Set your driver to beast mode

Murray Urquhart Collage

Step 1 – Set-up tilt

In order to hit it further, you need to create the right set-up. You’ll be hitting a driver and, with modern drivers, you’ll need to tee the ball up higher, so you need to adjust to that.

I don’t think enough players take that into consideration. You’ve got to set yourself up to hit the ball on the up. That’s essential for a better launch, which means more yards.

Murray Urquhart Step1

What you’re looking at is trying to get your left hip and your left shoulder a little bit higher than your right hip and right shoulder at address.

What that does is keep your spine tilted behind the ball, as if you’re going to try and sweep the ball off the top of the tee. The driver will be travelling slightly up when you’re hitting the ball off the tee as opposed to down with an iron shot.

This is the reason why we’re going to try and set up with your left shoulder a smidge higher than your right. Do the same with your left hip.

Murray Urquhart Step2

Step 2 – One-piece takeaway

To get the most out of your driver, with it being a longer club, you’re going to have to focus on your tempo a little bit more. One of the best ways to do that is to make a smooth, one-piece takeaway.

That means you’re not taking the club away with your hands individually or you’re not turning too quickly; you should move everything away together and get the club on-line to the target. This position here (above) is what you’re looking for at this point in the swing. The hands are at hip height and club is parallel to the target.

The more you can get the club on-line, the easier it is to create power because you’re not having to manipulate the club and lose efficiency. This is an excellent basic in your swing. The checkpoint is that when your hands reach hip height, your club is parallel to your target line.

Murray Urquhart Step3

Step 3 – Coil up

To create as much clubhead speed as possible, you’re trying to wind up your shoulders against stable hips and legs. You can see by the stress marks in my shirt that my body is coiled up and ready to go, like a spring.

Imagine yourself in this position being coiled up and ready to unwind. You can’t get distance with your driver without this move. You must get loaded. Get fully loaded at the top, with your left shoulder now turned fully behind the ball and shoulders having turned 90 degrees or more, with your back practically facing at the target.

To create that coil, you need a stable base with your legs as well as that feeling of turning your left shoulder behind the ball.

Murray Urquhart Step4

Step 4 – Get planted

The move from the top - once you’ve fully coiled - is a shift of weight into your left foot. In order to start your downswing, feel as though you’re pushing your left knee down into the ball of your left foot. That gets the clubhead on the right inside path.

Murray Urquhart Step5

Step 5 – Get balanced

Always be aware of your finish position because it pretty much tells you what’s happened before.

Ultimately, we’re trying to get your right shoulder to be the closest part of your body to the target. That tells you that you’ve got the most out of your drive because you’re really turning through the ball.

At the end of your swing, all the weight should be on the left side of your body. Think about whether you’re balanced and where your right shoulder is.

Also: Don’t burst it in beast mode

When you’re on the range, the first club out of your bag should not be your driver; it should be your wedge. Get warmed up then work through your bag.

If you’re on the range for an hour and you’re hitting balls, I would only hit a maximum of six drivers in a row, then go back to hitting your 7-iron, and then go back to the driver.

If you keep hitting driver after driver, your focus becomes trying to smash it and not on what it should be, which is getting into the right position and maintaining your tempo.

Remember: you can only get into beast mode by building up speed so that it is maximised at impact through the ball, rather than hitting at the ball.

Hitting driver after driver will make you too tired and puts all your focus into flash moves and not building up power.


Murray Urquhart is a Teaching Professional at The Nairn Golf Club. For lessons, call 01667 453208. For more information, visit

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