How to hit a straight drive is a challenge many golfers grapple with.
Regardless of what level of golf you play, chances are you wish your drive was more straight. Even if you’re just practicing in the driving range, there’s nothing more satisfying than a great, powerful, and straight drive.
A long, straight drive is the backbone of playing a good game. We want to make sure that our drives are consistently straight to make sure that our subsequent shots are more simple and easy.
When we think of hitting a drive in golf, the first thing we probably think of is power. We’ve all seen the pros hammer a drive with a perfect wind up and accuracy, so impressive that it must be copied. But as we all know, golf is never that easy.
Hitting a consistently straight drive is one of the most difficult things you can do in golf. There’s so much that can go wrong in a split second that can change your entire game. A poor or inconsistent drive, can ruin a whole game if not properly attended to.
I would recommend taking these tips to the driving range and cycling your way through them to find what works best for you.
All these tips will be sure to help you achieve consistently hitting a straight drive, but nothing is as important as this tip: practice, practice, practice!
So in this article, I’ll be going over the ways you can improve your drive and keep it nice and straight.
How To Hit A Straight Drive In Golf – 6 Simple Tips
#1: Club Strike.
One of the first things to check when working on hitting a straight drive in golf is where you are striking the ball on the face of the club. It might sound simple, but can be one of the hardest things to change about your swing as the face-ball connection is over in an instant.
A ‘toe-strike’ is where the ball flies from right to left, indicating that you’ve hit the ball from the toe of the club, or the section farthest from your body. A ‘heel-strike’ is where the ball flies from left to right, indicating that you’ve hit from the heel, the spot closest to your body.
Naturally, this means that to hit a straight drive, you want to be in the sweet spot: right in the middle of the club face.
This is one of the more difficult problems to remedy when working on hitting a straight drive in golf, but our next tip should help you work on your strike location.
#2: Angle of Contact.
One of the ways that you can prevent a toe or heel strike is by focusing on your angle of contact. This is the angle of your club as it connects with the ball.
You want the club face to be looking at where you’re hitting the ball. If it’s too far angled away from straight down the fairway, your ball will fly in the direction of your angle of contact.
Your angle of contact should run in parallel to the ball. Imagine that the ball is actually a cube with straight sides. Your club face should be able to fit squarely against that straight edge in order to hit a straight drive.
Making sure that your angle of contact is parallel to the ball before you take your swing so that your club strike is in the center can be a great part of your pre-shot routine, like the golf waggle, which is another way of making sure that all your shots are consistently straight.
#3: Check Your Swing Path.
Just like working on your club strike and angle of contact, working on your swing path should be an important part of your practice routine. Your swing path is not only an important factor in determining the power of your shot, but it’s direction too.
If your swing path comes too close to the inside of the ball, the side facing your body, then your ball is likely to fly right. If your swing path comes too far to the outside of the ball, the side facing away from you, then your ball will fly to the left.
Once again, you’re looking for your swing path to be right in the sweet spot, and chart a straight line as your club swings through the ball.
One way to practice keeping a straight swing path is to place two soft objects, like your club head covers, on either side of the ball. If your swing collides with either of these objects, then you can tell which side of the ball you’re hitting.
It can also help to think of these soft objects as a guide for the path your club should swing.
#4: Grip Strength.
You might be surprised at how much your grip strength can affect whether your drive is straight or not.
When we think about how to hit a straight drive in golf, it can be easy to latch on to the big factors, like your swing path, but these bigger actions can still be affected by your grip.
When driving, a lot of golfers become too invested in power over technique, and this can lead to gripping your club too tightly.
Gripping the club too tightly can actually lead to you twisting the club as you swing through the ball, which can affect your club strike and your angle of contact. A good way to ensure you’re gripping your club correctly is to work on eliminating tension in your golf swing.
Conversely, gripping your club too loosely can also be a reason why you’re not hitting a straight drive. You want to make sure that your grip is firm without choking the club, but leaving your grip too loose can also negatively affect your angle of contact with the ball.
Both having a strong golf grip vs. a weak golf grip have their pros and cons, but too much of one or the other can be a big reason why you’re not hitting a straight drive.
Related Article: How to Grip a Golf Club Correctly
#5: Be Careful With Your Backswing
When driving, a lot of golfers can become too focused on generating power rather than focusing on their technique. Too much power or speed in a swing can increase the likelihood of a slice or a poor angle of contact.
The last thing you want is to have an over the top golf swing.
When trying to hit a straight drive in golf, we want our arms to feel connected to our torso throughout the entire swing. This keeps our arms straight and therefore our swing path straight, leading to hitting a straight drive.
It sounds simple – to hit a straight drive you should keep your arms straight, but we all know that it’s easier said than done. Eight-time PGA tour winner Bryson DeChambeau has his own secret method for consistently keeping his arms straight with every swing.
For DeChambeau,it’s all in the elbow. Keeping your elbow locked straight throughout your entire swing reinforces keeping a straight arm for all shots.
Some golfers have a tendency to bend their elbows when they drive as it can help you generate more power through your swing, but if you’re aiming to hit a straight drive, it’s easily one of the worst things you can do.
If you spend more time focusing on keeping your arms connected to your torso to hit a straight drive, you might notice that you lose some of the power in your drive. Don’t worry – that power will come back once your drive is consistently straight.
#6: Stop Moving Your Head!
It’s the most simple tip that we all tell ourselves at least once every game – keep your eye on the ball, not where you want it to go.
As you drive through the ball, your body should turn to face your target before your head, which should follow the ball. Keeping your head straight is also essential for following the tips above.
Keeping your head straight and your eye on the ball is the best way to keep the mind-muscle connection strong when playing golf. To have a proper club strike and angle of contact, you must have your eye on the ball, otherwise it could go anywhere!
If hitting a straight drive in golf is your goal, then your next goal should be consistently hitting a straight drive. A consistently accurate long game is essential for successful play in golf, and can help you improve in other areas the more consistent you are.
While these tips will be most useful when applied to driving, there’s no reason why they can’t also be taken into account with your other shots. Angle of contact and your club strike are just as important with a putter as they are with a driver.
So next time you’re at the driving range, try some of these out! And as I said at the beginning of the article: while these tips are important to remember there’s always one more important tip. Practice, practice, practice!