Intuitively, you would think the driver would be the easiest club in your bag to hit. It has the largest head and the largest sweet spot. You get to tee your ball off the ground every time you use it. So why do many amateurs struggle to hit a driver straight? Well with these easy golf swing tips, hopefully, you will be a lot more often.
When do you get more nervous? When you are standing over a 7-iron or when you are holding your driver on the first tee? The driver is the longest club (lengthwise) in your bag, which does make it harder to control. You swing the hardest at the ball when driving, so that probably increases the likelihood of an off-center strike. The ball also travels the farthest when you hit your driver, so it can go a long way in the wrong direction.
Learn to hit better drives and your score will not only drop, you will also have more fun on the course.
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Where Does Your Tee Shot Typically Go?
Hook. Slice. Duff. Sky. Top. Fat. Bottom of the club. Toe. Heel. Elephant’s butt (high and stinky). Golfers have a lot of words to describe bad tee shots, but where does your miss go?
You have probably hit all these shots at one time or another, but do you have a common trend? Do you tend to raise up and top the ball off the tee? Maybe you go under the ball and hit it straight up in the air? The driver flop shot never works very well.
Regardless of your miss, how do you adjust when you are having a bad day off the tee? Do you have alternative swing thoughts to try?
Golf is an odd game. You can play great one day, only to mightily struggle the next. As you start trying to improve your score and handicap, your ability to find something on the course on a bad day will become critical.
“Golf is assuredly a mystifying game. It would seem that if a person has hit a golf ball correctly a thousand times, he should be able to duplicate the performance at will. But such is certainly not the case.”Bobby Jones
Swing Thoughts You Should Try with Your Driver
You are out on the course for a quick 18 on a beautiful afternoon. Your first couple drives turn out poorly and you don’t want the round to continue this way. What are some easy golf swing tips can you try to right the ship?
- Check the Basics – Do you have your ball teed up high enough? Is the ball forward in your stance? Tee it high and let it fly.
- Keep Your Head Still – the golf swing should be a turn, not a slide back and forth. You don’t want your head to move up and down during the swing.
- Let it Go! – come on Elsa – do you have tension in your swing – are you scared of the result? Let the club head flow through impact, without tension.
- Watch the Ball get Hit – when you hit a shot, do you actually see the club hit the ball? Most players don’t. Try to see if you can stay behind the ball and watch the club strike it.
- Rhythm & Balance – is your swing finishing on balance? If not, try to focus on only balance during your next swing.
- Keep Your Triangle – when you grip the club, your arms will form a triangle with your chest. Don’t let this triangle collapse during your swing.
- Tuck Your Shoulder – when you make your back swing, tuck your front should under your chin – your downswing is simply undoing that motion.
Should you try to think about all of these thoughts during your swing? Definitely not. They key is one swing thought. One item to think about while smoking your next drive.
Test Your Swing on the Range
So which swing thought above will help you? Try them all on the range and pay attention to how they alter your tee shots. Depending on your personal swing, a few of them might make you play worse, but at least a couple will help.
Try coming up with some on your own. The best swing thoughts are simple and easy to remember. You don’t want to be standing on the tee box trying to remember a complicated formula.
Which one works the best? Which one produces the most consistent drives on the range? Ideally, you will find two to three swing throughs that work pretty well for you, but make sure you leave your practice session with a winner. The swing thought you plan to take to the course the next time you play.
Your goal is to understand your swing and how to manipulate it on the course. Unfortunately, even the best swing thought won’t always work. This is true for PGA professionals and beginners. They key – have a backup plan.
For example, you are on the range and “Keep Your Head Still” is working great. You start your next round and you are struggling – time to call an audible. During your practice session you noticed that focusing on “Tuck Your Shoulder” also produced some good shots. It is time to give that swing thought a try.
Final thoughts on our easy golf swing tips
You will never solve the game of golf. It cannot be perfected. Dr. Bob Rotella, famous sports psychologist said, “Golf is about how well you accept, respond to, and score with your misses much more so than it is a game of your perfect shots”.
When you are having a tough day off the tee, try these simple swing thoughts or use others you have developed during practice. Don’t get frustrated. Have a plan to recover.
The only crazy thing would be to keep trying the same thing and expect a different result.
If you never hit bad shots, the great ones wouldn’t feel so good. Test these tips out and enjoy your day on the course.