Every beginner golfer wants to know about hitting a golf ball straight. About this, a comedian — and it seems there’s one in every foursome — would say, “Wanna know how to hit golf ball straight? Don’t hook it or slice it!” Rimshot…
Seriously, the best shot off the tee is one that flies straight toward its target, doesn’t put too much backspin on the ball, travels low, and has enough power to add yards by rolling once it lands.
There are several ways a shot can go wrong. Four of these mis-hits are the:
- Slice — the ball curves on a left-to-right path and ends up right of the target
- Hook — the ball curves on a right-to-left path and ends up left of the targe
- Push — the ball goes left of the target on a straight line
- Pull — the ball goes right of the target on a straight line
Note: For left-handed golfers, these directions are reversed. See our tips for left-handed golfers.
There are several elements involved in hitting a golf ball straight. These include the stance, the grip, the backswing, the downswing, and the follow-through.
Table of Contents
How To Hit Golf Ball Straight:- The Stance
The first step in hitting a golf ball straight is to check your stance. Your shoulders, hips, knees, and feet should be parallel to a straight line from the ball to your target.
To achieve proper leverage, keep your head behind the ball from address to impact.
Also, make sure you’re not pushing or pulling the ball.
This can happen whether you’re coming off the tee or hitting off the fairway. The divot that’s left behind after your shot can tell you if you’re pushing or pulling.
If your stance is correct, the divot should be pointing directly at your target.
If the divot is pointing to the left or right of your target line, your body isn’t lined up properly at the address. Keep adjusting your setup until your divots point at your target.
To prevent a slice, examine your grip. When looking down at your hands, you should be able to see two knuckles at the front of the shaft. If not, you’re setting yourself up for a slice.
This same tip applies to the hook.
If you see more than two knuckles when you look down at your grip, you’re trending toward a nasty hook. To fix a hook shot, rotate your hands on the shaft toward the left (if you’re right-handed).
So count your knuckles: less than 2 = slice, more than 3 = hook. (To see photos of how to grip the club to influence the flight path of the ball, check out our topic about the perfect golf grip.)
The driver is one of the most difficult clubs to master. (A quick rule is that the longer the club, the harder it is to use properly.) The driver isn’t as forgiving as other clubs when it comes to swing paths.
As you begin your backswing, keep the swing plane low (or shallow). As a beginner golfer, try instead teeing off with a 3-wood or 5-wood. (See our topic, hitting a Fairway Wood.)
Also, contrary to the advice given to many beginner golfers, don’t cock your wrists. Being cocky is never good. Remember that speed and power come from your hips and legs, not from brute arm strength.
You don’t need to bend your wrists to force power into the club. In the best wrist action, there is no action. (See our golf backswing tips here.)
Beginner golfers often underestimate how fast their hands have to be moving to keep up with the clubhead as it accelerates.
As a result, their hands end up lagging behind the club. That prevents the weight from properly shifting over the hips and legs, where the power is.
To prevent this little catastrophe of physics from ruining your drive, keep up your hand speed. Your hands should actually lead the club slightly at impact.
Distance on a drive comes more from clubhead speed than arm strength.
Don’t try to muscle your way through the shot with only your arms. Speed and power come from the hips and legs, so take advantage of them.
The second critical aspect of the downswing is wrist position. Hold your wrists steady all through the downswing.
This is what brings the clubhead square to the ball and ensures a nice, straight drive.
How To Hit Golf Ball Straight:- Video Tips
How To Hit Golf Ball Straight:- The Follow-Through
But it also can allow the angle of the clubhead to shift slightly, throwing the shot off target.
To prevent that, let your arms and body move smoothly all the way through the swing. That’s why it’s called the follow-through.