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Why Am I Hitting Driver Too High? Discover 5 Ways to Cure

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hitting driver too high

Hitting the driver too high is a classic amateur/beginner fault. We’ve all faced this issue at some point in our golfing careers. I remember teeing off at my first golf society event. It was a wide-open fairway, a couple of bunkers about 240 yards out and to the right. All eyes were on me. Just hit it nice and easy I said to myself. I swung through and… pop, my ball flew about 240 yards up into the air rather than out into the fairway! Someone mentioned they were worried about planes flying into the nearby airport.

If you’re struggling to maximize your distance and deliver solid shots into the headwind because you’re popping up your driver, you’ve come to the right place.

Based on our observations and our practical knowledge, this post will shed light on the potential reasons why you’re hitting driver too high and share some effective tips on improving your drives. Getting that ball onto the fairway and away from the trees will help you lower your handicap

Reasons Why You’re Hitting Driver Too High

There are many potential reasons why you’re hitting your driver too high, from wrong equipment to improper shot setup. Let’s discuss each reason in detail.

1. Teeing Too Low

Teeing too low produces excessive backspin and results in super-high, short drives.

You might be teeing too low unintentionally because you’re using a brand-new driver that you’re not used to yet and aren’t sure about the ideal tee height for said driver.

In contrast, you shouldn’t be teeing the golf ball too high. Teeing too high, while not as bad as teeing too low, can take away from the height of your ball’s flight.

You need to tee the ball at a height position that allows it to hit the driver’s sweet spot so that it takes to the air at the right angle. The size of the driver’s head plays a significant role here.

Solution

You should tee the ball so that half of it sticks out over the top of your driver’s head. This is especially important if you’re using a golf driver with a large head.

If you’re someone who struggles with consistency in terms of teeing height, consider investing in height-marked golf tees. Also, be sure to spend some time experimenting with different teeing heights. Finding the right tee height for you will help keep the ball in play and lead to more birdie chances 

2. Narrow Stance

Another potential reason why you’re hitting your driver too high has to do with your stance. The driver is the longest club in your set. And the longer the club, the wider your stance needs to be.

If your stance is too narrow, you’ll have a difficult time staying balanced throughout your swing, which can send the ball flying higher than needed.

Solution

Ideally, you should be standing with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. This will help flatten out your backswing and keep you balanced. It will also ensure a circular swing rather than an oval one.

Don’t go overboard when trying to widen your stance. Try to keep both feet slightly open at address rather than square. This will help engage your lower body and increase your stability.  

3. Steep angle of attack

If you’re standing very close to the golf ball, chances are you will backswing onto an upright plane. This, in turn, results in a steep angle of attack.

If your angle of attack is too steep due to an upright backswing, the golf ball will fly too high up into the air and won’t cover as much distance as you’d expect.

Solution

To avoid upright swinging and steep angles of attack, you need to step a few inches back from the golf ball. This will create a flatter, more shallow plane, reducing the angle of attack’s steepness.

Another essential tip for shallowing your golf swing is to swing the club back low and slow. This will help keep the club below or slightly on the swing plane. See our guide here on other causes of slicing the ball

hitting driver too high

4. Wrong Ball Position

The ball’s position relative to your stance can make or break your driver shot. If you keep popping up your driver, chances are the ball is positioned right in the middle of your stance, which is causing you to hit down on it.

Solution

Instead of positioning the golf ball in the middle of your stance, you want to make sure the ball is in front of your stance, slightly off your left heel, and directly below your left ear (for right-handed golfers).

By positioning the ball this way, you can hit up on it rather than down, giving you more distance.

5. Wrong Equipment

Your equipment is just as important as your technique when it comes to golf. Factors like your driver’s loft, shaft weight, and the golf ball’s compression are crucial.

If you’re someone with a notably fast or slow swing speed, you must pay close attention to your driver’s loft. If it’s way above or below average, it will impact the ball’s flight.

The weight of your shaft also plays a significant role here. Lighter golf shafts tend to be easier to swing than their heftier counterparts, which results in a greater launch.

You also need to consider ball compression. For example, you might be a fast-swinging player using a low-compression ball or a slow-swinging player using a high-compression ball.

Solution

For most average golfers, the best loft will be around 10.5 degrees. If you’re an experienced player with a good deal of control over your drives, 9-9.5 degrees of loft will probably be more suitable. There are many adjustable golf drivers on the market that allow you to adjust your loft.

Regarding shaft weight, it all boils down to your swinging speed. You need to play with a heavier shaft if you’re a faster swinger. If you’re on the slower side, a light-to-average shaft weight will do.

Ball compression also involves swinging speed. Faster swingers are better off with high-compression balls, whereas slower swingers will get more loft and distance from low-compression balls.

