As golfers, we have fourteen clubs in our bags that we need to learn how to hit and hit well.
The better we can get at hitting each of these clubs, the lower our score will be on the course.
For many players, this is simple.
Learning to adjust from one club to the next becomes something that golfers get used to and do quite well.
However, for some people, the transition from driver to irons and irons to driver can be really difficult.
If you find that you are struggling with your driver but not your irons, there could be several reasons that this is happening.
Let’s take a look at the top reasons that you can hit your irons but not your driver.
I Can Hit My Irons But Not My Driver (Causes, Fixes)
Here are some of the top causes for being able to hit the irons but not the driver.
You will notice that most of these causes are related to not making the transition from the iron setup and swing to those of the driver.
1. Hitting Down Instead Of Up
When you hit an iron shot, you must swing down on it.
Hitting down on the ball allows for backspin, and it launches the ball higher into the air.
As a new golfer is starting out, it can seem as though players are lifting the ball up into the air as they get through impact.
This is not at all true, and it is very important to learn to swing down and through your shots to get good at golf.
This process takes a while to learn, and it feels a bit different than many other sports.
As great as it is to learn to hit down on the ball, it is not what golfers need to succeed with their driver in their hands.
As soon as you put the driver in your hands, you must think about hitting up on the ball.
The good news is that you can use the same swing.
You simply need to put the ball in the front of your stance and swing with a more upward motion to hit the ball.
If you move the position of the ball up, there probably won’t be all that much more you need to do just to hit upward on the ball.
As you get better at the game, this won’t even feel like a real transition because you will simply feel as though you are swinging normally, and the golf club follows along.
Always make sure that you are still transferring your weight forward to your front foot, even though you are swinging up on the shots you are hitting.
2. Driver Is Longer Than Irons
A driver is longer than the irons.
The difference in the length of the club is the reason we can hit the driver so far.
The longer you swing a club and the faster the speed, the more distance you will get from it.
Players who want to hit the driver well need to take advantage of this length that the club offers.
However, one of the major mistakes a golfer will make with a driver is that they stand too close to the ball.
Most players have a hard time figuring out exactly how far they need to be from the ball on each shot.
If you are struggling with this concept and feel as though your clubhead is never exactly where you need it to be, it could be that you are simply standing too close to the ball.
One day, when you are practicing on the range, take your driver and your seven iron out of your bag for your own benefit.
Look at the difference in distance between these two clubs.
You will notice immediately that this difference is significant.
Therefore, when you set up to hit with your seven iron, you must make sure your stance changes quite a bit when you switch to the driver.
Without this adjustment, the swing won’t feel natural, and you won’t be able to make solid contact with the golf shots that you are hitting.
3. Lack Of Clubhead Speed
If you are struggling to hit your driver but not your irons, the issue could be a lack of clubhead speed.
If your driver is slowing down as it makes its way into the impact position, you will lose both distance and accuracy.
A lack of clubhead speed is a problem throughout the entire game, not just the driver.
However, in the driver, the issues that it brings along can be more pronounced.
For golfers who struggle to get clubhead speed, one of the most forgiving features of their golf set is going to be the loft that it has.
Clubs with more loft are naturally more forgiving.
However, in a golfer’s bag, the driver is the second-lowest loft in the set.
The golfers who can hit the driver well are those who have plenty of speed to help get the ball launched and struck adequately.
The slower your swing speed, the higher the loft of your driver should be.
If you choose a driver with the wrong loft, you are going to make the game much more difficult for yourself.
This is why we see senior golfers and women golfers who traditionally struggle with clubhead speed, using fourteen or fifteen degrees of loft drivers.
Sometimes this is the only thing that will make solid contact a possibility.
The issues in your golf game are sometimes caused by the things you do, but there is a chance your problems are caused by your equipment.
If you have an adjustable driver and your swing speed is slower, try changing the loft a little to see what it will do to the ball flight.
Chances are you will find it easier to hit the ball both straighter and further.
4. Tee Height
When teeing up the driver, many players struggle with tee height.
If you notice that you have no issues with your irons, but you struggle with your driver, it’s a good idea to think about the differences between these shots.
Since you have to tee a driver up, this could be the factor that is causing the issues in the swing.
Most of the time, a tee should be placed so that a portion of the ball hangs out over the top of the driver’s head.
When this is done, the golfer is able to strike the center of the clubface on the driver exactly.
If you have a driver with a large head like most of the new technology on the market, this means that you will end up teeing your driver quite high.
