, factor spin and the feel.
Interestingly, any ball can fit the package as long as you know how to hit it.
If you are not sure about which ball to choose, visit a professional golfer.
They have probably dealt with many types of club-head speed, giving them a better position to help you choose a golf ball with the right thickness. You are allowed to test different types of balls to test how they feel.
Remember, a golf professional may offer a biased opinion depending on their level of experience.
So, if you are planning to play golf for fun, try using different balls for every challenge.
4. The type of tee you are using
The kind of tee you intend to use also determines your skills as a golfer.
With a wide range of tees at your disposal, you will have many options to choose from. Try as many tees as possible.
Some come with large heads with varying lengths for every type of golfer. An ideal tee should allow you to take a shot high enough at the top of the diver club-face to dissect the center of the ball.
It is possible to hit the ground before hitting a teed-up golf ball. This is a mistake that all golfers make but can prevent this from happening by using a taller tee.
However, a taller tee does not always guarantee an accurate shot when you are planning to use an iron-made tee.
Consider teeing-up the ball so that it appears to be resting on top of grass.
8 Tips to Hit a Golf Ball Straight With a Driver
Before you set out for golf driving, you should ensure you have grasped all the basics. Getting the right size of the club, tee, or the ball does not mean you will get the best shots.
Even if you get a powerful shot the first time, there is no guarantee that the same will happen during your second or third shot.
The following golf driving tricks will help you improve on the quality of your shots:
1. Align your body in a vertical position
A tree or a standing person makes perfect markers if you are planning to align your body vertically.
Unlike the horizontal line, a vertical marker allows you to see the position of your body while standing straight or bending.
Once you have located a marker, set your body to match the target. If you suspect that you will bend your inactive hand early, maintain the "v" as long as possible.
This will prevent you from bending at the finish of your swing and you will have more distance at your disposal.
2. Work on your balance
Like any other sport, golfing requires you to make the right moves. Try to maintain your balance when hitting your driver.
The proper posture and arching skills will promote the quality of your strikes.
Throughout your backswing, you will need to keep your center of gravity at an equilibrium point. From there, you can move it swiftly forward to the target.
Remember, allowing your weight to shift to your back foot will prevent you from getting the right hits. If this is still difficult for you to understand, here is a simple way of looking at it:
Take your normal posture before you hit a golf ball straight without a driver. Place your golf bag against your back leg.
Try to swing your club without applying pressure on your bag. If you get into contact with your bag, it means you have swayed. When this happens, your strokes will be of low-quality.
If you manage to take a swing without touching your bag, you can proceed. Place the bag evenly to your front foot.
Make sure it is evenly placed so that there is space between your shoe and the bag. This allows your front leg to move swiftly toward the target.
As long as you swing your club without touching your bag, you are good to go.
3. Apply a proper grip pressure
A hard grip is a measure of a quality swing. You may start on a higher grip but fail to get the best results.
Even though most legendary golfers like Phil Galvano may have used this to their advantage, the same may not work for you.
What remains inevitable is the fact that the grip pressure must be the same as holding a bird without suffocating it.
The tighter you hold the club, the less it will discharge throughout the drive.
The best way to go about this is by trying different grip strengths and watch how it releases the ball. A loose grip can also compromise your ability to skull a ball.
If you are right-handed, place a grip on the club using your left hand at the base of your fingers. The opposite should also happen for left-handed golfers.
Coil your fingers around the club, making sure to maintain a firm grip. Now you can roll your hand over in such a way that your thumb remains on top of the grip.
Try doing the same with your other hand. Once you get a good grip, you can place the club at the base of your fingers.
After that, you interlock your fingers for a better grip. Now, you can roll your thumb over the thumb of your other hand.
4. Widen your swing width
The width of your swing plays a significant role in maintaining the right position for your club shaft. When it becomes loose, you will have a hard restoring the club to its original plane.
Ideally, you should have swings, one for the power and one to give you better control.
Not all holes will allow you to crush the ball as far as you can. Some may have been compromised by water hazards cutting through them.
Some golfers prefer taking the club outside the shaft line in order to achieve a "slice and pull."
So, how can you maintain the swing width? Here's how: Take a 7-iron while maintaining your normal address position. Using your trail arm, swing the club back.
Remember to maintain a 90-degree angle between your forearm and upper arm, take a look back to verify whether the club is at the top.
If you do not achieve the 90-degree angle, try to make the necessary changes.
5. Take a break at the top
Getting your body back into a perfect position is one of the most straightforward rules of golfing you must never ignore.
To do this, you should take a break at the top of your backswing.
Remember, taking an extended break will prevent you from gathering power and club to switch to directions. Short briefs allow you to fall into the perfect slot position just in time for the downswing.
If you are not sure about how long the break will take, count only two seconds.
Now you are ready to come forward. This will come in handy when you are practicing tee swings.
After that, you can increase your swing speed on the downswing while taking advantage of the swing's bottom.
In case you hit them earlier, then you should try to muscle the shot. Do this every time until you get used to it.
6. Work on your spin rate
Spin rate, whether high or low, when hitting a ball off a tee significantly affects your shots. It should neither be too high nor too short.
A high spin rate generates low-quality shots. Of course, you may want to use your spin rate to keep the ball inline, but the chances of getting weak shots are quite high.
When you use a sweeping motion instead to hit your driver instead of a downward angle, you will achieve a lower spin rate.
