Golf Driving Lesson

Welcome to the first Golf Driving Lesson of this series. This is phase one of the backswing. This lesson is designed to help you take the club back until it is parallel to the ground. It is a very important lesson as getting into the proper position at this stage of the swing is critical for helping you make an effective backswing.

If you watch golf on TV you will see many different swings out there. Every player has there own subtle differences that makes their swing unique to them...just look at Jim Furyk or Bubba Watson! 

However, even with all the differences out there, all the great players get to the position that is the focus of this lesson. They may get there slightly differently...but the point is that they get there. If you are out of position at phase will most likely be out of position for the rest of your swing. So let's work on getting your club into position when it is parallel to the ground to hit some nice long tee shots.

Golf Driving Lesson Step #1: The Address

  • Please see the Full Swing Setup for the Driver Lesson for more details.
  • A good setup will help you make a good swing.
  • Many swing faults can be corrected by fixing a flaw in your setup, so please pay particular attention to it.

Golf Driving Lesson Step #2 : The Takeaway

  • Your backswing should start from the top down. This means that your shoulders, arms, chest, hands and club should start your swing, and your lower body should follow. You can see how much my shoulders and chest have turned in comparison to my hips.
  • The key to phase one is to keep your triangle intact.  Your triangle is formed between your shoulders, arms and hands.  You don't want this triangle to break during phase one.
  • To start your backswing, use your shoulders and chest to move the triangle made by your hands, arms, and shoulders in your setup position. If you only move your hands then you will break your triangle and get you out of position.
  • Your lower body should be relaxed but not moving. If you keep your hips relaxed then the turning of your chest and shoulders will automatically turn your hips. The more flexible you are the less your hips will turn during your backswing. This will help create a lot of power.
  • There has been a trend over the last few years to restrict hip rotation...Don't! It will likely cause your club to get off line and you will lose power and consistency.

Golf Driving Lesson Step #3 :
Club Parallel to Ground

  • One of the most important pieces of the backswing is your right knee. KEEP IT BENT. If you can maintain a soft bend in your right knee, the easier it will be to keep your swing on line. It will also help anchor your upper body so that you can make a solid turn without losing balance.
  • Your hands should be just below belt high when your club becomes parallel to the ground.
  • A great way to practice this position is in your home in front of a mirror. When doing so look for a flat left wrist. If your wrist is flat then your club will also be in a great position. When looking in the mirror you will want to see the back of your left hand and the whole club face.
  • You will want to have both arms extended. Make sure your arms stay connected to your body. This means that your armpits should not see any daylight. If you extend too far it will open up your armpits. Vijay Singh is often seen with towels underneath his armpits when he practices. He makes swings without letting the towels fall out of his armpits. This keeps him connected throughout his swing so that he can make great contact.
  • Notice how your weight should not shift too much. Your weight is starting to make its way to your back foot, however in this phase you should still be fairly centered over your ball. This will encourage turning your shoulders and hips and not just a sliding shift side to side.

Golf Driving Lesson Step #4 : A Final Check

  • Your triangle should still be intact. Maintaining your triangle is the only way to get your club on the right path for consistent, powerful shots.
  • Your chest should turn with your arms and shoulders. Your hands should be in front of your chest, just like in the address position.
  • You can see in this picture how your right knee should maintain a soft bend.
  • Key positions:
  • Your club should be in line with your toes, if it crosses this line then you are out of position.
  • The leading edge of your club face should be pointing straight up to the sky. If the actual club face is facing the sky then you club face is too open (slice), facing the ground is too closed (hook).

Thank you for taking Lesson One of the Full Swing Lessons for the Driver. Please be sure to practice this lesson so that you are comfortable making the initial part of the backswing. To help you practice this position as well as the rhythm needed make solid contact please go to the Rhythm and Timing Lesson . It allows you to hit balls with the position you learned here.

Good luck with your practicing and playing. May you 'Play Your Golf Dreams' sooner with the help of

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