I'm an 18 handicap and I'm hitting the ball way too high with my driver, it goes very high and barely reaches 170 yards. I used to be hitting it around 220. I'm pretty sure I'm not popping it up too. How can I fix this?"
Your question could have a couple solutions, some simple and others more in depth. I'd like to go over all the possible ways in which you can hit such a high ball off the tee, without skying it. Hopefully, from there you can determine how to best fix your problem.
First of all, let's start with the loft of your driver, for someone of your skill level, I'd recommend a driver of around 10.5 degrees to maximize your distance. Any more and it's possible to get your symptoms.
Hitting the Ball High on the Clubface
Check your tee position, if it's too high you will tend to hit the ball high on the clubface resulting in drives with much more backspin. This causes the ball to climb higher. Also, the clubs energy is not transferred nearly as well when compared to hitting the ball on the center of the clubface. This happens because of torque. Off-center hits forces the club to twist slightly to absorb the impact. For example, if you hit the ball higher up on the clubface, the ball will force the clubface to bow upwards slightly, increasing it's loft. So you will lose distance from the extra spin, poor contact and extra loft.
When you setup to your ball, rest your club on the ground behind it. Half the ball should be above the clubface… this will ensure you’re teeing the ball at the correct height.
Check your Ball Position
Lie a club on the ground and point it towards your ball… so it intersects your target line at 90 degrees (perpendicular). When you set up to the ball it should be aligned just within your lead heel. Use the club lying on the ground to get a better feel for where the ball should be located within your stance. Any further forward and you will be more likely to add loft to your driver, because you will make contact on the upswing. Also remember, the further forward the ball is in your stance, the higher your lead shoulder will be.
Hitting the Ball on the Upswing
Although this is recommended when it comes to the woods, hitting the ball on the upswing can have its limits… especially if your wrists release from their cocked position too early on the downswing (known as an early release or flip). Ideally with your woods, the club should bottom out just before the ball and make contact as it starts its way up again. If you catch it any later, you will be adding a lot of extra loft and spin to your shots. The spin gets you into even more trouble, because the faster the ball spins, the more lift it creates, making the ball climb higher.
Your follow-through can also have an effect on your ball flight. If you find yourself reaching for the sky after you’ve hit the ball, this could cause your ball flight to rise. Try finishing each swing with the club wrapped around your shoulders… or better yet, work on abbreviating your follow-through much like a knock down shot and see if it has an effect.
Shafts Too Whippy
If you’ve ever been fitted for clubs, you will probably hear the rep talk about torque. As I explained above, torque is defined as to the amount a club twists on off-center hits. If a club is not stiff enough for someone with a quicker swing, they will suffer from inconsistency because the club will lag behind.
If you're a weekend golfer, I doubt your clubs are properly fitted to your swing. This is of the utmost importance if you wish to improve your golf game. If you find yourself suffering from an inconsistent ball flight, or are routinely hitting the ball too high / low, this may be the one time you can actually blame your clubs!
I hope that helps you Carol and gives you other reader’s out there suffering from this problem some clues into how to fix their swings.