How to Hit a Driver

Learning how to hit driver remains one of the long-standing mysteries for amateur golfers on the golf course.

Even though it is the hardest club to hit consistently, creating a powerful driver swing that results in a majestic ball flight that carries along the target line can be accomplished with hard work.

But learning to hit the longest club in your bag with accuracy and power takes time and patience, and for most of us who aren’t PGA Tour players, we simply don’t have the time.

So we’ve put together a simple, straightforward list of the four areas to help you hit driver straight. We’ll also offer a few simple tips and drills to help you work on your technique on the range, helping you get immediately better.

At the end of this article, we promise you’ll be better equipped for increasing distance and finding more fairways with your driver swing.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1


Chapter 2


Chapter 3


Chapter 4




Hitting driver straight starts with a solid foundation at address. Your ankles should be slightly outside your shoulders in the setup position, and we want the lead shoulder higher than the trailing right shoulder.

Also, with the ball teed up, we want to feel comfortable. So if you feel something off, maybe it’s your feet or the positioning of your hips, do yourself a favor and take a step away from the golf ball and start again.

Especially when you are hitting driver early in your golfing journey, you’ll feel more uncomfortable than normal, and it’s okay to start over and readjust your positioning.

When it comes to your grip pressure, you want firm, but you don’t want to strangle the club. Too many golfers put a death grip on the driver because they think pressure equals power.

But in reality, pressure equals poor fundamentals, leading to clunky swings with diminished strength. A tight grip leads to stiff arms and poor flexibility on the backswing and as a result, you’ll hit the driver poorly more often.


Pre-shot routines are everything in golf because you want to quiet the mind and not flood it with thoughts as you swing the driver. Everyone has been with that playing partner, constantly trying to fix their swing with each shot they take, and typically, they do all they do is make their overall game worse.

When addressing tee shots, you want to develop a pre-swing routine that involves a three-word chant (Step-Step-Tilt).

A great tip for getting lined up at address is to put your feet together with the golf ball directly positioned in the middle.

Then take a small step with the lead foot, putting the ball roughly along the inside of the foot or left heel if you are right-handed. Then take a big step with the back foot, placing it just outside the shoulder.

Then you want spine tilt, or as some coaches call it address tilt, so your shoulders create that upward angle with the driver. If you are right-handed, you need to lower the right shoulder while raising the left shoulder as you grip the golf club.

This stance will put you in the right positive angle for creating the ideal launch angle at impact.

As you become more comfortable with this routine, you’ll hear “Step. Step. Tilt.” in your head every time you hit your driver, and your stance will become automatic.



The takeaway remains the most crucial part of the golf swing for the driver. Not only are you getting the club in the correct position for the downswing, but you are coiling your upper body and lower body to deliver maximum power to the ball.

You want to make a full shoulder turn on the backswing to generate the power necessary to maximize driving distance.

You want to feel the weight load onto the interior of the rear leg and away from the front foot.

The rear arm should flex, but you don’t want to create that chicken wing elbow that forces the golf driver to begin, creating a rounder attack angle. Instead, keep the elbow tighter, so it can return to the hip quickly.


We love breaking down the takeaway with our students using this next drill. The golf swing can come apart quickly on the takeaway, so we need to ensure we don’t ruin our golf swing early when hitting driver.

At waist level, you want your arms to be fully extended with your hands inside the club head as the driver goes back. Most golfers have already begun to throw the club head behind their hips, creating dysfunction in the body’s rotation, robbing themselves of much-needed strength.

Our drill is simply taking the club back to waist level repeatedly, ensuring the driver’s club face remains slightly closed, the hands are inside the club head, and the arms extend naturally.

Yes, the drill is somewhat tedious, but by creating this muscle memory, you are putting the driver swing on the path to success.



On the downswing, the club has to maintain a proper swing path to get to the ball with the club face square.

As we uncoil the body, the outside elbow will return to the hip, the trail foot will begin to push weight forward in the lower body, the hands stay inside to create lag that builds driver speed, and everything works in unison to return the club face to the ball with maximum velocity.

By putting the driver on the correct swing path, you are giving yourself the best chance to hit the ball straight with maximum ball speed.


If you want to better understand where you are hitting the ball on the face, grab a can of foot spray. With the foot spray drill, you simply place a light coat of spray over the face of the driver, then hit your shot. You can instantly see where the ball makes contact with the sweet spot.

If you are hitting the ball too often toward the toe or heel, you can adjust your ball position at the address to fix the issue.



Too many amateurs put together a lovely takeaway, build a powerful downswing, only to watch it fall apart with the impact and follow-through.

Ideally, you want to meet the ball at maximum swinging speed and then accelerate through the ball with extended arms that carry the club behind the head for a tall, balanced finish that promotes straight drives.

Also, it makes sense to get in the habit of holding that finishing position until the ball lands to make sure your fundamentals stay solid.


When you hit the driver, you are stretching the upper body a lot. On the follow-through, you want to stretch out those arms and extend the driver toward the intended target to create maximum swing speed that translates into additional yardage.

For this drill, you are focusing on the impact and aftermath, so we want a natural, easy swing that finishes with an extended follow-through that accelerates through the ball.

If your elbows are flexed even slightly on the follow-through, you are doing it wrong. Remember, we want arms that stretch and reach down the fairway without elbow flex.

Feel free to take half-swings or three-quarter swings with this drill to help you hold focus on reaching out and extending the follow-through. After you feel comfortable, then start working the full swing with the full follow-through into your practice sessions.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do you properly hit a driver?

What you want when you hit the ball high with the driver you need to strike the ball with a level or slightly upward angle of attack.

Amateur golfers really struggle with the driver because they use a slightly descending angle, or negative angle, that robs them of carry and lift when hitting tee shots.

Another problem area for amateurs is that they enter the golf ball with a longer swing that comes down from the shoulders rather than maintaining balance and bringing the club from the inside.

Remember, we want high and far shot shape when hitting driver, rather than striking the golf ball low with topspin with the tee shot.

How do you hit a driver for beginners?

Beginners should consider using a fairway wood or hybrid off the tee box during their first days of playing golf. The fairway wood and hybrid offer far more loft than a driver, helping golfers get the ball into the air more easily.

That doesn’t mean they should ignore the driver altogether, but instead, practice using a smooth golf swing with the driver during practice sessions to understand what their body needs to do to generate lift with the club.

Why is hitting a driver so hard?

One of the biggest reasons why hitting a great driver is so incredibly hard is due to the nature of the swing you need to hit the golf ball. Instead of hitting down on the golf ball as we do with a golf iron, a driver demands we meet the ball with the face on a level or slightly upward angle of attack.

Developing a solid stock shot, pre-shot routine coupled with solid driver swing mechanics that keep the big stick off the ground and moving upward at impact will increase the shot quality of your drives.