Low Drives – How to Stop Hitting Drives Too Low

Driver sending the ball on a too low trajectoryMany golfers prefer a low ball flight with their driver. They believe that the ball rolling upon landing will provide some extra distance in their drives. This is unfortunate as better golfers – and Tour Pros – much prefer a higher ball flight that also produces some roll upon landing. 

A high ball trajectory with your drives that sees the ball coming down at the perfect angle will provide a greater total distance – carry distance + roll distance – than a lower one.

Follow the tips below in order to fix your low drives and hit higher golf shots with your driver instead.

Low Drives Cause #1: Low Strike Location

Too low drive caused by impact too low on the clubfaceThe first reason why you are hitting low golf shots with your driver may have to do with the strike location on your clubface. Indeed, if you hit the ball towards the bottom of the clubface – below the sweat spot – your drives will be lower than they could be.

This happens because the loft (the angle of the clubface) is smaller on the bottom section of a driver’s face than it is in the middle section. 

Furthermore, hitting the ball low on your clubface might also mean that you are topping the golf ball, or thinning it. When you do this, you are catching the ball above its equator, which doesn’t produce as pure a golf shot as can be.

To find out if this is the case for you, simply spray some impact powder (or apply impact decals) on the face of your club before you hit some drives. The ball will leave an imprint on the clubface, letting you know where the strike location was.

If you find that you position your tee relatively low to the ground, consider raising it slightly and compare the results.

More on: Club loft and its effect on ball trajectory

Low Drives Cause #2: Not Enough Loft

Too low drive caused by too little loftSometimes, the explanation for a low golf drive has to do with the driver’s features. You should consider the loft of your driver and see if it is sufficient for your swing speed. 

For example, a driver with 8.5 degrees of loft will naturally want to send the ball on a lower trajectory than one with 13.5 degrees. Maybe the lower lofted option is better suited for a golfer with a much faster swing speed than yours.

The best course of action in this instance is to try different options (if your club allows tweaks) or better yet to go in for a club fitting. Doing so will help you pinpoint what the best loft would be for your particular swing.

More on: Club fitting guide and what it entails

Low Drives Cause #3: Shaft Too Stiff

Too low drive caused by a too stiff shaftA third option to consider when trying to hit higher drives is to look at the flex of your shaft. Likewise with the loft of your driver, maybe the shaft of your driver is not appropriate for your driver speed.

Generally speaking, the stiffer the club shaft, the lower the ball flight of your golf shots.

While golfers with fast swing speeds may benefit from a stiffer driver shaft, that may not be the case for you. This is especially true if your swing speed is not sufficiently fast to properly work with a stiff, or extra stiff shaft.

Low Drives Cause #4: Ball Position Too Far Back

Too low drive caused by ball positioned too far backNow that we have looked at the features of your driver, it’s time to consider what you might be doing wrong and how that can send your drives on a lower trajectory.

And the first area to consider is the ball position. Simply put, a ball positioned too far back in your stance will tend to send the ball on a lower trajectory. This happens because the club will strike the ball too soon in your swing arc, where the clubface is de-lofted in comparison to where it should be were the ball position properly forward in your stance.

Remember that with your driver, the ball should be positioned towards the instep of your front foot.

More on: How to hit a driver

Low Drives Cause #5: Spine Angle Not Angled

Too low drive caused by spine angle not titled backFinally, the way you set up and address the ball can also produce a lower golf shot. If the ball is properly located forward in your stance, that means that your body will be behind the ball. And if you correctly point the end of your shaft towards your left hip that means that your body should be titled back somewhat.

This spine angle tilt is a feature of the driver address position. Failing to adopt this position by setting up with your upper body straight will tend to be associated with a descending swing arc, and ultimately with a lower ball flight.

You also need to be careful that you do not position too much weight forwards at address nor at impact.

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