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Golf hacks: One simple trick to avoid the dreaded pop-up driver off the tee

April 29, 2019

Tired of hitting sky-high balloon balls? A shallower path will put the oomph back in your tee shots, and this simple trick can help you.

Popping up your tee shot is one of the most embarrassing things you can do (on a golf course). The snickers from your playing partners cut like a knife. Mumbling to yourself while resheathing the source of your shame, you realize that injury has been added to the insult: Your near-under-whiff has left a big, gnarly scratch on the top of your beautiful, new driver. Now you’re really steamed.

Obviously, the fault here is that you’ve brought the club into the ball on an overly steep angle. If this issue is chronic, you’re not only risking the balloon-job, you’re bleeding power, accuracy and consistency—even when you do catch more of the ball. Prevent that frown on your crown with this path-shallowing drill shared on Instagram by Top 100 Teacher Cameron McCormick.

Stay aware of your path with a visual reminder, like a golf grip or headcover.
Stay aware of your path with a visual reminder, like a golf grip or headcover.
Ben Mounsey-Wood

Take an extra grip (or a towel or a headcover) and place it on the ground right behind the ball. Now swing. As you bring your driver into the hitting zone, you’re going to want to miss the grip. This physical/visual reminder naturally guides you into a shallower approach. If your old, steep downswing creeps in, you’ll hit the obstacle. Not dangerous, but not fun, either.

As you learn to hit slightly “up” with the driver using this drill, you’ll raise the bottom of your swing arc and start to catch the ball higher on the clubface. This creates less spin, fueling longer drives. Oh, and no more gashes on your pretty club!