One of the easiest ways you can save strokes is by hitting your driver straighter.
Driving them long obviously saves strokes. But so does hitting your driver straight.
Finding the fairway keeps you out of rough and the woods. It naturally gives you long distance, since your distance is “focused” straight ahead, and not going off to the left or right.
Plus, hitting straighter drives sets you up for easier and better approach shots. That can generate more birdies and pars.
But hitting your drives straight is easier said than done. Even the best of golfers can push or pull tee shots during a round. Mistakes like that can pack strokes onto your scores.
This article is the “master guide” to hitting longer, straighter golf drives.
I’ll show you six key concepts… drills… and tips and tricks to help you hit longer, straighter drives off the tee that will have you the envy of your foursome.
And then I’ll even put in a “quick tip” checklist you can use to quickly diagnose your swing, and make sure you hit as
So let’s get started.
1) Ensure Your “Club Shaft Line” Is On-Target
One of the biggest keys to hitting your golf drives longer and straighter is returning the club shaft to its original shaft line at address.
That’s the imaginary line created between a golfer’s hands and the grounded club face at address.
If the swing is too far above this line, you’ll pull the shot.
If the swing is too far below the line, you’ll push it.
To hit drives straight, you need to return the club shaft as much as possible on that line.
PGA Pro instructor Alex Elliott has a great video about preventing hooks and slices, and staying “on-line” from start to finish:
2) Balance Is Critical
Balance is critical when hitting your driver. Proper balance ensures you make solid contact.
To maintain proper balance, keep your center of gravity centered, throughout your backswing.
Then, move it aggressively forward toward the target.
Whatever you do, don’t let your weight shift to your back foot!
Here’s a drill to keep you centered:
Take your normal stance. Then brace your golf bag against your back leg.
Now make some practice swings without pushing into the bag on your backswing. If you brush against it, you’ve swayed. This swing flaw can cost you strokes.
Now move the bag to your front foot. Brace the bag so it’s even with your front shoe. But leave a little extra space between your shoe and the bag.
That way your front leg can move slightly toward the target and become perpendicular to the ground.
Take some practice swings without touching the bag.
The Golf Channel’s Michael Breed has a great video showing you some great tips on keeping your balance while hitting golf shots:
3) Keep Your “Swing Width” Wide
Swing width is how far you extend your hands away from your chest.
Swing width is critical to keeping your club shaft on plane.
If you move your hands “too narrow” to your body, it makes it so that you have to move your hands out wider at address.
Lose width in your backswing and you’ll struggle to bring the club back to its original plane.
Weekend golfers often take the club outside the shaft line. That results in slice and pulls.
Here’s a drill that teaches you to maintain swing width:
Using a 7-iron, assume your usual address position.
Now swing the club back with just your trail arm.
Try to maintain a 90-degree angle between your forearm and upper arm.
Look back when the club is at the top.
Make the changes need to achieve at least a 90-degree angle if it’s not there when you look.
Kyle Jerome, of the Academy of Golf Dynamics, has a great video about maintaining swing width below, so that you can visually see some of these key concepts:
4) Stop at the Top For Better Swing Tempo (and Straighter Golf Drives)
Taking the time to stop at the top of your backswing is crucial. It gives your body time to get back in the perfect hitting position.
Don’t stop too long, though. It should only be a brief pause, not a long drawn out stoppage.
A brief pause lets your body gather power and the club to switch directions.
It also lets you fall into the perfect slot position for the downswing.
Here’s an exercise that can help you:
Next time you’re at the practice tee, take some practice swings.
Pause for a second when you reach the top before swinging down.
Count to yourself “One. Two.” Then come forward.
Increase swing speed on the downswing, with the fastest part coming at the swing’s bottom.
Now hit five balls using the same sequence of words.
If it’s earlier than what it should be, you may be trying to muscle the shot.
Keep practicing this golf drill until you’ve ingrained the move.
Alex Fortey from The Art of Simple Golf has a great drill to keep your swing tempo with the driver “right on time”:
5) Keep Your Spin Rate In Check With THIS Kind of Motion…
If you’re a baseball fan like me, you might be hearing a bunch about “spin rate” these days.
Baseball pitchers absolutely love spin rates. It helps them punch out more batters and pile up those strikeouts.
Unfortunately for golfers, a high spin rate is the enemy of good shots.
Sure, some spin rate keeps the ball on line and in the air. But too much spin rate generates weak shots that float high and come up short.
Hit your driver with a sweeping motion instead of a downward angle lowers spin rate, which ensures a better, more penetrating ball flight.
Clay Ballard of Top Speed Golf shows you some great additional tips to lower spin rate in this fantastic golf instructional video:
6) Keep Your Back Shoulder Passive
Your back shoulder is critical to a good swing. It must remain somewhat passive during the swing to hit the ball straight.
It also must work downward as you start down on the shot.
Keeping your shoulder passive ensures that the club returns to its original shaft line at impact.
To feel the role your back shoulder plays as you start down, grab a club with your right hand (left hand for left-handers) only.
Take the club back to the top. Then place your opposite hand on your back shoulder.
Swing down. As you do, try to prevent the back shoulder from rotating out toward the target.
Instead, drop it down toward the ball and swing one-handed.
Repeat the process until the feel is ingrained.
Chris Ryan of Chris Ryan Golf demonstrates the proper shoulder position (and club head path) in this well-received video:
Ingraining all or some of the golf driving tips in your swing helps you keep the club shaft on plane when coming down.
That, in turn, helps you hit the ball with the right spin rate and on the club’s sweet spot.
More importantly, our golf driving tips help you return the club to its original shaft position at address.
