How To Stop Hitting Pop-Ups With Your Driver
NO MORE POP-UPS!
Popping-up your tee shots can be very frustrating and perplexing. You’re standing on the tee of a Par 5, ready to hit your longest drive of the day. You rear back and unleash the fury onto the ball. You anticipate watching your ball soar down the middle of the fairway only to see head straight up towards the clouds. The ball then lands only 80 yards from the tee. Frustrating, right? Was the ball teed up too high? Did you swing up on the ball too much? Ball placed too far forward in your stance? Most likely, none of those caused that pop-up.
When you pop-up your driver, you’re getting too much underneath the ball, but it’s caused by coming down too steeply into the ball. Simply, your swing was more of a “V-shape” rather than a “U-shape”. To hit the driver properly, it’s imperative to come into the ball much more shallow than you would with your irons.
Potential causes of the pop-up:
- Standing too close to the ball
- Ball too far back in your stance
- Picking the club up too abruptly on your backswing – not turning your shoulders enough
- Coming out of your posture
- Swinging too hard
- Hands getting too far away from your body on the downswing (outside-to-in downswing)
- At address, make sure the end of the grip is pointing to your belt buckle, AND is about 5 inches away from it
- Ball position should be about one inch off your left heel with your driver
- Start your backswing turning your shoulders level, not picking up the club with your hands
- Maintain your knee flex to remain in your posture
- Try to have a smooth transition into your downswing resisting the urge to hit it too hard
- Keep your hands closer to your body on your downswing
These are not all the causes and cures for pop-ups, but they are some of the most common.
A different way to think of a pop-up is thinking about skipping rocks off water. When you skip a rock, your right arm will drop low and you will release the rock low so it skips along the surface of the water. Popping-up a tee shot would be the same as taking that rock and just throwing it straight down into the water. It was too steep. Skipping a rock requires a shallow angle to the water when the rock is released.
Here’s a simple drill to shallow out your downswing when hitting your driver:
- Tee up your ball and take your normal stance
- Take your normal backswing
- On your downswing, swing the club one foot over the ball – don’t hit the ball!
- Continue swinging about one foot above the ball for a few swings
- Finally, go ahead and hit a few
This drill will shallow/round-out your shoulders making it much more difficult to hit pop-ups. It’s actually a great drill to hit your driver better even if you’re not popping it up.
Good luck and thanks for reading!