I think the biggest problem we have with the driver is that we think of it as a distance club. Yes it’s the longest club, but it is not a club of unlimited length. It, like all the other clubs, is meant to hit the ball a certain distance.
We get the most out of our driver if we think of it instead as a positional club. Our task is to hit the ball off the tee to a place in the fairway that makes our shot to the green as easy as possible.
Consider every other club. If we want to make a six-foot putt, the direction has to be highly accurate. If we chip from off the green, we’re aiming at the hole.
When we pitch from 70 yards, we’re aiming at the hole.
When we hit an iron into the green, we’re aiming at something, maybe the pin, or somewhere more towards the center.
Why would it be different with the driver?
There’s a famous story about Ben Hogan at Carnoustie hitting his ball into a tiny space between a mid-fairway bunker and out-of-bounds because that spot gave him the best look at the green for his second shot.
It’s a shot that few people dare to try. But he did, because that’s how he used his driver―for position.
I know this is asking a lot. Turning your driver into a positional club is not easy to do. But start practicing with it that way. When you’re at the range, pick a specific spot and try to get the ball to that spot with your driver just like you would with a six-iron.
You might have to change how you hit your driver, but if you do, it’s going to be a change for the better.
In the end, you might not be able to land the ball in the divot you made yesterday, but if you can hit the ball to the right side, or the left side, or the center of the fairway at will, boy, those pars are going to start adding up.
Because the origin of pars (and birdies) is the tee, not the fairway, or around the green.