Heeling the driver is something I have grown very accustomed to. Unfortunately, there are about two or three rounds a month in which I cannot get the ball in the middle of the club face and I hit a lazy fade that ends up only going about 220 yards. It is painful to play under these conditions as my home golf course can play extremely long. If you are only hitting a driver 220 yards on a 450 yard par 4 life can be extremely difficult. So, why is this the case?
I have always been a fader of the golf ball. I initially struggled with an inside out swing which caused me to hit huge slices when I was learning to play golf. I remedied this by learning to play a slight draw to a straight ball but when I am hitting it the best, I have about a five yard fade. Unfortunately, that five yard fade can sometimes turn into a slice when I do not get my entire shoulder turn.
If you are a fader of the ball that finds that you are hitting the ball off the heel of your driver, that likely means you are not getting your full shoulder turn which is causing you to come slightly over the top and hit the ball off the heel. You will lose about 20-40% of your distance and your ball will fade and turn into a slice if you heel it. Some people call this the weak ass fade of the WAF.
Make sure you are getting your front knee behind the ball. You will also want to make certain your shoulders are getting a full turn. If you can make this happen you will find that you strike the ball in the middle of the club face much more consistently. You will also get much more distance. Once you start doing this, you will be able to hinge your wrist and get much more distance so you can play from the tips.
One of the reasons you may struggle with your driver yet you can hit your 3 or 5 wood is you are descending into the ball. Remember, you should be coming up into the ball with your driver and down into the ball with your woods and irons. Some of the best iron strikers in the game often struggle with their driver because they come down into it causing them to heel it or put side spin on it.
If you are not hitting your driver well, keep it in the bag and enjoy the fact that you are hitting your irons and wedges so well. You may have some longer shots into the green but that shouldn’t matter if you are striking your woods well.