Do you ever wonder how your golf ball can go anywhere but straight?
Hitting the ball left and right of your target is something that makes the game much more frustrating and can even make some golfers quit.
Over the years, I’ve developed some proven ways to hit the ball straight and keep things in play.
I can tell you, it’s not always easy to hit a golf ball straight every time, but it’s possible to hit it straight most of the time.
Here are my top 13 ways to get it done!
- The 13 Tips on How to Hit a Golf Ball Straight
- Feet Position Square
- Check the Grip
- Pressure in the Hands
- Know the Correct Wrist Positioning
- Is the Swing the Right Length?
- Equipment Upgrades and Enhancements
- Tempo Check
- Set the Club Down Straight
- Relax the Arms
- Pay Attention to Your Head Position
- Learn How to Hook and Slice
- Practice Putting with Lines
- Make Your Practice Worth Your Time
- Taking it to the Course
The 13 Tips on How to Hit a Golf Ball Straight
If you want to hit a golf ball straight, your clubhead needs to be delivered to the ball with a square clubface.
If the clubface is not square, hitting the golf ball straight is nearly impossible.
However, delivering the clubface to the ball in a way that is straight is sometimes easier said than done.
Use our FREE guide to master your wrist angles and consistently hit straight shots with ease!
Feet Position Square
Golfers like to swing it.
They don’t always like to take the time to get a club into the right positions or feel more confident about the different positions in the swing. Instead, we want to step up and hit it.
I encourage you not to do this.
When you can take just a bit more time to set up and be sure that your feet are in the right position, this is the best way to hit a golf ball straight.
Golfers who rush this process struggle to hit a golf ball straight, even with a perfect swing.
I like to use an alignment stick on the ground to ensure that my feet are lined up square to the ball as well as square to the target line.
Some golfers with limited rotational ability can turn their left toe out a little bit when trying to set up to play, but this is only necessary for that reason.
Check the Grip
With all the tips to drive a golf ball straight, the most overlooked one is the grip.
I get it; the grip is boring to practice, and it doesn’t feel fun to sit there and work on moving your fingers over a few centimeters.
However, practicing the grip and getting the position right can be a complete game changer.
Golfers need to aim to have a neutral grip. This is a position where your hands are not too strong or too weak on the club. In addition, you will want to ensure that grip pressure is not too high.
The weak and strong grip are good to know. Neutral is where your hands should be if you want to hit a straight shot.
Grip pressure should allow for the club to feel as though it rests in your hands instead of you holding the club as if you are wrangling it!
Make sure that you are taking a consistent grip while using the driver, fairway woods, irons, wedges, etc.
Use HackMotion to create a consistent grip. With the HackMotion measuring wrist angle at setup, you can see if your hands are positioned on the club the same way each time. Consistency in the grip helps promote more consistency at impact.
Pressure in the Hands
Did you know that having too much pressure in your hands when you swing can impact the ability of the golf ball to go straight?
It’s a problem that many golfers struggle with, and it needs to go.
When you have tight pressure in your hands, it stops the club from moving naturally. When this natural movement slows down, not only do you lose the ability to hit the ball straight, but you may also lose some distance.
Players think that increasing pressure in their hands can help guide the ball or show it which direction it needs to go, but this is not the case.
Holding the extra tight pressure in your hands usually comes on the days when you are hitting poor shots.
Suddenly, your brain gets this brilliant idea to grip the life out of the club and see what you can do with it.
Instead, try to feel your hands, wrists, and your forearms relax. This tends to be where pressure builds up, and the result is certainly a negative for your game.
Know the Correct Wrist Positioning
One of the more common mistakes that amateur golfers make is not knowing the correct positioning for their wrists.
Although we like to use larger muscles like the core and shoulders, and legs to control the golf swing, there are still positions that the wrist needs to get in, for the club head to be delivered square.
Understanding the correct wrist position can be challenging for golfers to work on and feel without using HackMotion.
HackMotion is a feedback tool and training aid for golfers that allows for proper positioning of the wrist at the beginning, middle, and end of the swing.
Many players find that after working with HackMotion, they can work out other areas of concern in their game because their wrists are now in the proper position. HackMotion can be used by golfers who are just starting to those that are professional.
With more than 1,000,000 golf swings analyzed, the HackMotion wrist sensor will give you wrist patterns and movement that can help you make instant improvements in your golf game.
Is the Swing the Right Length?
