Understanding the Optimal Strike Point for Longer Drives
If you are going to maximize your distance potential off the tee, you need to make sure you are impacting the ball at just the right point in your swing. Many golfers struggle with knowing just where to place the ball in their stance, and this can lead to lost distance – and lost accuracy as well. Once you get your strike point dialed in to where it is consistent and solid shot after shot, you will be much more likely to max out your power with the driver. Generally, there are two mistakes that you can make with your strike point off the tee – either the ball can be too far back in your stance, or too far forward. Either one can cause problems, but those problems will look different from each other.
Ball Too Far Back in Stance
When you strike the ball too far back in your stance, you are likely to be hitting it with a descending blow – meaning you are putting more backspin on the golf ball than you would in an ideal impact position. Hitting down onto the ball is good with your iron shots from the fairway, but not so much when you are trying to hit your driver as far as possible. You want to hit the driver with a ‘flat’ impact, where the club head isn’t moving down or up through the ball. Also, when the ball is back in your stance, you may have trouble getting the face of the driver square at impact, and a pushed tee shot is likely to result.
Ball Too Far Forward in Stance
Having the ball position too far forward when hitting your driver can be just as damaging as having it too far back. In this case, you are likely to hit the ball too much on the upswing and contact will likely be low on the club face. You launch angle, in turn, will be too low and you won’t get as much carry as you could from your swing speed. Additionally, the club will be coming back to the inside at this point in the swing, meaning you could be imparting a slice spin onto the ball.
For most golfers, the perfect strike point for the driver is just off the inside of their front foot. When you tee the ball up, try lining it up with your heel on the front foot of your stance (left foot for right handed golfer). You can make small adjustments from there until you are comfortable, but it shouldn’t be too far forward or back of that starting point.