How To Hit The Ball Dead Straight

Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach Dan Grieve shares his top tips on how to hit the ball straighter than ever before

How to hit the ball dead straight with Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach Dan Grieve
Hit the ball straighter off the tee with these simple tips from Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach Dan Grieve
(Image credit: Howard Boylan)

Golf Monthly created this content as part of a paid partnership with TaylorMade. The contents of this article are entirely independent and solely reflect the editorial opinion of Golf Monthly.

Hitting the golf ball straighter, and preferably longer, off the tee is a crucial component to producing lower scores. Golfers tend to sacrifice one for the other, but what if I told you that you could have the best of both worlds?

In this article and video, Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach Dan Grieve shares his top tips for how to hit the ball dead straight...

Top 50 Coach
Dan Grieve

Dan Grieve is a Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach and PGA Professional based at Woburn Golf Club. Over his career so far, Dan has helped to develop stars of the game including Charley Hull and Major Champion, Georgia Hall. He has also supported countless amateur golfers with improving their driver swing, and has a great track record of helping players produce longer, straighter tee shots. 

How do you hit a drive straight?

Hitting straighter drives doesn't have to be a challenge, and many club golfers would improve in this area if they developed their understanding of the fundamentals. While you might find it challenging to consistently swing the driver like a tour pro, it is possible to control the basics like perfecting the driver address position.

Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach Dan Grieve driver address position

Adopting the perfect set up at address will help you to hit the ball straight... and long!

(Image credit: Howard Boylan)

One of the most common faults that I see is the ball position being too far forward – so it’s outside the front foot. As a result, the chest starts to face the ball and the shoulders get into an open position.

For me, as a right-hander, that means my shoulders point too far left. From here, I’m more likely to pick the club up and back across – which will lead to a slice. For a driver, I recommend lining the ball up on your left heel (for a right-handed golfer).

It’s crucial to line your shaft up parallel, so it’s in line with the back of the ball. We don’t want the hands too far forward and we don’t want them too far back. You want to feel like your right elbow is tucked in and your right shoulder comes back.

Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach Dan Grieve demonstrating shoulder and ball position for hitting a driver

A simple drill like this is well worth using to stay on top of the basics 

(Image credit: Howard Boylan)

How do you practice hitting golf balls straight?

On the range, or out on the course when you’re practising, get into the habit of laying an alignment stick or shaft across your shoulders. If it’s pointing parallel to your target, you’re in alignment.

Note how my right shoulder – as a result of getting the ball position correct, and by adopting a nice wide stance – is lower than the left, which is going to help me to hit up on the ball and sweep it away. It should all lead to a nice balanced finish with your chest facing your target.

Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach Dan Grieve demonstrating a balanced finish position with the driver

(Image credit: Howard Boylan)

Finally, remember to relax. Lots of high handicap golfers grip the golf club too tightly and get very rigid over the ball. Check that your hands and arms hang relaxed, as this will create a better flow and release. These tips will also help anyone struggling with how to avoid creating too much spin with your driver.

Dan Grieve's straighter driving checklist

1) Nail the fundamentals, such as ball and address position

2) Practice using alignment sticks to provide visual feedback

3) Ensure you have a low right shoulder (for right-handed golfers) and a nice wide stance

4) Relax! Let your arms and hands hang loose to control the spin

Dan Grieve
Top 50 Coach

Location: Woburn GC  

Dan is one of the leading coaches in the UK, a Fellow of the PGA and a short-game virtuoso. He has had considerable success with a collection of tour pros, helping them to Order of Merit titles and major victories, and his Short Game School is the most attended in the UK. His students, past and present, include Charley Hull, Georgia Hall, Inci Mehmet and Iona Stephen.

Most common problem:

Swing – over the top , help by getting the basics correct at address and making them aware how to get the club online coming down.

Short game – creating spin and feel around the greens, help by educating on what the short game actually is (weak on purpose) and understand bounce and how they can apply it to different lies/situations.

Greatest success story:

Helping Georgia Hall from World No. 450 to No. 6 and winning a Major, two Order of Merits and Solheim Cup appearances.

Greatest teacher:

Alex Hay was a great influence during my first few years at Woburn. In sport more generally Sir Clive Woodward has taught me how to deliver at the highest level.

Most common fault:

Flipped right hand (hands behind the ball). Understand a correct coil/load going back and how to sequence better coming down so the chest opens up and gives the arms space to deliver a stronger impact. Lots of body action drills to enhance the feel, with and without the ball.