A pull with the driver can be incredibly frustrating.
What I have always hated about a pulled shot is that, at first, it feels really solid. But then, when you see the ball heading down the left, you know you are in trouble.
With all the hype that slicing a driver gets, you may be surprised that pulling a driver is almost as common of a miss. I have a few ways in which you can help straighten out your driver and stop hitting a pull.
You may need a combination of more than one fix to get the driver straightened out.
Table of Contents
- 1. Your Lower Body Stops Rotating
- 2. You’re Coming Over The Top
- 3. Your Hands Are Too Active In The Swing
- 4. You’re Holding Weight Back
- 5. Your Clubface is Closed
- 6. You Have Poor Alignment
- 7. Your Grip Is Too Strong
1. Your Lower Body Stops Rotating
One of the top reasons that golfers pull the ball is that their lower body stops rotating as they come through the golf ball. In order to create power in the golf swing, you must rotate your body back. However, that rotation must also continue back through the golf ball.
If at any point during the swing, your lower body stops rotating, you will likely notice the golf ball is pulled. Pulling a shot with the driver very often deals with overactivity in the arms.
How to Fix It
There are plenty of drills to work on, continuing to rotate your lower body through the impact zone. However, I find that the majority of players that struggle with this mistake tend to be standing too close to the ball.
As you are setting up to hit your driver, make sure that you are not crowding yourself. When you do this, it’s hard to get the club to pass through impact and continue your rotation.
Another important thing to focus on is transferring your weight; as you move towards the finish position, all of your weight should be on the left foot; this ensures your rotation is considerably better.
2. You’re Coming Over The Top
If you swing over the top and your clubface is slightly closed, the chance of hitting a pull is quite high. An over-the-top swing is one where the golf club is not on a proper plane as it approaches the ball.
Most of the time, the club is above the plane and swinging across the body. This over-the-top motion will, at times, cause a slice.
How to Fix It
An over the top golf swing is common. If the individual parts of your golf swing are not working all that well together, expect to come over the top.
The one thing that I have always found to help players that come over the top is to try to create a slight pause at the top of the golf swing. When you create this pause, it can help you feel the space necessary to drop the club down on the proper plane.
In addition, if you start your backswing with a turn, you should have an easier time keeping the hands and the body working together.
3. Your Hands Are Too Active In The Swing
The hands play a really important role in the golf swing, but many amateur golfers get their hands overly involved in their swing. If you are working on trying to hit the ball straight, it’s best to have less activity in the hands and more arms and body working together.
You can sometimes use your hands to square up a face and hit a straight shot, but it’s certainly not consistent.
How to Fix It
One of the best ways I have found to keep the hands out of the swing is to stay more connected. Take a headcover and put it under each of your arms, near the armpit. Now take some swings without letting this headcover fall out.
You don’t need to take actual shots, instead, use it as a drill and then step up to hit a shot. You should notice that the body stays more connected and the chance of your hands taking over and pulling the ball are a bit lower.
4. You’re Holding Weight Back
The fact that you transferred weight back to your right side (for a right handed player) is a great thing. However, to play great golf with lots of power, the weight also needs to transfer back to the left side as you move through impact.
Golfers that hold weight back on the right side will send the club flying through impact, and it most often has a closed clubface.
How to Fix It
The key to learning how to fix holding your weight back is to learn how to effectively transfer weight in the golf swing. This will take a lot of work without hitting shots and trying to create muscle memory of what it feels like to swing the club back while simultaneously getting that weight to transfer.
Once your weight is loaded up the way it should be, you can go after the ball and explode with power.
This video teaches some of the basics of a great weight transfer and how it can improve your golf game.
5. Your Clubface is Closed
Another one of the more common reasons for pulling a golf shot is the fact that the clubface is closed. To give yourself the best shot at a long driver, you need a square clubface and a proper club path as well.
Sometimes at setup, a golfer will close the clubface to help prevent a slice. The problem, of course, is when the clubface is closed to the target line, it can also create a pulled shot.
While you are checking on the angle of your clubhead, make sure that you are also looking at the ball’s position. The ball position for a driver should be off the inside of your left heel. If you are playing it further back than that, it could result in a pull.
How to Fix It
This is one of the simple fixes in the game of golf. Learn what a square clubface looks like by using a straight edge of some sort. Setup with the club on the straight edge to see what a 90-degree clubface looks like.
On the takeaway, make sure you don’t adjust the shot and start closing the clubface down. A slice is a bad miss, but if you overcorrect too much, you end up with a pull.
6. You Have Poor Alignment
Amateur golfers sometimes take a stance that will set them up to the left of their target line. The pulled shot is not always caused by mistake in the golf swing and is instead caused right at setup.
If you are working on your golf game at the driving range, use alignment sticks to work on your tee shot alignment.
How to Fix It
Always pick a line for your clubhead, and then make sure that your feet, shoulders, and hips are square to this line. If your legs are open and your clubface is square, you could be setting yourself up to hit a slice.
If those feet are closed, and your clubface is square, there is a good chance you are going to pull your tee shot.
Take the time you need in your setup. It’s one of the most important areas of the golf swing. The setup is a way to ensure you get to the perfect impact position. I like to incorporate my aiming routine into my pre-shot routine so that it is done the same way every time.
7. Your Grip Is Too Strong
Our only connection with the golf club is the grip. Golfers with strong grip have their left hand turned more to the right than they should. This extra turn of the hand allows the right hand to fit more under the club.
With one hand rotated more on the bottom of the club, it takes a more active role and makes it easier for a golfer to release the clubhead at impact.
For players that slice the ball, this has always been a great quick fix. However, most amateur players tend to overcorrect. If you overcorrect and your grip starts to get too strong, it will create a pulled shot. Many times these pulls turn into hooks.
How to Fix It
Finding the perfect grip on your golf club is an art. There are grip trainers out there that make it easy to see exactly where your hands should be on the club. However, it’s best to invest time in this process and learn how to grip the club in a neutral position.
Start by ensuring your left thumb is not wrapped too far to the right of the center of the grip. Instead, keep the left thumb a bit more straight down the shaft.
When your left hand is in this potion, the right hand should fit more on top of the club than under it. This positioning takes the right hand out of it a little and allows you to get your golf shot on the proper path.
I would work on keeping this same grip in place for all clubs, aside from the driver.