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Common Driver Errors

Learn about the most common driver mistakes and how to fix them

Driver Common Errors and Drills

While the driver goes the furthest, it can also give us the most trouble. The mot common driver errors are pop-ups and slices (curving right).

In golf, we practice drills to help train a new motion or minimize a bad motion. Below are some of the best driver drills you can practice to hit the ball more solidly and straighter.

The Pop-Up

A pop-up is where the ball flies too high and because of this it costs you a bunch of distance. Most golfers believe a pop-up is the result of the ball being teed too high. This is rarely the case because the face of the modern driver is so big and most tees are the appropriate length.

Pop-ups happen because the driver is traveling on a steep downward path when it runs into the ball. This steep path is the result of 1 of 4 errors: 2 are set-up and 2 are swing.

ALWAYS check your set-up first before you start messing with your swing.

  1. Ball is too far back in your stance (back means closer to your trailing foot (or right foot if you are a right-handed golfer).
  2. Your weight or head is not centered and leaning to the lead or forward foot (left foot if a right-handed golfer).
  3. Reverse pivot
  4. Sway

Watch the video below to see the details and ways to fix.

No Ball All Tee Drill

This a great drill for every level. If you are struggling with consistently and solidly hitting the ball, try to take it away and just hit the tee. Magic happens when we take the ball away.

Feet Together

This is a fantastic drill to minimize excess movement and get your body moving in the correct direction. Start with your feet about a ball width apart and then slowly widen your stance. If you start struggling at any width, go back to a little more narrow. ***note: you just may hit the ball better with your feet very close together. There is nothing that says you can’t play on the course with your feet together for while- I have plenty of students who have done it.

Calling all Slicers

The slice is the most common shot with driver. Since it is the longest club in the bag it is also the hardest to square up at the ball. There are several factors that can contribute to a slice and this drill is a great place to begin. The less your ball curves (unintentionally) the more predictably you can keep your ball in the fairway.


Depending on what your tendency is with the driver, pick the appropriate practice prescription.

1.Pop-Up: First check set-up. Then hit balls with your feet together for 8-10 balls, spread apart for 4-5, then 8-10 with feet together. Slowly widening your stance each time.

2. Slicer: First check your grip (a slice often starts in the grip). Hit 8-10 balls with the Slice Drill. 8-10 with your feet together and alternate with regular swings.

3. Hooker? – That is the ball over curving to the left. First check your grip…you likely have too strong of a grip where your left hand is turned too far to the right. Refer to the Fundamentals Section