The key to hitting the ball farther with the modern driver and golf ball is high launch combined with a low spin rate. Our goal is to get enough spin to achieve lift, while minimizing drag. Assuming that you have a driver with enough loft, here are three things that you can do to increase launch and decrease spin rate, thus increasing your distance off the tee:
1. Tee the Ball Higher
The old adage has always been that the top of the driver should be about halfway up the ball when it is teed up. However, with a 460cc driver, I like to see you set the ball high enough on a tee such that the top of the driver is no more than one-third of the way up the ball. Of course, this means that the standard 2 ¼ inch tee will not be long enough to accommodate. You will need a tee at least 2 ¾ – 3 inches in length.
2. Move the Ball Forward in Your Stance
The notion of playing the ball off of your left heel is no longer valid. We want to hit the ball on the upswing, thus increasing launch angle and decreasing the ball’s spin rate. In order to do this, we must move the ball forward in our stance. For some golfers, it will be enough to play the ball off of your big toe, while for others it may be necessary to move the ball all the way up so that it is positioned outside of your left foot. Experiment with different ball positions – but, whatever you do, move the ball forward in your stance!
3. Hit the Ball on the Upswing
The driver is now a specialty club, much like a putter. Our set-up, ball position – everything is different from any other club in the bag. You shouldn’t be hitting the ball at the bottom – or apex – of the golf swing like a fairway wood. The ball should be struck past this point, on the upswing. This will lead to a higher launch angle and lower spin rate – which is how we are going to hit the ball farther than we ever have before.
I know that the season is now over so you might want to hold onto this tip until the spring, it will really help your game if the Driver is your weakest link.
Good luck, Joshua