Ready to harness your long game? Learning how to drive a golf ball from the tee consistently is a skill that will serve you well.
Every time you head to the course for a round, start with the fundamentals and hone your skills with practice. Because accuracy and distance on the first shot of each hole is a great way to improve your overall scores. Skipping this important step in the learning process will hinder your ability to develop a long game. The key to a good golf game is developing consistency.
How to Drive a Golf Ball Properly from the Tee
A good, consistent drive from the tee starts with selecting the proper golf club. For long par five holes, most golfers will begin with their driver or 1-wood. Club selection will change if there is a dogleg or hazard in the fairway that you want to avoid. And it also changes for shorter holes, where a shorter shot off the tee is preferred. For short par three holes you might even find yourself using a long iron from the tee. Every course and every hole is different. You will develop a feel for what works best for you and your particular game the longer you play the game.
After you have selected your proper club and teed up your ball, line up your ball position. Set your tee at the proper height, with about half of the tee pressed into the ground and half above ground. Proper ball position, tee height, and stance will ensure your tee shot is accurate.
As you take your tee shot, remember your follow-through to “sweep” the ball down the fairway. A consistent swing from the tee, keeping your club face oriented properly, and following through to the end of your stroke will guide the ball off the tee and down the fairway.
How to Drive a Golf Ball Straight
How to stop slicing a golf ball when driving is probably one of the most frequently asked questions according to golf instructors. A slice is when the ball comes off the head of your golf club and curves toward your dominant side. Most often, the problem is where your club face is connecting with your ball at the point of impact. If your club face hits the ball at an angle, the ball will naturally travel on that path. Professional golf instructor Mike Sullivan nails the cause of slicing as equipment, ball position, grip, and swing path. In his short video he explains how to fix your slice:
In this video, Mike Sullivan describes some drills to help you practice a better swing:
Hooking the ball is the opposite of slicing. It is causing the ball to curve off to your non-dominant side. The basic causes are the same as for golfers who slice the ball: improper grip and swing path being the most common problems. This short video shows how to correct for a hook shot. It also offers some practice drills to make sure you have the proper club position to drive the ball straight every time.
Adjusting Your Game for Greater Success
Unless you’re playing on a fairly straight par three course, each hole will have different hazards you’ll want to avoid on the way from the tee to the green. These might be sand traps (bunkers), water hazards, or dogleg turns on the fairway. Reading each hole sometimes becomes an adventure in map reading to figure out where to place your shot for the most advantageous position for your second and subsequent shots.
When you are confident in your accuracy and your long game, then, adjusting the distance of your drives to avoid fairway traps/water hazards/bunkers is an integral part of any golf game. Hence, from the tee, you can adjust your distance to land in front of a hazard, rather than in it. Especially if the hazard falls on the edge of your long shot. It is often better to take a shorter drive off the tee. You can then take a longer drive from the fairway if the course layout calls for it.
Now it is time to tie it all together. Practice, practice, practice. There are no shortcuts to a perfect golf game. Once you have learned how to drive a golf ball straight and practiced the swing motion until your body developed a “memory” of the proper form, you will gain confidence in your game. Consistency in your swing, ball position, and a solid strike with the head of your club are all part of that perfect shot. Sending the ball out on a straight trajectory and having it land where you want it to land is a feeling that can’t be described here.
All that remains now is to put that knowledge into practical use. Your long game will continue to improve the longer you play.