Hitting your driver off the deck is one the most difficult shots to learn.
Thankfully, you don’t need it very often. Most players will never need it at all, to be honest, as it is usually used by the better player.
That said, it can come in handy on occasion. Normally you tee your ball up when you have your driver in your hands. The driver is the lowest lofted club in the bag so, effectively, it’s the hardest to use to get the ball airborne, even more so when you’re playing it off the ground.
Tour pros would use this shot perhaps on long par-5s and I’ve seen some players use it in the Open into the wind. This is a shot for the more accomplished player, no doubt. You need good technique, confidence, commitment and a good lie to get it right.
There are differences between your normal set-up on the tee and your set-up on the deck. When your ball is on the tee, you want to hit the ball on the way up. It helps to hit anywhere between 0 to 4 degrees on the way up depending on the speed of your swing. When the ball is on the ground, however, you need to try and sweep it up.
When I turn into my backswing, I try to stay over the ball. This is more like an iron swing rather than turning behind the ball. Try and stay centred during the backswing and keep things a little more compact than normal for more control. Because I’m not tilting as much behind the ball at set-up, it helps pre-set my angle of attack
Through the ball
Even though you’re trying to get more distance than hitting a 3-wood, you’re still looking to keep the same rhythm and tempo. Because it’s a longer club, your clubhead speed will increase naturally. You can see I’ve transferred my weight.
I’ve definitely transferred my weight onto my left side because you can see I’m on my tiptoes. I’m balanced because I’ve swung with good rhythm and tempo, which is always important.
There’s no need to lash at the shot, which is always the temptation when you’ve got a driver in your hands. Use the loft, swing with the same tempo as you would your 3-wood and commit to a full, steady finish.
Gavin Abson is the Head PGA Professional at The Carrick. For lessons, call Gavin on 07967 206266. Follow him on Twitter @GavinAbsonGolf.