The fade is golf's most stylish shot and the draw is golf's most desired shot, so what is the straight shot? Well, it could be golf's most difficult shot. Two great quotes sum it up best.
Jack Nicklaus said: “A perfectly straight shot with a big club is a fluke.”
Ben Hogan famously said: "You only hit a straight shot by accident."
If you're like most golfers, you've probably spent more time than you care to admit trying to figure out how to hit a golf ball straight. You've read all the books, watched all the videos, and taken lessons from the best instructors, but somehow, you still can't seem to hit that little white ball where you want it to go. Well, there's no need to worry anymore—we're here to help! Keep reading to find out how to hit a golf ball straight (finally).
Step 1: The Grip
One of the most important things in golf is how you grip the club. If your grip is too tight, your body will tense up resulting in weak contact. If your grip is too loose, you run the risk of losing control of the club entirely. The key is to find a happy medium—a grip that's firm but not too tight.
Make sure you have a neutral grip with the club in your fingers, not your palms. Think of your arms hanging naturally and loosely when you're in your golf stance. For righties, grab the club with your left hand like you're shaking someone's hand. Place your right hand on the club making sure the v-shape between your thumb and forefinger is pointing towards your right shoulder.
After you've gripped the club set it down behind the golf ball and make sure the clubface is square. Picture a straight line from the ball to your target. The clubface should be square and perpendicular to the imaginary straight line.
The proper grip will allow you to naturally square the clubface at contact.
Step 2: The Stance
Once you have your grip sorted out, it's time to focus on your stance. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, and parallel to your target line. Your weight should be evenly distributed between them. Ideally, you should have a square stance with your feet, shoulders and hips pointed at your intended target.
If you're having trouble with your stance and alignment one of the best and quickest fixes is to learn how to use golf alignment sticks.
Step 3: Ball Position
Ball position is critical if you want to hit the golf ball straight. It seems simple but is often overlooked and the cause of many poor shots. You should position the ball in the center of your stance for most shots. With the driver, you do want the ball a little more forward as with the 3 metal and longer irons.
Step 4: The Swing
Now it's time for the moment of truth—the swing! When you swing, your arms should move in a smooth, controlled arc. Remember, it's all about tempo and balance.
Your weight should shift from your back foot to your front foot as you swing through - weight transfer and rotation are essential to squaring the clubface. Your head should remain still and behind the ball throughout the swing. Remember to follow through after impact—this will help ensure that you hit the ball as squarely as possible.
The Slice Fix
If your natural tendency is to slice the ball, here are some quick fixes.
- Adopt a neutral grip - golfers who slice the ball often have a weak grip (hands are rotated too far to the left - right-handed golfer).
- Close your clubface ever so slightly - this will compensate for an open clubface.
- Make sure you're posture is correct and your feet, shoulder, and hips are parallel to the target line - swing in-to-out
If you're still struggling with a slice take a look at these golf balls designed to help slicers.
The Hook Fix
If your big miss is a hook then do the opposite of what you would do for a slice.
- Hooks are often the result of a strong grip - your hands are rotated too far to the right (right-handed golfer). Make sure your grip is neutral.
- If you have a closed clubface, open it slightly.
- Check your alignment. If you have a closed stance (for righties, this is when your back foot is slightly behind your lead foot) open it slightly. This will help your swing path.
- Ball position - move it slightly forward to compensate for your excessive in-to-out swing.
Now that you have a basic understanding of how to hit a golf ball straight let's apply that to the driver and watch this excellent video.
And there you have it! With these simple tips, you'll be hitting that little white ball straighter (and farther) than ever before. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start practicing!
And to help you practice hitting the golf ball straight we've got two solutions. The first is a golf practice net you can set up at home. See below.
If you don't have the space for a golf practice net but you want to practice at home, even indoors, then see below.