As if golf wasn't hard enough, you have to swing the club differently when hitting your driver compared to your irons. Luckily, in the video and article below, PGA pro Gareth Lewis runs through the main differences to help make this maddening game a little bit easier...
As a golf coach, a question I’m always asked is: Do I swing it the same with my driver as I do with an iron? In simple terms, no you don’t. With an iron, you want to hit down on the golf ball and squeeze it into the ground, with a swing that stays pretty centred.
To achieve this, it's important to understand what the perfect ball position is for every club. With a 7-iron, for example, you want to place the ball to be just a little forward of centre at address. Your spine angle should be slightly tilted away from the target and the swing should be more upright than it is with the driver in order to compress the ball.
You might have heard that golf is a game of opposites and in this case it's true. With an iron you need to hit down on the ball to get it to go up. As Gareth says in the video above, around four degrees is optimal with a 7-iron in hand to maximise distance and control.
Moving onto the driver and it is very different. The first and most obvious thing to say is that the ball is on a tee. So, if you stick with the same philosophy of hitting down, you’ll probably leave a nasty sky mark on one of the best drivers on the market, or you'll hit the ball straight into the ground. Either way, it won’t go very far, so you have to make adjustments.
To perfect your driver address position, move the ball forward in your stance and tilt your spine more dramatically away from the target - that will help you shallow out your driver swing, encouraging a strike from the inside and an upward attack angle for more distance.
As you can see in the video, Gareth's two swings are dramatically different. With the iron in hand, his descending blow creates really good launch conditions for consistent distance and control.
And with the driver, the sweeping motion, coupled with the ball position that's further forward promotes an optimal driver launch angle. So, if you struggle with one or both of these swings, get to the range and put Gareth’s simple set-up tips into practise and enjoy the journey to better golf!
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Gareth is a well respected professional with over 20 years experience. Gareth has previously worked at various high profile and world-renowned facilities, the most recent being Royal St.David's Golf Club in Harlech, North Wales, where he held the position of Club Manager and Head Professional.
He has a passion for coaching, custom fitting and retail and also enjoys regularly competing and playing socially. Gareth has had success coaching players of all abilities from a Welsh Professional Champion and Welsh Amateur Internationals to the absolute beginner. Gareth's passion for all sports and enthusiasm to continue learning makes his coaching style very adaptable and relatable, which is why he also has a good track record of coaching elite athletes from other sports. More details can be found at www.lewygolf.co.uk
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