How to hit driver off the deck successfully — as told by the ‘King’

Carter Smith, a 24-year-old from Norfolk, Virginia, goes by the name ‘DOD King.’ In full, that’s Driver Off the Deck King. 

We know your two most-immediate thoughts here. 

They’re related, right? 

There’s a DOD King?

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And …

How does one become DOD royalty?

Good questions. Let’s start with the first one.

To begin, no, you didn’t miss the coronation. Smith is confident, and he’s fitted himself for the crown, but he’s no jester. Here’s the quick bio, which he talked about this week on GOLF’s Subpar podcast. First, to define it, DOD is hitting the ball with a driver without a tee — from anywhere. It’s not easy, of course. There’s a reason most everyone else uses a tee on the tee box. And why there are fairway woods for the fairway. But Smith has DOD’d for as long as he can remember. 

He played on his high school team. He played college golf. But he had wanted to be a pro and left after a year. In the meantime, he worked golf and tiling jobs. Then in January, a friend filmed him DOD’ing. He posted it. It blew up. They posted more videos. They blew up. He quit tiling. Now, he’s playing with musicians DJ Khaled and Fat Joe. The King was born. 

And what do you see on the videos? On the Subpar podcast — hosted by Colt Knost, a U.S. Amateur winner, and Drew Stoltz, himself a good stick — Smith was asked about his yardages. Here’s the exchange, started by Stoltz:

“For the people online that just see your videos, what’s your average driving distance? How far can you move it off the deck?”

“So typically right now, I’m carrying it 301 off the deck.” 



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Knost said one word: 


Smith continued.  

“There are so many people who are just like, that’s not real, there’s no way, but I went to the TaylorMade Kingdom, on the Trackman, in front of the guy, and was consistently carrying it 301, 302, 303.” 

Said Knost: “That’s pretty impressive.” 

Said Stoltz: “I mean, your swing’s good. You see it online — the golf swing’s clean; it’s very good; 301 off the deck is monster.” 

Said Smith: “So when I’m hitting it good, it’s a nice draw. And my typical miss will be a spinny cut. So when I start to miss it, now we’re talking 275, 280. So it’s a significant difference. However, those misses now for me are in the fairway. So they might be short if it’s into the wind; it’s going to get a little greasy with all the spin. But it hits the fairway. And I’m a precision player from there.”

Now back to the second question, from the start. 

How does one become DOD royalty?

Put another way, what’s the secret to hitting it?

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We’ll end things here with this exchange, started by the King’s answer.

“Yeah, you got to have soft mitts, and I would say you got to have delusional confidence as well in yourself. Because a lot of people, they’re just like, oh, there’s no way I can do it, or I’m going to break my driver head, or et cetera. If you think like that, you’re going to miss it; you’re going to break your driver head. 

“So for me, I’ve lived by delusional confidence my whole life. I already know I’m going to stripe this ball. There’s some technical things with it — I did a tutorial on my YouTube. But the DOD is all mental. Delusional confidence, have your hand-eye coordination, ball first, swing hard.” 

Said Knost: “I like it.” 

Said Stoltz: “Yeah, the DOD, the King is a mindset. Also world-class talent helps, you know what I mean. It doesn’t hurt.” 

Said the DOD King: “It does help. It does help.” 

Editor’s note: To listen to the entire Subpar podcast, please click below.

Editor’s note: To view Smith’s Instagram page, please click here. To view Smith’s YouTube page, please click here

Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at