Improve Your Driver Golf Swing Basics For Effortless Power

PGA pro Katie Dawkins shares her tips on how to hit the ball further by improving your set-up

driver golf swing basics

In the video and article below, PGA pro Katie Dawkins shares her tips on how to improve your driver golf swing basics for more power and consistency...

We all dream of watching our drives soaring at just the right launch angle, up the middle and bounding along eating up the yards as they go. It's all relative as to how far each individual hits the ball but if you want to address a lack of power in your golf swing then it's important to pay attention to your driver golf swing basics - in particular, how you’re setting up to the ball.

Many golfers set up with driver in hand just like they would their irons, standing with their spine angle straight up and over the ball. It's also not uncommon for amateurs to appear very rigid and tense in that set-up position, as if they are petrified at what's about to happen.

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So let’s take those tension levels down a notch with the tips in this video and article by Advanced PGA pro Katie Dawkins that will get you set up to sweep the ball off the tee and reclaim those lost yards.

Driver golf swing basics: Get perpendicular

The teeing area on most courses has a gentle upslope from the path to the grass on top. Use this space to help you get the feeling you need when addressing the ball with your driver.

Set yourself up on this incline so you are heading uphill and address a whisp of grass, ensuring it's opposite the inside of your front heel in the position you should have the ball.

Now allow gravity to flow over you and do its thing as you settle yourself onto and become at one with the hill. The weight should gently settle onto your back foot and your shoulders end up almost perpendicular to that slope.

driver golf swing basics

Get rid of tension by letting your trail hand and arm hang naturally before placing it back on the club

Ease tension out further by letting go of the club with your bottom hand and letting that arm hang before swinging it back onto the club. Tension is not welcome here so to keep shaking it out of your system is a wise move.

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Soak up this sensation of being behind the ball and settled onto that gentle slope. No need to swing here, this is purely a set-up feeling.

Driver golf swing basics: Collect the ball

When you stride onto the tee and address your ball you want to recreate that feeling and once again settle behind the ball. You can rehearse this at home and notice, if you’re doing this in front of a mirror at home, the zip or buttons on your top lean gently behind the ball rather than being totally vertical.

Letting go with your trail hand and letting that arm hang down will not only help keep tension away but also help you achieve the correct distance from the ball at address. Your hand should swing and brush the part of the handle you should be holding, giving an indication of perfect positioning.

driver golf swing basics

In your new and improved set-up position, your upper body should be tilted slightly away from the target

From this new and improved address position you can really collect that ball on the way through to a photo finish. Because launch angle and power are linked, you should notice a much-improved flight with the ball soaring through the air for longer.

Above all else it should feel effortless and let’s face it, who doesn’t love a dose of effortless power.

Katie Dawkins
Advanced PGA Professional and freelance contributor

Katie is an Advanced PGA professional with over 20 years of coaching experience. She helps golfers of every age and ability to be the best versions of themselves. In January 2022 she was named as one of Golf Monthly's Top 50 Coaches.

Katie coaches the individual and uses her vast experience in technique, psychology and golf fitness to fix problems in a logical manner that is effective - she makes golf simple. Katie is now based at the stunning Hamptworth Golf Club on the edge of the New Forest. An experienced club coach, she developed GardenGOLF during lockdown and as well as coaching at Hamptworth she freelances, operating via pop-up clinics and travelling to clients homes to help them use their space to improve. 

She has coached tour pros on both LET tour and the Challenge Tour as well as introduced many a beginner to the game. 

Katie has been writing instructional content for magazines for 20 years. Her creative approach to writing is fuelled by her sideline as an artist.