I see many golfers on the driving range who try and set up to the ball with driver in a ‘square’ position much the same as they would do when playing an iron off the ground. In recent years however, we Professionals who teach with TrackMan have developed a greater understanding of the differences between the swings players need to make from off the tee to the grass. “Angle Of Attack” (AoA) is a new number we can measure on TrackMan and it has a massive effect on your ability to hit fairways.
For a right hand player to hit a long and straight drive the “Base Plane” needs to be to the right of target and the AoA on the up.
Picture 1 shows a common problem, because the ball position is forwards towards the left heel, many amateurs I see have a very ‘level’ look in their shoulders at address. It comes from wanting to feel ‘over the ball’ as you would with, say, a 7-iron. The desire to feel in the same position leads club players to lean their head and chest to left in order to ‘feel comfortable’ this is a killer position if you are trying to get AoA on the up as you should with driver.
Picture 2 shows the second issue we see frequently on the range. A player tries to stand “square” or parallel to their intended target line, this makes it very difficult to make your “Base Plane” swing to the right, the majority of golfers who stand in this position will have a club path to the left, and from there the dreaded slice is never going to be far away.
Picture 3 shows the correct address position with the upper body favouring the right side. The right shoulder is a little lower than the left for two reasons, the first is that our right hand is further down the club shaft and if our arms are the same length this must give a little lower position for the right shoulder. The second is that if we add a little “right side bend” we increase our chances significantly of hitting upwards with our driver, a key element in maximising your distance
Picture 4 shows the stance pointing a little to the right of our intended target. This should allow our “Base swing plane” to be moving to the right which when combined with our “upwards” AoA should produce and straight club path and long and accurate drives if the club face is square to our target when we make contact. For the vast majority of golfers, a feeling of “swinging to the right” with driver is the only way to avoid the slice, and that is the opposite of what the majority of golfers reading this article will be trying to do!
In summary, the golf swing and your set up with driver need to feel different to your 7-iron off the grass. If you don’t try to change the stance and feel of swing, this answers why you may hit some good shots with your middle irons but struggle to replicate the same with your driver. A lesson on TrackMan will confirm what your numbers are, it is then my job to help you improve them