Striking your driver sweet can be one of the hardest yet best things to do on a golf course. There is nothing quite like sweeping a shot 300 yards down the fairway, but consistently hitting big bombs requires a lot of practice and dedication to training.
Beginner golfers sometimes find it easier to hit their hybrid further than their driver because the hybrid is a much more forgiving club due to the higher clubface angle on the hybrid, which provides the golfers with a sweeter connection in the ball.
Are you struggling to hit big distances with your driver? Don’t fret. In this guide, we’ll be investigating why it’s easier to hit your hybrid compared to your driver, why you might be hitting your hybrid longer than your driver, and what you can do to get the right distance on your drives.
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Are Hybrids Easier To Hit Than Drivers?
As a general rule, hybrids are easier to hit than drivers. A driver is a much longer club with a flatter clubface, making it harder to lift a golf ball into the air; because of their more forgiving clubface angle and slightly shorter shaft, hybrids are much easier to use.
Also known as a rescue wood, your hybrid is your safety club on the course arguably it is one of the most forgiving clubs in your bag, which is why many golfers like using the hybrid to strike the ball long and straight down the fairway.
Although many golfers use their hybrids off the tee, their primary purpose is to help players strike the ball from difficult lies on the fairway. From thicker grass to the third cut, hybrids help golfers punch the long ball distances from tough lies around the course.
Compared to a driver, hybrids have a much higher loft of between 20º to 26º, making it a lot easier to get a good connection on the shot and easier to lift the ball up into the air. Your driver will typically sit at around 7º to 15º in loft, making it a lot harder to strike through the ball and lift it into the air.
The club shaft on a hybrid is also a lot shorter in length than a driver. That means you can stand a lot closer to the ball and play a swing akin to what you might strike with your seven iron.
Taylormade’s SIM Max hybrid is an excellent club to help provide a similar feel to your irons that provides greater forgiveness thanks to its anti-twisting clubface technology that doesn’t swivel when you strike the ball.
For most golfers you should swing down onto the ball, compressing the ball into the ground while taking a divot at the bottom of your swing. Unfortunately, it takes a long time to learn how to perfect that swing style; find out how long it takes the average golfer in my article here.
A driver and iron swing are different if you hit your irons long but struggle to hit the driver straight you need to make the corrections outlined in my post here.
Drivers because of their flatter clubfaces need more swing speed to help lift the golf ball off the tee, which makes the shot cut through the air and travel greater distances when it lands. Getting that right while standing further away from the ball with a longer club shaft can be a tough skill to master.
That’s why the lower the loft of the driver you’re playing with, the harder it becomes to hit a good shot. You can learn more about the difficulties of hitting a lower-lofted driver in my post.
Many amateur golfers find they struggle to get that loft on their drives, which causes their ball to travel a lot shorter distances than a powerful hybrid shot might do.
The Callaway Big Bertha is one of the most forgiving drivers on the market and is a great club for intermediate golfers learning how to hit bombs down the fairway. The club can be purchased from Amazon in a variety of higher, more forgiving lofts to help the beginner get a sweeter connection on their shot.
Many golfers opt to use their hybrids off the tee, as their stiff, shorter shafts allow you to play a more natural feeling shot, akin to your irons, but add extra power onto the ball than a four or five iron might, because of their densely packed clubheads.
That’s also why you’ll rarely see golfers use a driver off the floor. Without the tee, you can barely get any purchase on the ball to lift it into the air, and instead, it’s more advisable to flush your hybrid down the fairway.
How Do I Hit Longer Drives?
As a whole, increase your clubhead speed and focus on hitting upwards on the ball. Golfers should stand with the ball a little further towards their lead foot and strike upwards on the shot to add more height to the shot.
As the old saying goes, tee it high and let it fly. As I touched on earlier, you’re going to need a much different setup to hit your driver long, compared to your hybrid or your irons. Set the ball up high on the tee, adopt a wide stance, further away from the ball, and address the ball so your leading foot is around two to three inches in front of the ball.
The problem with this setup is that it feels like you’re bottoming out on your swing before you’ve hit the ball, and that’s why many people hit the ball fat with their drives. It’s also why many people slice the ball with their driver, as they lift their arms before impact, which causes you to cut across the ball and add left-to-right spin on the shot.
Ideally, to stop yourself from grounding the club before the ball, you need to stand further away from the shot and try to fluidly strike the ball after you’ve bottomed out and while you’re coming into your followthrough.
During a lesson, coaches will often fix this problem by placing a tee on the floor ahead of the ball, which you need to miss to get a good strike on the ball. For more information on what to expect from golf lessons, check out my guide here.
My top tip for any golfer looking to hit straighter drives and carry the ball greater distances is to finish with a high follow-through, with your arms locked out as you come down through the golf ball and into your followthrough.
Plus, if you’re struggling to get distance from your driver, try using a club with a more flexible shaft. Often players with slow swing speeds have trouble generating the torque needed to push the ball through the air and loft it with their drivers. Having a more flexible club shaft allows golfers to create more whip with the club, and therefore more speed coming through the golf ball.
Generally, it is a lot easier to hit your hybrid than your driver from both the tee and the ground. Therefore, many golfers will opt to use their hybrid more than their driver as it is a safe way to keep the ball on the fairway while hitting a long shot. However, practice makes perfect, and the only way you can get better with your driver is by practicing hitting long shots at the range.