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The 15 Best Driving Drills

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How do you dramatically lower your handicap?

Practice your best driving.

Every shot is important in a round of golf, but the drive is arguably the most essential swing.

While games are often decided on the green, driving may be more critical. If you end up in the rough or land too short, you’re not going to get a low score.

If you want to become a better golfer, learn to master your drive.

It’s hard to get better at driving without analyzing your entire technique. A good drive involves the following factors:

  • Solid foundation
  • Backswing
  • Transition
  • Downswing
  • Follow through

Reading tips and watching videos can help in these areas, but you won’t notice much improvement without practice.

When you’re ready to get started, here are the 15 best driving range drills.

The Best Driving Drills for your long game

1. The Impact Location Drill

If you can’t consistently strike the ball where you want, you’ll have a horrible time trying to improve your drive. The first drill helps you analyze where you’re hitting the ball.

How to Perform This Drill

  1. Cover the face of your driver with several strips of tape. The tape will not damage the driver, but will provide a surface to help determine where you’re striking the ball.
  2. Perform one swing and then check the face of the driver. The dimples on the ball should leave imprints in the tape, letting you know if you’re striking too high, low, or to the side.
  3. Repeat the process to diagnose your stance and technique.

Additional Tips

If you’re striking low, you may need to stand a little closer to the tee. Every few swings, replace the tape to continue analyzing your swing.

After hitting a few balls, you should be able to determine if you’re consistently hitting the ball at just the right spot.

While the tape won’t damage the driver, it’s not the only option for determining your impact location. Some golfers spray their drivers with foot deodorant spray. The ball marks the wet surface.

2. The Half Speed Drill

This drill may help you if you’re hooking your shots to the left or right.

How to Perform This Drill

  1. Instead of using a full swing, practice your standard driving swing at half speed. Using half the momentum lets you focus more on your stance, backswing, and downswing.
  2. Keep your back to the target when you reach the top of the swing.
  3. Seamlessly transition from the top swing to the downswing, without adding extra force behind your swing. Allow the momentum to carry the driver through the ball.

Additional Tips

Don’t worry about distance when performing this drill. You simply need to work on your form. Using less power also helps keep you from getting tired out quickly.

When you slow things down, you may get more distance with your swings.

3. Drive Your Irons Drill

Some golfers use their irons for driving, which is a good way to work on your accuracy instead of focusing on distance.

How to Perform This Drill

  1. Choose the iron that you’re most comfortable with and practice getting good strikes.
  2. Before swinging, choose an imaginary target across the green or driving range.
  3. Focus on a spot about six feet in front of the target.
  4. Repeat the drill, correcting your stance and swing to get closer to your target.

Additional Tips

This drill may be combined with the previous two drills. Spray the club face or apply tape and then use half power as you bring your iron down on the ball.

4. Practice Your Distance Drill

If you tend to stand over the ball or too far away, use this drill to get the right distance.

How to Perform This Drill

  1. Take your normal stance with your hands on the club.
  2. Place the top of the grip about one inch above your knee.
  3. Rest the club head on the grass.
  4. The club head should be just behind the ball.
  5. The angle of the club lets you know exactly where to stand.

Additional Tips

Make sure that you don’t hunch your shoulders or flex your knees too much. The knees should be slightly pointed inward, with the weight of your body behind the knees.

With repeated practice, you shouldn’t need to perform this drill before taking your shot.

5. Align Your Club Face Drill

The following drill helps keep you from slicing to the left or right and improves your alignment. You can use alignment sticks or golf clubs.

How to Perform This Drill

  1. Choose a spot on the driving range and lay two clubs on the ground pointing toward the target. One club should be lined up with your foot and the other just to the outside of the ball.
  2. Align your feet with the club in front of you.
  3. Align your club face with the further club and then take your swing.

Additional Tips

You can also perform this drill without the clubs on the ground. Instead of using clubs, choose a target on the driving range. Instead of focusing on the target, aim for a spot a few feet from the ball.

The goal of this drill to keep your feet perpendicular to the path of the ball and your club face pointing directly toward your target.

