Hitting a golf ball straight every time you swing can be hard for both beginner-level players and golf veterans. Ironically enough, most pro golf players do not want to have to hit a straight shot. Sure, they master how to hit the golf ball straight but they don’t really enjoy being in a position where a straight hit is the only option. The reason behind this is that pro players know how hard and risky a straight drive can be, so they try to avoid straight hits to the best of their abilities. If you’re practising a straight drive, read our guide on how to hit the golf ball straight below to hit the ball straight every time.
But what if there is no other option except a straight shot? Maybe you have trees blocking your way and the only way to play through is to use a straight shot through the gap between them, or maybe there is this difficult pin location on the sloped green you need to access and only a straight shot can get the job done.
Or let’s say you’re a beginner trying to perfect your straight shot. Whether it is because you’ve put yourself in a difficult position or because you want to perfect the straight drive if you’re looking for a guide on how to hit the golf ball straight, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading and learn more about hitting a straight drive below.
A Complete Guide: How To Hit The Golf Ball Straight
Perfecting a straight drive takes time and patience. It also needs practice, a lot of that too because some factors for a perfectly straight shot vary from player to player, and the only way to find the right combination for you is through trial and error.
If you’re a beginner, you have the advantage of not unlearning something in your process of perfecting the shot. That advantage will be neutralized by your lack of practice and less knowledge about your shots. If you’re an experienced player, chances are that you can already guess where the problem is stemming from. Either way, hitting a golf ball perfectly straight every time you want will take lots of practice sessions. Luckily we’ve got your backs and are here with a complete guide that will help you achieve your goal.
In this guide, we will go over a step-by-step guide of taking a straight shot, the possible reasons why it isn’t going the way you want it to go, and what you can do to make progress on that end. We will also walk you through equipment that can make hitting a straight drive easier, so keep reading below!
How To Hit The Golf Ball Straight: A Step By Step Guide
A straight drive has three parts of it- grip, stance, and swing. Messing up any of these three will result in your shot converting into slices or hooks.
The grip is the first step of a shot buildup. A sloppy grip will get you a sloppy shot. For a straight shot, you’ll need a neutral grip.
Grip your club properly with your lead hand (your lead hand is the one that is closest to your target) and balance with your non-lead hand.
Place your lead hand thumb down and to the right of the center. Now place your non-lead hand like you’re shaking the club’s hand. Your non-lead hand should be going along the side and the gap between your index and thumb should be pointing at your non-lead shoulder.
Keep your forearm muscles relaxed, don’t put too much pressure on your club.
Stance is the second important part of a straight shot. Your stance can be opened, closed, or neutral.
An open stance is when you keep your feet open to your target. A closed stance is keeping your feet turned away (slightly) from the target, and a neutral stance is when your feet directly line up with your target.
Keep your legs shoulder-width apart and make sure you bend your knees slightly. This stance is crucial for hitting your straight shot. Make sure your legs and shoulders are positioned in a way that they are parallel to your target.
The aim is an important part of golf shots that aren’t talked about much. You’ll have to line up your club and the ball with your target. For an easier lining up, imagine there is a straight line going from your ball and club to your target. Stand parallel to this line and make sure your clubface of impact is square relative to this line. This is the most important point to remember. If your clubface is properly aligned, you’re almost guaranteed a perfectly straight shot unless you make other mistakes.
Swing And Hit
Swing is divided into two parts- backswing and hit swing.
The backswing is the pre-hit preparation part of a golf shot. It involves swinging your club towards your back, and hit swing is the following part of bringing the club down to hit the ball.
Both parts of the swing work the same way independent of your grip. Keep your eye on the ball and make sure your weight distribution is even on both feet. For your backswing, draw your club backwards and upwards at the same time. Slightly shift your weight to your right foot but keep your body centered, keep your head and torso straight.
Too much backswing will curve your shot so be careful about how much backswing you’re using, don’t use too much speed, and never cock your waist.
The downswing is the most important part of hitting a straight drive. You’ll have to whip the ball instead of chopping when you bring your club down. You have to hit the ball with the square face of your club, and you have to hit it right at the center. This is what makes your straight shots straight so practice if you want to get it right.
You can hit the ball with full strength and speed, or you can hold back slightly. Hitting the ball with full power will give you more distance and cover, but it will lower your accuracy. So if you want accuracy, you’ll have to slow down a little on your hit swing, otherwise, you’re good to go through with your hit.