I know that when I struggle with hitting the ball straight, sometimes it’s because the backswing is not the correct length.
Everyone thinks this means the backswing is too long, but that is not the case.
Sometimes the backswing can be too short, and it doesn’t give a golfer enough time to square the clubface up at impact.
Checking the length of your backswing from time to time can help you get the ball moving down the fairway a little straighter.
I like to take a video of my swing at least once a month and check on positions.
You can also use tools like HackMotion to help you check the positioning of your wrists at the start, middle, and top of your backswing.
These positions may give you some more insight as to whether you are getting the right amount of length and extension in your golf swing.
Most of the time, a longer backswing results in a shot that is longer. Adding more length to the backswing requires good rotation and awareness of the golf club.
One of the best ways to practice your backswing length is to pick three targets to hit a full swing shot to one, a ¾ swing one to another, and a ½ swing to the third. Learning to control ball flight and distance based on backswing length can help you hit the ball straighter.
Most golfers find that what feels like a ¾ length backswing is the easiest to repeat and to hit consistently.
Equipment Upgrades and Enhancements
New golf clubs can help you hit the ball straighter.
However, this does not mean new golf clubs will always be the trick.
Golf clubs currently fitted to you as a golfer with the recommended specifications will give you a better chance of hitting the ball straight.
The biggest mistake I see amateur golfers make is the incorrect shaft placed in their golf clubs. With the wrong shaft, it doesn’t matter if your swing is perfect, your setup is perfect, etc. You must do a lot of work to square up the clubface and hit a great shot.
Therefore it makes sense to get fitted every few years. Take a look at the equipment you have in your bag and try to determine if it is still properly suited to your golf game.
Most of the time, the equipment upgrades and enhancements will be minor tweaks, but they can help you hit the ball straighter.
The straightest golf shot sometimes comes from a golf club with a slightly more flexible shaft or a slightly closed clubface, which is entirely acceptable.
Golfers have the somewhat difficult decision of choosing between steel and or graphite for their golf clubs. Graphite shafts are for players seeking more distance and speed; steel shafts are for those seeking control.
In addition, there are shaft flex options to consider, including regular, stiff, extra stiff, and senior flex. If you don’t have the correct flex or shaft material, you may struggle with hitting a golf ball straighter.
The tempo of your golf swing is critical.
Tempo is not necessarily how fast you swing but how long it takes you to complete your golf swing from the start to the end.
The amount of elapsed time and how you divide that time will work to create your tempo.
Golfers with a smooth tempo tend to take about two counts to swing the club back and one to get through the ball and to their finish position.
If you have a great tempo in your golf swing, there are fewer unnecessary movements, making it easier to hit the ball straight.
Expect to see a connection with the center of the clubface, a higher launch, and more balance in the swing as well.
If you need help working on your tempo, you can practice with a metronome. Start using it when you practice your putting and chipping, and eventually move on to the full swing.
Set the Club Down Straight
This tip for hitting a golf ball straight every time seems all too simple.
However, you would not believe how many golfers make this mistake in their game.
So many players will take their golf club, set it down on the ground, and expect that it is square and aimed towards the target.
If you don’t know what a square clubface is, make sure you are trying to learn by setting it down next to a 90 degree angle and determining what square is.
This is especially important with irons that have to be set down square.
Some golf drivers can look a little closed or a little open at times, and this makes it hard to tell exactly what square is.
For this situation, I recommend experimenting with the driver on the driving range and seeing what position gets you the best results.
The bottom line here is that the way the club is set down needs to make sense before you take the club back.
Relax the Arms
Your arms should be relaxed if you plan on hitting a golf ball straight.
I’ve seen many players start from the top of their swing to try and hit the golf ball with their arms. You need to give this idea up.
The golf ball only takes off and starts flying toward the target if you are rotating your body and legs correctly and getting things to move through impact.
Arms are helpful in the swing; they can encourage straighter shots at times, but only when combined with the proper rotation of the hips and legs.
Body and arms working together are the keys of the swing. Legs and hips can generate power, and the arms will help keep everything headed toward the target.
When your arms are relaxed, they are more likely to go through the ball, following your body.
If they are more tense, they are more likely to take off and do their own thing. Try to keep your arms relaxed; I feel it the most when I relax my back, neck, and shoulders. In addition, I focus on using my hip and leg rotation to generate power. When I do this, the results are considerably better when it comes to straight shots.