Drills To help Stop Hitting Your Driver Too High

Headcover drill

To encourage a more sweeping motion with the driver and prevent hitting the ball too high on the face, place a headcover or towel about a foot in front of the ball. This will help you focus on hitting the ball on a more upward angle and prevent you from hitting the headcover or towel.

Practice hitting low shots

To develop a feel for hitting lower shots with the driver, try hitting shots that stay below a certain height, such as a tree branch or a rope that’s strung across the range. This can help you to focus on keeping the ball flight lower and preventing it from ballooning in the air.

Shallow out your swing

Swinging over the top is a major contributor to hitting a driver too high. Most amateurs struggle to drop the club into the slot. The solution is to shallow out your downswing.

Place a foam noodle or something soft on the ground about 6 inches away from your ball and practice making swings without hitting it. This drill can help to promote a more shallow angle of attack and encourage a more efficient swing path.

FAQ

How do I lower my driver ball flight?

If you are looking to lower your driver ball flight, there are a few things you can try:

  1. Tee the ball lower: The higher the tee, the higher the ball will launch. Teeing the ball lower can help reduce the launch angle and produce a lower ball flight.
  1. Move the ball back in your stance: Placing the ball farther back in your stance can help you hit down on the ball more and produce a lower launch angle.
  1. Use a lower lofted driver: A driver with less loft will produce less spin and a lower launch angle. This can help keep the ball flight lower.
  1. Swing more level: If you tend to hit up on the ball with your driver, it can cause a higher launch angle. Focusing on swinging more level can help reduce the launch angle and produce a lower ball flight.
hitting driver too high

How high should my driver go?

Generally, a higher launch angle will create more carry distance, while a lower launch angle will produce more roll.

For most golfers, a good target for driver height is around 10 to 14 degrees launch angle with a spin rate between 2300 to 3000 RPMs. However, the ideal height can vary based on individual preferences and conditions such as wind speed and direction, the fairway’s firmness, and the hole’s shape.

Is it better to hit a driver high or low?

Hitting a driver high will result in a higher trajectory and more carry distance, which can be advantageous in situations where a golfer needs to clear a hazard or hit a shot over a tree or other obstacle. However, a high ball flight can also be affected by wind and may result in less roll, which can limit overall distance.

On the other hand, hitting a driver low can result in a lower trajectory and more roll on the fairway, which can be advantageous in dry and firm conditions. A lower ball flight can also be less affected by the wind and may provide more accuracy in windy conditions. However, hitting a driver too low can result in a loss of distance and may not be as effective in situations where a golfer needs to hit the ball higher.

Why am I hitting my driver high on the face?

If you are consistently hitting your driver high on the face, there could be several reasons for this:

  1. Teeing the ball too high: If the ball is teed too high, it can be difficult to make solid contact and the clubface can contact the ball too high on the face, resulting in a high shot.
  1. Incorrect ball position: If the ball is too far forward in your stance, it can cause the club to bottom out too early and hit the ball too high on the face.
  1. Improper swing mechanics: If your swing is too steep, it can cause the club to come down on the ball at a steep angle, resulting in a high shot.
  1. Poor posture: If your posture is incorrect, it can affect your swing path and cause the club to come down on the ball at a steep angle, resulting in a high shot.
  1. Improper club fitting: If your driver is not properly fitted to your swing, it can cause you to hit the ball high on the face.

How does ball position affect ball flight with driver?

The ball position can have a significant impact on the ball flight with the driver.

If the ball is too far forward in your stance, it can result in a higher launch angle and more spin, which can cause the ball to balloon in the air and not travel as far. This is because the club is bottoming out too early in the swing, and the clubface is contacting the ball on an upward angle.

On the other hand, if the ball is too far back in your stance, it can result in a lower launch angle and less spin, which can cause the ball to roll more after landing. This is because the club is bottoming out too late in the swing, and the clubface is contacting the ball on a downward angle.

Should I stand closer to ball for driver?

Standing closer to the ball with the driver can have several benefits, including increased control, improved accuracy, and greater power. 

It helps to promote an inside-out swing path, which is critical for generating power and producing a draw. This is because it encourages the club to move on an inside path on the downswing, which helps to square up the clubface at impact and produce a powerful, accurate shot.

In addition, standing closer to the ball can help to improve your posture and balance, which are critical components of a good swing. By standing closer to the ball, you can achieve a more athletic posture, with your knees slightly flexed and your weight balanced between your feet. This helps to promote a more dynamic, powerful swing and can also help to reduce tension and prevent injury.

For more tips on how to hit your driver see our guide here

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AUTHOR

Tommy is a confirmed golf fanatic. He's been playing golf for 20 years and just loves everything about the game. His dad used to play golf a lot and watch the PGA and European Tours, so Tommy started watching too. Now he knows a lot about golf and loves to coach people and help them play better.

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