Whether you’re a beginner or a single-handicap golfer, we all would like to see the golf ball go straight and in the direction of the hole. The problem is that sometimes we go a little too far left of target or maybe toward the hazard that we are trying to avoid, but what if I said that I had a secret to straighter and more consistent drives off the tee? Would you believe me? The answer to this common problem that I see throughout the golf industry is to simply choke down on the club.
What do I mean “choke down?” I mean put your hands a little bit lower on the grip. Today, most golf manufactures make drivers around 45-46 inches long. For some of us, that might be OK, but if we are looking for a straighter and more consistent shot off the tee, the best advice is to place our hands a little lower. I will warn you: with this choke up method, you will lose a little bit of distance (at max 10 yards), but isn’t it worth it to have a straight drive toward the hole? More opportunities for par-saves and birdie attempts, right?
An example I’ll give you is Lydia Ko, a 17-year-old who competed as a rookie on the LPGA Tour in 2014. I watched Lydia at the 2014 LPGA CME Group Titleholders held at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, and she is a prime example of choking down on the club to make more accurate and consistent shots. She would grip the club lower than the average player, then swing smoothly and confidently. You couldn’t help but to just watch with amazement. Her ball flight was pure and Lydia’s tee shots would be right on her desired target. This consistency of choking down on the club led her, along with her unbelievable short-game skills, to a victory. According to her LPGA profile, Ko was ranked 19th at 79 percent in driving accuracy on the LPGA Tour along with three wins, 15 top 10 finishes and making every cut in each tournament she played in.
Next time you’re out on the course or practicing, give this tip a try. You will be amazed at the results and the consistency in your golf game. If you need proof, try this drill. Grab a dry erase marker next time you head out to the driving range and cover your clubface with the marker. Start to hit some shots how you normally would then hit some shots choking down on the club. Check your club each time you hit the ball to see where the ball hit. You will notice each time you choked down on the club, the closer you got to the center of the clubface, otherwise known as the sweet spot. This will lead you to straighter and more efficient golf shots in any type of situation.