Positioning the Driver for Better Golf

Mark Oswald
General Manager
The Highlands at Dove Mountain in Marana, AZ.
Marana, AZ

More Information

The proper positions at address will improve your swing and increase power and accuracy.

Club Face Position: Of course we all know to point the club face at our target, don’t we? Well, sometimes we loose our focus on the target. Pick out a point on line with the target. This point should be from six inches to a few feet in front of the ball. Point your club to this intermediate target and then grip the club. Make sure you do not change this club face position while gripping or re-gripping. Use the scoring lines, grooves, to help you align the club squarely with your target.

Grip Position: Your hands must be positioned properly on the club. The grip most recommended is the neutral to slightly strong grip. To obtain this grip, place your left hand on the club, grip the club in base of your fingers with your thumb pad on top of the grip. Do not hold the club in the life line of the palm. You should be able to see the first two knuckles of your left hand. Place your right hand on the grip, you find both palms facing each other and the “V” between your thumb and finger on the right hand pointing towards your right shoulder, you will also see the 2nd and 3rd finger nails of the right hand. From this position, we will make adjustments according to your ball flight. If you slice the ball, move both hands more to the right, now you will see three or four knuckles on the left hand. The right hand “v” will now be pointing well right of your right shoulder and you will see past the finger nails to the first joint of the fingers. This allows for more hand release and squares the club face prior to impact. If you hook the ball, move both hands more on top of the grip or to the left. Moving your hands more to the left will result in only one knuckle showing on the left hand and the tips of the 2nd and 3rd finger on the right hand. This grip position will make the hands less active and help prevent the closing of the club face before impact, which causes the hook.

Ball Position: The Driver ball position will be played from the heel of the front foot to the instep. The further forward we place the ball the higher you will tee the ball, as well. With the ball further forward in your stance you will also have more time to square the clubface and take away the slice. The forward ball position also has you making contact with the ball on the upswing, which decreases spin and increases distance.

Eye Position: Your eyes must be on line with your desired target. Can you roll your eyes from the ball and find your target? If the only way to see the target is to turn or tilt your head, you’re in the wrong position. You should be able to rotate your eyes down your aiming line and maintain the same distance from your chin to your chest and see your target.

Body Position: Your body must be properly aligned, as well. Position one club on the target and line and another square with this line just inside of your feet.With both clubs square to the target line take your stance. Align the hips, shoulders and feet all square to the inside club. This is the proper body position. From this position you will find your body slightly left or inside of your target line. This will allow you to swing out to the ball and down your target line.

Head Position: Your head should be behind the ball at address and impact.With the proper shoulder tilt and weight distribution at address, your head will begin behind the ball and remain behind the ball until after impact.

Weight Position: You should have 55% of your weight on the back foot at address and 45% on the front foot. Your weight should be on the balls or middle of both feet. If you are too close to the ball you will be leaning on your heels, too far away and you will be on your toes. Start out balanced and maintain this balance during the swing.

Posture: You should maintain a good spine angle from address until after impact. Stand up tall with a slight bend in the knees and leaning over at the waist.Keep your back at a straight angle without slouching. Arms should be hanging free from the shoulders after taking the correct bend at the waist. Pick up your chin, keeping your head on the same angle as your spine.

All of the above positions are very important and will make your swing easier and more consistent, if done properly. Take some time with your set up positions and see your scores begin to drop.

For more help with your golf game, contact Mark Oswald at oswaldpga@msn.com