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8 Reasons Why Players Have Trouble Hitting Driver
by Kevin Sprecher

We all suffer off-center hits with the driver. It is unrealistic to expect to hit the center of the clubface 100 percent of the time. Even tour professionals don?t hit the center all the time. It has been estimated that for each 1/4 inch the ball is hit off-center, whether toward the club?s toe or heel, there is a 7-percent loss of distance. When the ball strikes high on the clubface, it flies higher and shorter. If it strikes low on the clubface, it will fly lower and carry shorter. The worst place on the clubface to hit the ball is high and on the toe of the club. This results in a snap hook or a weak pop-up.

Moreover, off-center contact affects the direction the ball travels. For example, if the ball strikes the clubface toward the heel, the ball tends to slice. If the ball hits toward the toe, it tends to hook. Minimizing off-center strikes like hitting the ball on the toe or heel will result in a more consistent player, as the ball will not veer off line or lose distance.

Following are several common flaws that can cause off-center hits, along with some simple drills to cure them.

Bad Body Motion
If your body moves incorrectly in the backswing, forward swing or both, it will cause the club to swing incorrectly, resulting in off-center hits. For example, a reverse weight shift will force you to lean left in the backswing and make the club travel too much to the inside or straight up in the backswing.

Therefore, you will have to compensate on the downswing, which often produces toe hits or heel hits. A reverse weight shift can also lead to a rocking back in the forward swing that results in drop kicks or heel hits.

By standing on inflatable pads, such as those available from, and making some practice swings, you can learn to maintain your balance in the backswing. If this is done correctly, your weight will shift into the right heel.

You can also try intentionally lifting the left heel in the backswing. This will ensure the weight transfers to the right foot.

A Sway Or Slide This common flaw causes your weight to transfer to the outside of the back foot. When this occurs, the body tends to not turn enough, and the arms pull the club to the inside or lift up the club. If the club is pulled to the inside, it will return on an excessively inside path, resulting in heel hits. If the club is lifted, it will return on an outside path, producing toe hits.

To prevent a sway or slide, hold a club against your right leg with your left hand. Now, make a backswing and keep the angle in the club with your leg.

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