On those windy days on your long par 4 or when trying to reach that par 5 green in two, you often need a couple more yards than your fairway woods can muster. Learning how to hit your driver off the deck can give you a major advantage over your competitors. The lower trajectory and higher ball speed should give you those extra yards you need to reach the green.
For this shot a solid rhythm and a reliable and repeatable swing is needed… as such, it should be reserved for lower handicaps only. Keep in mind, this is a risky shot, with little room for error, the lower loft of your driver will exaggerate any miss-hits.
Aim your body to the left of the target
A driver off the deck will produce a fade nine times out of ten; you will need to align your entire body – feet, knees, hips, shoulders and clubface to the left of your target. A fade will help you get the ball airborne, and will make your ball flight much more predictable.
Play the ball off your lead heel
Much like when hitting your driver off a tee, you should play this shot close to your front heel. However, considering you’re looking for ball first contact – you cannot hit this shot on the upswing. Therefore you may want to push the ball back in your stance a bit to make this shot work for you.
Be conscious of your swing path
With this shot, and the length of your driver – it's very easy to hit a big block slice – so you must really force yourself to swing to the inside slightly after impact.
Drop the hands from the top
To avoid a worm-burning snap hook, it's better to have to the clubface slightly open coming into impact. If you really drop your hands down into the slot from the top, you will help to keep them from over-rotating… and thus virtually eliminating the chance of hitting a hook.
Make ball first contact
This is a tough enough shot as is without grass getting between your clubface and the ball. Your ball position should help dictate your angle of attack into the ball. So fiddle with your stance to create a slightly descending blow into the ball. Your divots with this shot should be similar to hitting a fairway wood.
I highly recommend you try this shot from the range first. Once you have a handle on the technique remember, to only use this shot from nice fairway lies, or if you're really aggressive, nice fluffy lies from the rough.
Give it a try!