The reason for focusing on a closer spot instead of further down the range is accuracy. It’s easier to align your feet and club with a spot that is a few feet away.

6. Commit to Your Swing Drill

When you struggle to follow through with your swing, you’ll have less accuracy and range. Use this drill to work on your commitment.

How to Perform This Drill

  • Place a ball on the tee.
  • Place a second tee six inches in front of the first one.
  • Get into your normal driving stance.
  • On the downswing, imagine that you are hitting a ball off the second tee.
  • The swing should help you keep the path of the club low during impact, helping to increase range.

Additional Tips

You can also use this drill for other swings. Practice it with your 3-wood, 7-iron, and any other go-to club.

7. Aim at the Stick Drill

Here’s another drill for improving your accuracy. Besides this drill, you can use alignment sticks for a variety of golf driving drills.

How to Perform This Drill

  1. Place a stick or club on the ground, about 12 feet from the tee.
  2. Take a few shots, aiming to the left or right of the stick.
  3. When you are comfortable using the stick as your guide, line up three balls.
  4. Hit one ball to the left, one to the right, and one dead center.

Additional Tips

As with the previous accuracy drill, this drill helps you focus on a closer target. If you continue to have trouble aiming, try moving the stick just a few feet away.

8. Balance Your Hips Drill

Learn how to work on your balance by keeping your feet together.

How to Perform This Drill

  1. Keep your feet together as you take several chip shots with a 7-iron.
  2. Perform several shots with a half swing.
  3. Focus on turning your hips during the swing, instead of allowing your hips to slide.

Additional Tips

With your feet together, you need to swing slower to remain balanced. This drill helps you improve your overall balance, which is great for any shot, including putts.

9. Keep Your Knees Still Drill

Keeping your knees still can also help you improve balance and follow through.

How to Perform This Drill

  1. Place a basketball between your knees.
  2. Assume your normal stance.
  3. Keep the ball pressed between your knees as you take your shot.
  4. The ball helps you maintain your center of gravity.

Additional Tips

Many golfers tend to drive with their leg on the follow through, leading to a loss of balance and less impact. This exercise forces you to turn slower, working on balance and the natural rotation of the hips.

10. The Start and Stop Drill

Continue to work on your balance by breaking down your swing and analyzing your position. You can perform this anywhere you can safely take a swing, as you won’t be hitting any balls.

How to Perform This Drill

  1. Perform a few practice swings.
  2. On your third or fourth swing, stop and hold your position on the backswing when the club is parallel with the ground.
  3. On the next swing, stop when the club is at the top.
  4. Next, stop on the transition.
  5. Stop when the club is at the imaginary ball.

Additional Tips

Starting and stopping lets you evaluate your balance throughout each stage of the swing. If you notice that you tend to get off center at any point, repeat that stage of the swing.

For example, if you get off balance at the top, continue to stop and hold your position every time you bring the club up.

11. Swing a Towel Drill

You don’t always need a club to practice your swing. With this next drill, you’ll use a towel.

How to Perform This Drill

  1. Roll a towel up lengthwise and tie the end into a knot.
  2. Get in your regular stance and hold the other end of the towel like a club.
  3. Perform practice swings with the towel, trying to keep the towel as straight as possible. Keeping the towel from swinging radically requires you to move slowly and smoothly.
  4. Continue to practice the swing until you can get the towel to move evenly with the motion of your body.

Additional Tips

If you can safely swing a club in your current location, switch from the towel to the club while the motion is still fresh in your mind. Try to mimic the smooth action that you performed with the towel using a real club.

12. The Head Cover Drill

To keep from slicing to the left or right, use the head cover to correct your aim.

How to Perform This Drill

  1. Set up the ball on a tee.
  2. Choose a target in the distance.
  3. Place the head cover for your driver directly to the side of the target line, but within reach of the club on follow through.
  4. If you tend to slice to the left, place the cover to the left of the line. When slicing to the right, set the cover to the right.
  5. Assume your normal stance and take a shot. If you swing straight, the club should miss the cover.

