Golf tips: The Driver

Take your stance with feet shoulder width apart. Play the ball forward in your stance. Relax your arms and grip. Take the club back low and slow using shoulders and arms as a unit.

Make a full shoulder turn with hands set above right shoulder, back facing target, and eyes focused on the ball. The downswing should be triggered by your hips, legs, or planting the left heel.

Think of the hips as the center of the swing. Finish your swing with 95% of your weight on the outside of your left foot.

To know when and how to use the driver off the tee. On a par 4 or par 5 the opening drive sets the tempo for the rest of the hole. It can make a hard hole easy or an easy hole very difficult. Don't try to kill the ball. Your goal is to place the ball in the proper location on the fairway for your next shot. You do not always have to hit your driver. Many times you can hit a shorter club and still reach the location you want to hit your next shot from. Learning the fundamentals of a good drive will give you the confidence you need to make solid contact, get good distance and keep the ball in the fairway.

To know the set up and dynamics of the driver off the tee. Because of its longer shaft the driver requires a more level, less descending swing. It is very important to take the club back low to the ground for the first foot and a half. The arms and shoulders go back as a unit, the wrists cock late in the backswing. Rotate your hips so the upper body does not get too far ahead of the lower. Initiate your downswing with a leg drive-weight shift, or by replanting the left heel. Sweep the ball off the tee on the same path as the takeaway.

Do and Don'ts
Be sure to match the upper and lower body turn, and keep upper body behind ball at impact. Be careful as to how high or low you tee the ball. Experiment to find what is best for you. Be consistent.