Pay Attention to Your Head Position
We already talked about the clubhead position and where that needs to be when hitting a drive; however, now it’s time to talk about the position of your actual head, the one that holds all those swing thoughts.
One of my favorite swing tips, and one that I go to on tough days, is to keep my head still as I swing.
Not only do I want very little movement laterally, but I also don’t want much of an up-and-down movement with the head.
Each of these movements with my head makes it much more challenging to return the clubface to square.
As your head moves up and down, it can impact the angle of the clubface and require much more work to square things up.
Keeping your head position square allows for less movement in the swing and the ease of keeping the club on the plane the entire time.
Take a video of your golf swing and look at how much head movement you have. It may surprise you and motivate you to work on keeping it a little more still throughout your golf swing.
Learn How to Hook and Slice
If you want to hit the ball straight, it can help to know how to hit a slice and how to hit a hook.
The concept here is that if you know how to hook it and you know how to slice it, then you may be able to fix those things if they should pop up while you are out on the golf course.
There are a few different reasons why you may hook or slice a shot, so it’s essential to understand what the clubface position looks like when hitting a hook or a slice.
The clubface gives us the most insight into which direction the golf ball is going to travel.
When I first learned how to control the golf ball, I often got caught up on the slice. I would start practicing something new, and my swing would turn into a slice quicker than I had hoped.
Once I learned how to hit a hook, I could take what I knew about that, apply it, and straighten out the ball flight again.
The more you know about how to control the golf ball, the easier it is to hit a golf ball straight every time. With the use of golf launch monitor data and technology, we have learned that the wrists are directly in control of the angle of the clubface.
If your wrist position is correct, the clubface is square at impact. Use your wrists and the HackMotion to learn to control the clubface of your golf shots.
Practice Putting with Lines
When talking about how to hit a golf ball straight, we can’t leave out the putting green.
I don’t know about you, but I like the putts I hit to travel straight as well!
One of the best ways to learn how to hit your putts straight is to use lines on the putting green when you practice.
There are ways to do this with chalk lines if your course allows, but you can also use alignment sticks.
Practicing putting lines in place makes it easier to visualize what you need to do and how to get the club back to square on each stroke.
In addition, you can wear your HackMotion device to check on the consistency of your putting stroke. All golfers have some differences from one stroke to the next. However, the best players keep the most consistency in their stroke.
There are so many inconsistencies on a putting green. Using lines and technology to increase the effectiveness of your putting routine is essential.
Make Your Practice Worth Your Time
Practicing without purpose is more like an exercise.
You are not going to get better unless you have something to work on. In addition, when you are learning to hit the ball straighter, chances are you will just hit the same golf club over and over again hoping for different results.
Use HackMotion to create a practice routine that effectively fixes your faults and gets you back out on the golf course with a straighter ball flight. Chances are you have spent too much time working on the swing plane and path, when your wrists were in the wrong position all along.
Investing in your golf game is part of learning to hit a golf ball straighter. Once you gain these skills and the feel of what it takes to hit a golf ball straight, you will see your golf course play start to change.
Most practice routines are simply calorie burners. You stand out on the range, push through a bucket of balls and call it a day. Real learning and development comes with data, analysis and drills and tips.
Check out our free online guide to improve your wrist angles and make hitting straight shots easy!
Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions about hitting a golf ball straight every time.
Why don’t my golf shots go straight?
Your golf shots do not go straight because you are not delivering the clubface to the impact position when it is square.
If your clubface is open or closed, the golf ball goes right or left and not straight.
Why is it so hard to hit a golf ball straight?
Hitting a golf ball is like trying to take a spot the size of a quarter and hit it on something the size of a dime. Now you must try and swing at nearly 100mph of speed.
It’s hard to do, and there are many moving parts that make it much more complicated.
How do you straighten a shot?
In order to straighten a golf shot, you need to find which area of your swing is causing the issue. It is set up, clubface control, the swing plane, the path, etc.
Is it better to hit straight or draw?
Many golfers prefer a draw ball flight as it goes a little further and can feel more natural. If you know the golf ball is going to draw each time you hit, then it’s perfectly acceptable to use that.
However, all players should at least know how to hit the golf ball straight.
Taking it to the Course
With these 13 tips on how to hit a golf ball straight every time, you should be well on your way to becoming a better player.
Try to remember that hitting a golf ball straight does take some practice.
Work on making sure all the basics are in place and then get into the more complicated things like swing plane, path, and correct wrist positioning.
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