Additional Tips

This drill should help you keep the club on a straight path through impact. If you continue to hit the cover, try moving it a few inches closer or further.

13. Different Distances Drill

Increase your feel for your driver or iron by targeting different distances. You’ll need to perform this drill at the driving range, as it requires you to hit specific ranges.

How to Perform This Drill

  1. Choose a club, either a driver, 7-iron, or 5-iron.
  2. Aim for your typical maximum distance, whether it’s 150 or 200 yards.
  3. After a few shots, begin aiming for a shorter distance. Bring in the range by 25 yards. For example, if you start at 200 yards, start aiming at 175 yards.
  4. Finish the drill by aiming at a target 100 yards away.

Additional Tips

With repeated practice, you should get a better feel for ball control when working at different ranges. Besides using this with your driver, use it with any of your irons or wedges.

14. Different Targets Drill

Like the previous drill, the goal of this drill is to improve distance control. You’ll need to use three different clubs for this drill, such as a driver, 9-iron, and 7-iron.

How to Perform This Drill

  1. Pick a target, such as the 150-yard marker.
  2. Take one shot with each club, aiming for the same target.
  3. Decrease the distance and take another shot with each club.

Additional Tips

You can keep increasing or decreasing the distance or even a different set of three clubs.

15. Hitting Pennies Drill

Use this final drill if you tend to make an impact with the ball too high.

How to Perform This Drill

  1. Instead of setting a ball on the tee, place a penny on the tee.
  2. Assume your normal stance and start swinging.
  3. If you miss the penny, you’re swinging too high. The club should impact the penny, sending it flying.
  4. After you successfully hit the penny several times, take several shots at a real ball.

Additional Tips

You don’t need to use a penny. Any coins will do the trick.

Why Should You Practice Your Driving?

golf swing 2People like to argue that a good drive isn’t as important compared to accurate putting. While it’s true that games often come down to the putt, each swing that you take adds to your total score.

A solid drive also places you closer to the green.

As the average recreational golfer doesn’t drive very far, mastering your drive gives you an advantage. Golf Digest reports that the average golfer drives the ball 195 to 205 yards. These stats are self-reported, so the real number is likely a little lower.

If you can add a couple of dozen yards to your average distance, you may end up taking a stroke off your usual four or five par holes.

While golfers can argue the importance of driving all day, it’s hard to ignore that the first swing is still part of each hole. It’s also hard to disagree with the fact that practice is needed.

Playing the game can help improve your stance and swing technique, but time at the driving range is equally valuable. When you play a round of golf, you’re analyzing the layout of the hole, the wind, your current score, and dozens of other factors.

At the range, you have the freedom to focus on the one specific swing – your drive.

The best driving exercises help you work on each aspect of your swing, from assuming the right stance to committing to your shot. You can instantly assess your swing and make corrections, instead of waiting until the next hole.

How Long Does it Take to Get Results?

nike clubsYou may notice a slight improvement after a single practice session, but you’re not going to significantly increase your range in one day.

Mastering your driving skills is like working out. The benefits are cumulative. If you want to get results, you need to work out regularly.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to visit a driving range or golf course to perform all these drills. You can still work on your grip every day and practice your stance, posture, and alignment.

Tips for Keeping Your Training Entertaining

tiger woodsEven the best driving drills can become tedious and boring.

To keep things interesting, don’t use the same drills every day. You’ve got 15 great exercises to mix and match for different practice sessions.

Practicing with a friend can also help lighten the mood. In fact, a partner can help point out issues with your form. Just make sure that you return the favor.

Summary

If you want to master your driving skills, start practicing every day.

Use the best driving exercises to work on every component of your swing. Start with the simpler exercises that allow you to focus on your stance and balance.

With a good foundation, you can start working on your swing, making sure that you allow your hips to naturally rotate, instead of swinging with the hips. You should allow your shoulders to do more of the work.

On days that you can’t hit the range, don’t skip practice. Continue to work on your grip or use some of the exercises that don’t require balls, such as the towel drill.

No one becomes an expert at anything overnight. Make these drills a part of your daily routine and you’ll likely take strokes off your golf game.

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