Lesson Tee: Jeff Coston

Learn to be a good driver of the ball and to use the whole fairway

Everyone wants to and needs to be a wonderful driver of the golf ball. In my mind “the driver” is the most important golf club in the bag to better golf and more fun.   It is every golfers dream to smash drives down the fairway.   I would like to give a few ideas how to enhance your success with this “offensive weapon.”

Most golfers when asked what kind of shot they hit with their driver or for that matter any shot, they reply, “I just try to hit it straight.”  I believe hitting straight shots is too difficult to achieve on any consistent basis.   If you curve the ball either way and somewhat master that curve, you can use the whole fairway.   This concept gives the player rough line to rough line or even tree line to tree line which is twice as wide than attempting to hit it straight down the middle.   Contrary to popular belief the greatest players in the world curve their shots.   Most also master one curve as a stock shot or a go to shot.

Secondly, the set up with the driver (and all clubs) is very key and important.   Most players come “over the top” of the proper plane of the swing.   The driver swing should be shallower or more from the inside than any club in the bag, because it is longer and teed up.   This is the case whether you draw or fade the ball.

You must create more tilt of the upper body to the right at address to help enhance depth to your golf swing.   This tilt will help the player from the “inside” on the downswing.   Swinging “on plane” and coming from the inside is very important to better driving of the golf ball.   Most players not only need more tilt to the right at set up and a better swing plane from the inside, they also need a stronger golf grip. The stronger grip is more in the fingers in the left hand showing 3 knuckles on top of the left hand.   Perhaps show more of the logo of your glove at address then match the angle of the right hand with the left hand on the golf club.

• More tilt to the right at address

• Stronger grip

• Come from inside on the downswing

I’d like to share an effective tool to monitor and help you come from the inside and swing more on the proper downswing plane.   This will help your driving of the golf ball. Place a shaft in the ground with a swimming noodle on the end of it.   Set your driver shaft on the noodle and take your  set up. (photo 1)  Back up about 3 inches away from the noodle and then take  one step forward toward the target  and place a tee.   (photo 2)  This is where you will strike balls.   Now make sure you set up with tilt, a proper grip and come from the inside swing under the shaft. Make several practice swings then smash away!

Jeff Coston is a former PGA Tour Player and 20-time Pacific Northwest PGA Player of the Year.   He can be reached at Semiahmoo for appointment by calling 360.201.4590 or see www.jeffcoston.com for more.