This not only allows you to get an improve ball flight, but it also ensures your spin remains even with all the shots.
7. Maintain a passive back posture
What every golfer must know is that the back posture dramatically determines the nature of a swing.
If you tend to move it often, you will get weak shots. But when it remains passive as you hit the ball straight, you will achieve a powerful shot.
This may sound too difficult to achieve, but you may need it when playing straight drive golf.
A passive back posture also plays a vital role in ensuring that your club maintains its shaft line at impact. Imagine this; you have grabbed your club with your hand.
How does your back shoulder feel when you play?
If it rotates, then you will need to adjust it to a better position. Now try to swing down.
Is it still rotating out toward the target?
If so, drop it down toward the ball while swinging your hand. Repeat this step until you get used to it.
Keeping the shaft on the plane as you come down is also another hack that helps to improve the quality of your swing.
With the right spin rate on the club's sweet spot, you will able to hit the ball. Using your club, hit five balls in a row.
Remember, returning your club to its original shaft position at address plays a crucial role in ensuring you get a powerful shot.
8. Aim at a proper target
One thing which most amateur golfers fail to understand is that more swings do not translate to quality. Having a proper focus and preparation for your driver shots will help you get the most out of your swings.
When you pick out a specific target for your driver, you will achieve your purpose.
When you aim right at the pin, you are more likely to hit an approach shot to the green.
This makes it easier for you to pick your target. Alternatively, you can aim down the fairway.
If you are still stuck at how to get a proper target, you can make use of the trees at the pitch. Unlike bunkers, trees help your mind focus on the target. Take your time to pick out a spot using your tee.
Once you are confident about it, give it your full attention until you look up and see a ball sailing down the midsection of the fairway.
How to prepare for your first golf driver tournament
Are you planning to participate in an upcoming golf driving tournament? Getting nervous is perfectly normal, but you can still redeem your confidence through adequate preparation.
Now that you have learned and practiced the basic rules of golf driving, it is time to prepare for your tournament.
Whether it is your first time signing up or you are participating in a golf tournament as a professional, there are some specific things you should take into consideration.
Going by the number of professionals who have earned prizes thanks to golfing, the best thing you can do is relax.
The following tips will help you when you are engaging in a golf tournament for the first time.
1. The type of golf course you are playing
Golf courses are plenty in number. Knowing the one you are playing will save you from signing up for the wrong tournament.
As expected, you will have all the information concerning the venue of the tournaments and the participants.
Prior to the d-day, try to visit the place and observe the surrounding.
Chances are the tournament pitch will be bigger with well-manicured lawns as opposed to what you are used to.
As long as you have signed up as a contestant, some clubs will give them access to practice before the material day.
Take your time to examine the holes so that you can get an understanding of how the big game will be. If possible, get someone to compete with.
Alternatively, you can check out the courses via videos on YouTube or Google Earth to get a feel of the area in case you do not have time to visit. That way, you will see all the areas from the comfort of your home.
2. Expect challenging opponents
Just like any other sport, golfing requires you to put both your physical and mental skills to use.
You may be a beginner with zero skills, but that does not disqualify you from competing with the most celebrated golfers of all time.
As long as you are good at grasping the basic concepts and are confident about your golf driving skills, you are good to go.
Remember, your opponent may not have all the skills you will have. Use it to your advantage. You may be surprised at how fast you are growing without participating in dozens of competitions.
3. Be punctual at the golf course
As a contestant, the last thing you want is to arrive when all other people have settled.
Whether you are a recreational or a professional golfer, arriving at the golf course on time is essential.
Try to arrive an hour before the tournament starts. This not only allows you to do some warm-ups, but it also prepares you psychologically for any challenge that awaits you.
Remember, the longer you take warming up or preparing for the tournament, the more nervous you will get.
Two hours is enough time to get ready for your first golf drive tournament.
4. Master the rules
You may have mastered all the rules of golf driving at your fingertips, but that does not mean you are ready to take on an opponent during a golf tournament.
Every tournament has its own set of rules, some of which may not be familiar to you.
Before the d-day, find someone to teach you anything you may not have learned.
If you can find the information on online platforms, then review all of them before the tournament starts.
Here are some standard rules for beginners:
- Scramble: For scramble tournaments, golfers will be divided into two, three or four teams. Each team member is supposed to tee off on each hole. You will be allowed to choose the best shot out of all the teammates. After that, each golfer will take their next shot from the spot you have chosen.
- Match play: In a match play, any golfer that gets the best score on each hole is declared the winner. Throughout the match, the person who wins the most holes comes in the first position.
- Stroke play: If you have subscribed for a stroke play tournament, you will need to get the best score on all 18-holes wins. As long as none of the opponents fail to hit the mark, you will be declared the winner.
- Better/best ball: Here, teams of twos, threes, or fours get to choose either a match or a stroke play. You will have your ball as a team, but only the team member with the best score is declared the winner.
Whether you are practicing golf drive for fun or as a professional golfer, grasping the basics is essential. Forget about all the terminologies that are difficult to comprehend.
You will get to understand their meanings through persistent practice. With these tips, you will be able to sharpen your golf driving skills and take on any opponent during a tournament. Remember, possessing zero skills as a beginner is not a measure of professional golf drive skills.
You are still allowed to make as many mistakes until the rules become ingrained into your system.
So, grab your club, put on your golf gears, and put your best foot forward in readiness to become the next "Tiger Woods" of golfing.