Unfortunately, most golfers tend to overlook the importance of proper golf ball address. They fail to realize that addressing the ball correctly, be it with a driver or an iron, is just as important as improving their swing speed and alignment. There are so many videos online teaching you how to swing a driver, but very few teach how to address the ball.
It is a well-known fact among golfers that long drivers hit up on the golf ball. However, most golfers tend to hit down on the ball, which greatly affects their distance. It shouldn’t be the case. They need to learn how to address the ball correctly and recover their distance and direction.
This article takes you through a detailed guide on how you can improve your distance and direction by properly addressing the golf ball with your driver. It is important to note that addressing with a driver is quite different from how you address with an iron.
The easiest way to increase your distance from the tee is by learning how to hit upwards on the ball. To do that, you need to have the ball in the right position. However, there are some PGA golfers and great amateur golfers who hit the ball down. What you don’t know is that these golfers have a lot of clubhead speed and can easily get away with that.
When golfers talk about ball positioning, they refer to the position of the ball to their feet. However, there are other ways you can use to reference ball positioning. For instance, where should the ball be in relation to your body, chest, or even ears?
To get the right ball position, ensure that it is not too forward or too close, but it should be slightly inside the left heel. The following steps show how you should position the ball in relation to your feet.
- Stand straight with your legs together and firmly hold the club while ensuring that the ball is at the center of your feet but ahead of you.
- Ensure that you have a firm grip on the club and that the clubface is square and not in any way open or closed.
- With the ball on the ground, lower your golf club so that the clubface is square with the ball.
- If you are right-handed, move your leg slightly open and towards the ball and take a bigger step with your left leg to the back and away from the ball.
Once you have followed the steps above, you now have the ball in the correct position for you to take a swing.
Correct Tee Height
Tee height might seem like a small detail that you can just ignore, but just like in life, it’s always the small details that help us grow. The perfect tee height that seems to work with most golfers allows the clubface to cover half the ball’s size with the other half right above the clubface.
That is, however, not the standard measure because golfers vary from one to another. The perfect tee height should give you more attacking angle so that you hit the ball upwards. Experiment with different heights to find one that perfectly suits you.
How you grip your driver is very important in ensuring that you have the desired clubhead speed and that you can square the clubface perfectly. There is nothing that steals more speed and distance than an open or closed clubface. A grip that is more towards the fingers gives you the ability to hinge your wrists and square the club.
Position your hands so that they are relaxed and not stretched around the grip. The benefit of this is that your hands will naturally wrap over the golf club, and you will achieve more clubhead speed and distance.
As you prepare for the address, you should relax your body and ensure your weight is balanced on your feet so that the back leg carries about 60 percent. Your legs should be wide enough to ensure you can balance your body weight.
You will note that your spine is not straight because one of your feet is ahead of the other. Therefore ensure that it tilts so that one of your shoulders is slightly lower than the other. Avoid resting your bodyweight on the toes and heels, but rather the arches of your feet. If you have a longer driver, you will have to widen your stance more as the rule of thumb suggests.
It would be best to have the correct body posture to position yourself properly with the driver and the ball. The following steps should help you get into the correct body posture before taking a swing on the club.
- The distance between your feet should be the same as the length from one shoulder to another.
- Your back should be straight from the lower back upwards. However, you will feel as though your spine is tilting towards the left leg.
- Bend your knees only slightly so that you remain comfortable and don’t lose your body balance.
- Stretch your arms slightly forward but keep them relaxed and ensure there are no bends on your elbows, however slight.
Correct Distancing from the Ball
How you distance yourself from the ball affects every aspect of the address. Your swing speed will be very much affected if you tend to stand too close or too far from the ball. It also affects your lie angle and, eventually, the trajectory the ball takes.
To determine the correct distance from the ball, take note of the driver’s length because not all are the same. Rest your golf club on a flat surface and ensure that it is not tilting in any direction. The clubhead end should be where the ball is, while the other end should be ahead of your front leg. The length of the golf club should be the distance between you and the ball.
There is usually a lot of pressure that moment before you hit the ball because probably that shot has a huge impact on your performance. A tensed body is not ideal for such a situation. What you need to do is take deep breathes and gently relax your muscles. It is a state of mind; therefore, you need to practice repeatedly until you get it right.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Should my hands be in front of the ball with the driver?
No. Do not place your hands ahead of the ball. The stance and body position for a driver during the address does not allow the hands to be ahead of the ball. When you hit the ball off the tee, you will notice that your hands will be at the center of your body at impact.
Q: How does tee height affect driving distance?
If your tee is too low, there is a high likelihood you will hit the ball too high, this causes the ball to topspin which eventually lowers the distance. When the tee height is too high above the ground, there is so much room for upward trajectory, and you are likely to hit the ball too low, this causes backspins that lead to low distance.
Q: How do you stand when using a driver?
Addressing a driver is very different from how you address an iron. For a driver, you need to stand so that your legs are wide apart the same distance as your shoulders. The golf ball should be ahead of you, parallel to the inner heel of the front foot. Your knees should be slightly bent and your spine slightly tilted towards your left.
In most cases, you will find amateur golfers having problems with addressing a ball using a driver. Unfortunately, it is not amateurs alone. Some experienced golfers used to swinging irons tend to have similar problems with drivers. It is not too late to learn and master the correct procedure on how to address the ball using a driver.
The most important things you need to look out for are ball positioning and stance. Once you grasp the associated procedures, the rest are a walk-through. To hit the ball far, straight and accurate, you need to practice and perfect the address positions and techniques.
Last Updated on March 18, 2021 by Tom Fiore