When you hit the ball, make sure the contact point to the ball is coming from underneath it. In other words, you’ll have to swing your golf club on plane line. Again, make sure your clubface is flat on the side you’re hitting the ball with. Maintain your speed all through your hit swing, don’t change it midway, and be ready to fix anything on the address.
Reasons: Why You Can’t Hit The Golf Ball Straight
It is easier to address the possible weak point for beginner-level straight drives because usually, their problems are more concentrated on the basics. But what if you’re an experienced player but something is ticking your shots off? Well, that can happen for a multitude of reasons. It could be a small mistake in your stance, or it can be something coming from your equipment. Either way, you’ll have to address it.
Since most problems for straight shots lies with the basics, we’ll start there and work our way through other factors that might be causing your shot to curve. Let’s get to it.
Problems In Your Basic
Sometimes the reason why your straight shots are curving into slices or hooks is very simple. It could be wrong footwork or a messy grip. It is possible to start right but subconsciously mess up your straight shot factors.
Let’s start with your grip. By this time you already know that your grip should be a neutral one, using the leading hand for grip and the non-leading hand for balance.
If you see your shots are turning into slices, chances are that you’re using a weak grip instead of a neutral one. If your shots are being converted into hooks, your grip is a strong one.
In both cases, work on your grip and make sure you’re doing a neutral grip every time. Remember not to use too much pressure on your club when you’re gripping it.
Stance is one of the most subtle factors that can ruin your straight drives. The first thing you can do is check your divot. If it is pointing directly at your target, you’re okay.
Your knees should be slightly bent and your legs should be shoulder-width apart. This is the most common mistake everyone makes, especially with their knees.
Keep your weight distribution equal, move your weight slightly to your front foot only when you’re doing your hit swing.
If you feel like your shots lean towards hooks naturally, you should move your ball forward in your stance. This will neutralize your natural hook by creating a fade to counter it.
The only thing you need to keep in mind is that your club should be square at impact. If your club’s face is open at the address (even slightly), it will create a slice and ruin your shot. If the clubface is too close, it will create a hook and mess up your shot.
The only way of solving this is to observe your swing thoroughly. Check if the clubface is open at the address. You’ll have to square it. If the clubface is already square, close it up a little. If your clubface is a bit too close, open it up a bit and try the same swing.
Speed is an important factor for golf shots. You can hit your ball with full strength and speed for a straight shot, but that comes with the risk of missing the exact spot you should be hitting. Full speed will also mean less accuracy and control. So if you want a more controlled straight shot, you’ll have to consider choking down your speed a little.
It is important to note that you should keep your speed the same throughout your shot. Changing your speed midway will not just ruin your straight drive, it will also cost you a good shot overall.
Center Of Swing Problem
The center of the swing depends on your weight distribution. If you suddenly shift your weight when your backswing, your center of the swing will move too. That wouldn’t be very important if the ball shifted with the weight but since it doesn’t, it can create a problem.
If this is your case, you need to put more weight on your front foot during your swing. This will balance your center of swing-out. This can only be achieved through practice so pay attention to that.
Start with wedge shots and pitch shots for your practice. After you get the hang of it with short shots, gradually move up and try your luck with longer shots.
How To Make Your Straight Shots Better
As we’ve said earlier, perfecting your straight drive will take time, patience, and practice. Other than these, some things will help you in improving your shot.
Watch Your Shots
You don’t always need a caddy; you can record yourself playing and rewatch them later. This will help you figure out your natural tendency of hitting the ball in a certain way which might be the reason your straight shots are curving.
Recognize Your Pattern
Work against it. Every golf player has a natural pattern of curving their shots. Find out what your pattern is, and practice to neutralize it.
Follow Through With Your Hit
Don’t stop at the impact. Following through with it, otherwise, the shot will lose power and end up with much less distance and power it was supposed to have.
No matter what shot you’re trying to take, having a tense body won’t help you in any way. Stay relaxed and keep your muscles relaxed too, it will help with having flexibility and reduce pressure off of your club.
How To Hit The Golf Ball Straight: Equipment Upgrade You Might Need
Your straight shot also depends on what equipment you’re using. If your club isn’t fit for a straight shot in the first place, you won’t be able to hit your golf ball straight.
Use a club with flex for straight shots. Clubs with flexibility will give you more control over your shot.
If your shot distance is below average, you should use women’s clubs or senior clubs. If your shot distance is above average, try using a stiff or extra stiff shaft.
Hitting a golf ball straight isn’t very easy to nail. You’ll have to practice a lot and have a clear idea of your weaknesses and the progress you make. Hopefully, this guide will help you in understanding how to hit the golf ball straight and you’ll perfect your straight drive with practice.