Hit Your Driver Consistently - It's easier than you think!
The image above shows the shot dispersion pattern on my Flightscope of a golfer who visited me recently. As you can see he miss hit a few shots but when warmed up he averaged about 175 yards.
The main issue however was the left to right dispersion of his shots. They ranged from 40 yards left to 35 yards right.
Our first hole, here at Hillsborough Golf Club (pictured right), is a narrow par 4 with out of bounds all the way up the left. With the above shot dispersion placed on our first hole you can now see the issue!
Some shots may finish out of bounds and some may finish on our 18th fairway which runs parallel to the 1st.
What causes this dispersion?
This variety of shot pattern arises when the golfer is trying to fix their swing.
We've all been there, you are on the range and your first shot with driver goes to the right so for the next shot you try to flip your wrists a little more and in an effort to see some change you flip them too much and the ball goes left. The result is a very inconsistent ball flight and no confidence.
By going through this process you will hit some great shots but generally your dispersion will be as pictured and you will leave the range complaining about your driving inconsistency.
How to become more consistent
The first thing to realise about consistency is that it sadly doesn't include hitting the ball straight consistently. To hit a golf ball straight with a driver you need to return the club face to the ball squarely every time which is very difficult but to also combine this with a square swing path it is just about impossible.
To increase this golfers consistency I firstly suggested that we should eliminate one of the misses.
The shot pictured right finished about 40 yards left of target. His swing path was only 3.4 degrees to the right but the issue was that his club face was pointing 3.7 degrees left. This difference in angles put a huge amount of side spin on the ball and the result was a hook.
The club face can point to the left of target at impact for many reasons but in this case it was due to not enough body turn through the ball.
After fixing the body turn we had the club face under control which now rarely pointed left (2.8 degrees right here) of the target and all but eliminated his left miss.
It is impossible to create a square face and square path consistently but we can achieve a greater level of consistency by moving the club face position closer to the path.
After just a few minutes we had created the pattern pictured above. Not all shots are perfect but, more importantly, they now have only a one-way miss. This more consistent pattern makes finding the fairway much easier.
If we now lay our new side-to-side dispersion pattern over the first fairway you can see how we have eliminated the out of bounds.
As you can see consistency isn't hitting the ball straight. Consistency is knowing which side your miss will be.
Your straight shots will look after themselves but by knowing where your miss will be you can plan your aimpoint.
The red dotted line indicates our new aimpoint. Previously an aimpoint like this would have resulted in 50% of the shots finishing out of bounds. But now our golfer can aim down the left hand side and know that the ball will never go O.B.
After a little practice the dispersion will narrow even more but the example used in this blog is from a golfer who had just one lesson. This change in consistency can be achieved by anyone in a short space of time.
My new 3 lesson package "Fairway Finder" is designed solely around driver. Each lesson is with driver only and includes Flightscope analysis, video analysis and practical applications. Click here to find out more.