That produces a straighter shots that find the fairway and cut strokes off your scores and golf handicap. It will also help you break 80.
My “Straight Drive” Quick-Start Checklist to Diagnose Swing Problems Quickly & Easily
Gaining distance off the tee is simple. So is hitting more fairways.
To do both, you need first to master the basics of solid ballstriking.
Then, you need to increase your clubhead speed.
Golfers that do those two things start belting drives farther and straighter than ever.
But if you’re like many weekend golfers, your ballstriking frustrates you.
You know you should be hitting the ball better and harder, but you’re just not getting it done.
So instead of your driving game being an asset, it’s a weakness.
Below are ten often overlooked golf driving tips that can help turn your driving game into an asset. They’ll help you boost your ballstriking to pro levels:
1) Widen your stance
2) Tilt your shoulders back
3) Use more loft on your club
4) Set up with more weight on your trail foot
5) Establish width early in your swing
6) Hit the ball slightly above the ball’s equator
7) Rotate and turnaround hips
8) Raise your front heel
9) Turn your head in your backswing
10) Pre-set your hips so you can turn around them.
You should also train with a heavier club and a lighter club than you usually use while driving.
The average swing speed for a weekend golfer with a 15 handicap is 93 mph.
The average swing speed for a pro is 113 mph.
Training first with a lighter club and then with a heavier club can help you cut the difference in swing speed down quite a bit.
I’ve put together some of my best golf driver drills below to help you drive the golf ball longer and straighter.
3 Golf Driver Drills to Hit the Ball Longer And Straighter
1) Hit a Lighter Club and a Heavier Club to Increase Club Speed
Swing a lighter club (alignment stick) five times quickly as fast as you can.
Use your regular golf stance.
Focus on accelerating through your downswing and creating a loud “swoosh” after the alignment stick has passed the impact point.
Next, swing a heavier club five times quickly as fast as you can.
Using two irons together is a lot heavier than swinging an alignment swing.
Your 6- and 7-irons are good for this drill.
Switch between the lighter club and the heavier club several times.
If you really want to go all-out, you can do what James Robinson Golf did here in this video to make a heavier club:
Do this drill as often as you can. It will increase swing speed.
So will incorporating all or some of the golf driving tips I’ve provided in your swing.
That will boost your ballstriking and help you drive the ball farther and straighter.
Doing that can shave strokes off your scores and help you break 80.
2) This “Reading the Tee Leaves” Drill Shows You Exactly How to Hit Long Drives Straighter
You can read all the golf driving tips in the world. But if you don’t practice them, you won’t ingrain them.
And if you don’t ingrain them, you won’t find them helpful.
The following golf drill below ingrains the skills you need to drive the ball farther and straighter:
Line up four balls in a row about 4 inches apart. Now hit each one with your driver. After you hit the last shot, check your tees:
- If the tee is leaning forward, you hit too high on the ball. This type of swing leads to thin contact and worm-burners.
- If the tee is out of the ground, your downswing was too steep. This type of swing leads to pop-ups and fat shots.
- If the tee looks like it did when you first stuck it in the ground, you made a level swing—the key to consistent contact.
Repeat the drill until the tees never move.
3) This “Upswing Drill” Teaches You How to Hit the Ball on the Upswing From the Tee Box
One thing I haven’t gone into too much yet is hitting the ball on the upswing.
To use another baseball analogy, think of this as your “launch angle.”
The higher your launch angle, the more power and distance you’ll get on the ball.
To do this, hit the ball consistently on the upswing. Here’s a drill to help with that:
To hit the ball on the upswing, your center of gravity must be behind the ball.
Place a headcover or golf towel about 12 inches to 18 inches in front of a ball on a tee.
Now, take a swing.
You should be able to hit the ball without hitting the headcover.
Once you’re proficient at this distance, you can move the headcover back a few inches toward the ball.
Then, hit some more balls.
You should be able to hit them without your driver touching the headcover.
If it hits it, you’re swinging down and through the ball, not up and around. As with the previous drill, repeat the exercise until you’ve ingrained the golf driving tips it teaches.
If You Want to Go Further Down the “Hitting Straight Drives” Rabbit Hole…
If you want to hit the ball further and straighter off the tee than ever before…
If you’re tired of first hole mulligans, or slicing even a single drive in your round…
I have some good news for you.
A while back, I got one of my top mentors, noted Swing Coach Bobby Eldridge, to make a series of instructional videos for my readers.
(You may have heard about Bobby… or at least about some of his adventures. He’s been flown into South America and Europe specifically to help iron out issues with “pro-level” golfers’ swings).
Bobby made an entire instructional video about hitting your driver longer and straighter.
One of the things I like about Bobby is that he explains things in absolutely plain English, so that complex golf concepts are easy to understand.
And in this video, he shows you some of his top golf tips, including:
- Picking the RIGHT driver for YOU: Bobby’s proven club-fitting tips for helping you select the exact right driver for your swing type and ability level
- Bobby’s Wickedly Ingenious “Setup Secret”: Few golfers know that your shot can be sabotaged directly from the way you setup… here’s how…
- Two Quick Mechanical Fixes That Unlock the Power and Speed in Your Swing…
- The “Clock Checkpoints System” to Keep Your Swing On-Time and On-Line
- 6 “Instant Slice Fixers” Bobby recommends to try these 6 easy fixes before anything else (since they so often fix the problem)…
And much much more…
To instantly get access to this comprehensive “private video lesson” from one of the great golf instructors of our time, click the link below now:
[Private Video Lesson] Click Here to Get Elite Swing Coach Bobby Eldridge’s Full Driver Video Lesson Now