Golf Driver Tips: 3 Common Mistakes

By Todd Kolb
August 15, 2019

Are You Guilty of Making These Common Driver Errors? Cure Bad Habits at the Tee with 3 Quick & Easy Golf Driver Tips.

Many amateur golfers are always on the lookout for effective golf driver tips. And it’s no wonder. Few things in this life feel as good as hitting a nice, long drive straight down the middle of the fairway. That feeling is what brings so many golfers back to the course time and again, despite the bunkers and the bogeys.

But if you’re struggling to hit quality drives on a consistent basis, you’re likely starting to feel some frustration with the game you love.

Don’t worry. I’ve got three quick and easy golf driver tips that are going to help you approach the tee with more confidence. Each one of these tips is a fix for the three most common driver mistakes that plague amateur golfers.

Plus, I’m going to share a quick routine that ties all three tips together and one bonus tip to help you fix your slice.

But first things first. Let’s talk about what your number one goal should be every time you pick up your driver.

The Correct Way to Swing Your Driver

Your driver is the only club you use to hit the ball off a tee. This fact alone should be your reminder of one detail many amateur golfers forget:

When you swing your driver, you always want to hit up on the golf ball. Or to put it another way, you want to make contact on an ascending motion, just past the low point of your swing.

This means your driver swing should be different from the swing you use with your irons. All your iron shots are hit off the ground, with the goal of making contact on a descending motion. Many common driver mistakes begin with golfers using the same approach to driver shots that they use for iron shots.

Here are three of the most common mistakes and three golf driver tips you can use to fix them.

Mistake #1: Your Stance is Too Narrow

Most amateur golfers take their driver setup with the same stance they’d use for an iron shot. The problem?

Your driver is the longest club in your bag. It creates the longest swing, and it’s the club you swing at the highest speed. You need more room in your stance to control that swing properly.

The Fix

When you take your setup at the tee, widen your stance so that your feet are roughly shoulder-width apart.

It’s not a perfect science; you may need to adjust from that starting point depending on your body type and swing. But the main idea I want to get across is that whatever your current stance width is, you could probably afford to go wider. For every one person I tell to narrow their stance, I advise ten others to widen it. It’s an extremely common error.

Mistake #2: Your Ball is Too Far Back

I see a lot of amateur golfers struggle with their driver simply because they’ve got their golf ball too far back in their stance.

This is another habit that works great with irons but can kill your drives. When you have the ball in the center of your stance, you’re bound to hit the ball at the low point of your swing. In other words, you’re hitting down on it instead of hitting up. When you’re swinging a driver, hitting down increases spin and decreases distances.

The Fix:

Position the ball slightly forward in your stance. I usually tell my students to position the ball off the inside of the lead arm or in line with the logo on a golf shirt.

Another way to set it up is to imagine a line tracing straight out from the inside of your lead heel. Position the ball on that line.


With the ball forward in your stance, you’re going to make contact just past the low point, when the clubhead begins its upward arc. That’s exactly what you want.

Mistake #3: Your Shoulders are Level

Another common error among amateur golfers is to level the shoulders when they take their setup. Why is this incorrect form?

Because level shoulders are going to make you hit down on the ball.

Are you picking up on a pattern here?

The Fix:

As you take your driver setup, tilt the shoulders slightly. You want the lead shoulder to be slightly higher and the trail shoulder to be slightly lower. That will help you hit up on the ball and get the nice, high drive you’re looking for.

How to Put These Golf Driver Tips to Work

There’s a simple routine you can do at setup to put all these tips into action and turn this advice into a habit.

The next time you approach the tee:

  1. Tee the ball up so half of the golf ball is above the top of your clubhead.
  2. Stand with your feet together and the ball in the center.
  3. Step your lead foot forward just slightly.
  4. Step your trail foot back past your trail shoulder.
  5. Tilt your shoulders so the trail shoulder is a little lower than the lead shoulder.

If you take all these steps, you’ll have a wide enough stance, the ball positioned forward in your stance, and a nice tilt in your shoulders . . . all of which are going to help you hit up on the ball and get a nice, solid drive.

Bonus Tip: Aim to Draw the Ball

If you’ve mastered the three previous golf driver tips and are ready to take an extra step, here’s an easy adjustment that will help finally fix that nasty slice.

At setup, adjust your feet so you’re aiming slightly to the right of the target. Close your shoulders away from the target so your lead shoulder works toward the ball just a little.

Then, take your swing.

This slight rightward aim will help you hit a nice, high draw.

What Are Your Favorite Golf Driver Tips?

I’ve found that these three minor adjustments have worked wonders for my students, but I’m curious to know:

What has worked for you?

Do you have any of your own tips to share? Any questions about the advice in this article? Anything here you disagree with?

Join us in the comments to share your thoughts!

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1 Comment

  1. First, I want to thank you for your participation in U.S.GolfTV. While I can say I don’t always read and or watch every notification received, I do enjoy the ones that spark my interest and I indulge in.

    I’ve been playing golf for over 55 yrs now (started at age 14, so you can do that math :-)). I’m currently driving the ball as far and straight as I EVER have in that time. Mostly, because I discovered all three of the tips you reiterated in today’s posting. I also one more “tip” that I believe has not only improved my length, but also my straightness when implemented with all three of the other tips you already stated! Wow, now that I’m writing this I think I’d like to include two more tips to yours:

    Here goes:
    1) Stance width – I prefer even a little wider than shoulder width (inside of feet at shoulder width).
    2) Ball position – I prefer even a little further forward than inside of left heel (more like off of left big toe).
    3) Shoulder tilt – 100% agree with right shoulder slightly lower than left.
    4) Tee the ball a little higher than driver depth (ball actually 2/3 above face of driver).
    5) NEVER feel like you are swinging your arms away any faster than turning your body away. I actually tell myself to swing the driver with my left shoulder ONLY. Turn it back as far as I comfortably can, lift my arms very slightly at that point, and turn my left shoulder back through the ball to a full finish!

    Long and straight! (That’s only about 260 for me, but most of the younger guys I play with hit before me on the 2nd shot).

    Keep up the good work! Thanks!

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