You might have been told to “hit up” on the ball with a driver to hit it far, but the real question is: Why? Do you really get more distance off the tee by hitting up on the ball? The answer is no. Trying to hit the golf ball on the upswing will make your slice or pull go from bad to worse. This is because in order to swing up on the ball you have to hand back and hit the ball with majority of the weight on the back foot. Whether you have an iron or driver in hand, always hit down.
The average driving distance on the PGA Tour last season was 290.9 yards and TrackMan stats show that an average PGA Tour professional hits DOWN on the ball with their driver. As a matter of fact, great players hit the ball on a descending blow whether it’s with their irons or woods. With the irons they take a divot 2-3 inches in front of the ball and with the driver the low point of the swing is…you guessed it. In front of the ball as well. This is because:
- Golfballs are designed to be compressed. The more you can compress the ball, the farther and straighter it will go. The ball compresses more on a descending blow than on an ascending one.
- Gravity is on your side. Whether the ball is on the ground or on an elevated tee, the club accelerates on the downswing. As your weight is shifting forward in the transition, greater FORCE (Mass times Acceleration) is applied to the ball by hitting down on it.
- Club selection doesn’t matter. For true consistency, you SHOULD swing the driver the same way you do the irons. The only change is the ball position moves more towards your forward foot with the big stick.
Hitting up on the ball has been the popular theory, but it’s INCORRECT! Don’t confuse fact with fiction. Have you ever wondered why one day your hitting the driver well and the next day it heads south? Trying to hit UP on the ball consistently is almost impossible. By hitting down with the driver, you will make contact with the ball slightly above the center of the clubface and your ball will launch off the face like a cannon. Ask Tiger and Phil.
With that said, I will see you on the first tee.
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I just got back from Scottsdale, where I played 18-holes with my husband at We-Ko-Pa “Cholla” course. I broke 90 for the first time from the greens (forward tees)! I beat everyone in my group. The inside-out drill you taught me really helped me with my swing. Looking forward to the next lesson.Jennifer C.
I have been struggling with a slice all my life and it’s incredible that I’m drawing the ball now. My wife really appreciates how patient you are with her. We both love reading your blog and enjoy the game even more thanks to you.John & Sarah L.
The best thing about my golf game use to be my outfit. I always struggled with distance off the tee and have been always self conscious about it. After working with you, I hit my drives longer. Did I mention it goes straighter as well? Not only do I look like a golfer now, I can play like one too and it’s all thanks to you Jiro.Deborah H.
I have taken lessons with _BLANK_ and_BLANK_ in the past. My lesson with you was hands down, the “best” I have ever experienced. Your knowledge on the golf swing is amazing. I mentioned you to my friends so they will be calling you soon. P.S. Thanks for the follow up e-mail.James C.
I really enjoyed watching you work with Quinn yesterday. I have never seen him hit so many good shots after just one lesson. He’s excited to start working with you on a regular basis. You’re an amazing teacher.Tim L.
I took many lessons in Japan before I came to the US and no golf instructor knows golf better than you. You make the golf swing very simple.Shinya T.
My lesson with you was my first golf lesson ever and I don’t know why I didn’t start earlier. You are incredible! Good shots only came random for me and now I understand why. Keep up the great work Mr. Golfeneur. I promise to practice before our next session.Josh W.