The higher height of the driver tee can scare some people, and they end up lowering it.
Now, as we mentioned in our last reason, you will have a low-lofted club with a ball teed too low.
If you really struggle with tee height, there are golf tees on the market that will allow you to see exactly where you are supposed to tee the ball.
Each time you go out to play, you can simply adjust the tee to be the perfect height that you need for your driver.
Overall, tee height is an excellent problem to have because the fix is so simple.
As soon as you can learn precisely how to tee it, you should be hitting much better drives.
Essentially, you want to make sure that the golf ball at least has a chance to hit the center of the clubface.
5. Wider Stance
As we have mentioned, the driver is a much longer club than the irons in your bag.
This length is a great thing when it comes to power, but it brings up some issues with stability and support.
Since the club is so long, it takes a bit more effort on the part of the golfer to correctly complete a full swing.
If you stand with your feet too close to each other on the golf swing, you will notice that you will have issues with distance.
In addition, you may struggle with direction and accuracy because of a lack of balance.
The driver swing takes a different setup than the iron swing.
Sometimes, players who struggle with the driver are still standing as though they are hitting an iron shot.
For a driver shot to be pulled off without issue, the feet need to be further than shoulder-width apart.
When the feet are spread out and the weight is balanced correctly, a golfer has a much better chance of hitting the driver well.
The exact width for the stance can take time to learn and will require some practice with feel.
If you are a player who thinks this is an issue in your game, you can use golf alignment sticks on the driving range to perfect your golf stance.
6. Ball Position
The golf ball position is essential for players who want to learn to hit the driver well.
The ball position for the driver is going to be on the inside of the left heel.
This is for a right-handed golfer.
Lefties need to take the advice and apply it in the opposite way.
The forward ball position of the driver allows for the proper launch and angle of attack.
As you likely remember, we stressed how important it is to swing up and through your driver shots.
If you have the ball in the middle of the back of the stance, there is no way to swing up on the ball.
Instead, a player will swing down and through as they do with irons, and the resulting shot will likely have a terrible amount of spin on it, and the power won’t be there either.
For maximum results from the driver, pay very close attention to where you are teeing it and how you can adjust your game accordingly.
7. Get Rid Of Forward Press
When you play with irons, wedges, and even the putter, chances are you use a forward press at some point.
Because of the impact position created with the forward press, it is a great thing when you are hitting golf shots that require you to swing down and through.
However, when you are trying to hit up on the ball, sometimes this forward press can lower the angle on the driver and make it even more difficult to hit.
Golfers who want the best results with the driver may need to move their hands back just a bit.
The slight forward press sometimes causes issues, but you can’t let the hands get behind the clubhead either.
Instead, when you are setting up to hit with a driver, try to have your hands more flush and keep a straight line between the clubhead and where your hands are on the club.
If you look at a golf professional setting up to hit a driver, you will see this angle that they create.
They will never have their hands pushed forward because it sets up the concept and mechanics of a descending blow.
The descending blow will increase issues that can occur with the driver in your hand.
Simply avoid it by keeping your hands a bit straighter at impact.
8. Grip Pressure
The more you struggle with a golf club, the harder it gets to use it naturally.
Sometimes, many golfers struggle with grip pressure.
The harder you grip the club, the harder it is to see the proper performance of your hands and body.
When you grip the club hard, you won’t be able to release the ball through impact.
In addition, there is usually a lack of distance associated with an inability to release the club.
All of these things can be caused by the fact that you are gripping the club too hard.
You always want to have control over the club, but outside that, the grip pressure needs to be extremely light.
9. Shoulder Angle
Last but certainly not least is the shoulder angle at impact.
When you set up to hit irons, chances are your shoulders are going to be relatively square.
However, when you put the driver in your hands, you will need to drop the right shoulder down just a bit.
This slight change of angle and drop in the shoulder makes so much sense.
If you look at the PGA Tour professionals, they set up like this to ensure they are swinging up and through the ball the proper way.
You can exaggerate this shoulder angle a bit too much and end up causing some extra problems for yourself.
Try and practice with a mirror so that you can see what you are looking like and what works the best for your game.
Sometimes simply seeing what you look like at setup can be all that is necessary to hit an incredible drive.
Hopefully, these causes and fixes have helped you see your driver in a new light.
You can learn to hit a driver well every time, as long as you work on the fundamentals.
Getting those down will ensure that you have more consistent success with both the drivers and the irons.