Golf Driver Setup Routine

The driver is a totally different club than all of the irons and wedges in a golfers bag. The golf setup routine is very different for the driver versus the way you would line up other clubs when getting ready to hit a shot. Hitting a long and accurate drive in the fairway is very important to set up your second shot and sink a birdie or par.

This article will explain the key steps on how to be prepared to lineup your driver for a successful shot.

The Goal Of Your Driver Setup

The goal of your driver setup is to help you make good contact with the ball and hit it in the right direction.

You’re going to need to keep the club head and face square to strike it correctly. Hitting the driver will be a different motion than hitting your irons. Setting up won’t be the same either.

When striking the ball with an iron, you use a downward motion to hit down on the ball. When hitting the driver, you’re supposed to make contact with a more sweeping motion where the clubhead is going in an upward motion.

Importance Of Stance In Driver Setup Routine

Having the proper golf stance for the driver is important during the setup routine because it is the foundation for the rest of the swing. One important tip is to flare your toes outward. This allows you to be more mobile and produce a higher swing speed thus creating more power and hitting it farther.

Below we will take you step by step on how to set up for a shot with the driver and explain how to have the correct stance.

Key Steps To Proper Golf Driver Swing Setup

Step 1: Ground Your Club

Put your driver down square at your target, whether it be at a small target a few feet in front of you, at the center of the fairway or even a marker in the distance like a tree or path if you’re trying to play a fade or draw.

You don’t have to aim your body at the place you want to hit in this instance. Your clubhead should be aimed there but your body should be a little left of where you are aiming.

📋 Keep in mind: To gain more power, driver position and body position is very important.

Step 2: Put Your Feet Next To Each Other

As you aim the driver towards the fairway keep your feet together to where the ball lies between the center in your stance. This aids you in alignment and keeping focused on where you want to hit the ball.

Step 3: Move Both Of Your Feet Into The Proper Position

First, move your left foot a little towards the left where it lines up with the left shoulder. It is recommended to prepare your setup each time by moving the left foot outside a bit followed by your right foot outside in relation to the club’s length that you’re about to swing with.

When you move the right foot, keep it on the same line as your right shoulder just like you did with your left foot and shoulder.

📋 Keep in mind: For beginners it might feel weird to have your feet so wide apart but this is normal due to the driver being the lengthiest club.

Some experts also recommend putting your feet a little wider than your shoulders. Neither way is right or wrong. Whatever helps you hit it better and produces better results.

Doing this helps give you balance and allows you to take a wider swing which adds more power to the hit.

Step 4: Check To See If The Ball Is Too Close Or Too Far Away From You

It’s important to make sure the ball is the proper distance away from your stance. If it’s too far or too close this can cause issues with your swing. If it is too close your swing might become too steep. If it’s too far then your swing can become too wide.

You can check this by laying the club face behind the ball. Next, ungrip the club and put your right hand between the end of the driver and your belt. When your right hand fits tight in the middle of them, that means you are the right length away from the ball.

💡 Golfible Tip: Preference and being comfortable is a big deal so if you like being slightly closer or farther and find it to bring you good results then keep doing that.

Step 5: Make Sure To Have The Correct Balance

While setting up your stance you should have a 50-50 balance between your two feet. Some instructors also recommend doing a 60-40 balance with more weight on your lead foot than trailing foot.

Your balance and weight shoe be even on the toes and heels to an equal amount. This will also help you keep a good balance. Doing this consistently helps you get comfortable and can form the basis to a nice natural repeatable swing.

Another important thing is to keep your posture good and back straight. Being slouched over can reduce your chance of having a smooth swing.

Step 6: Aiming At The Target Correctly And Closing Your Shoulders

Keep your hips, shoulders and feet parallel to the target line if you’re trying to hit the ball straight.

If you’re attempting to hit a draw, if you are right-handed you need a slightly rightward aim. If you’re left handed then you’ll need a left-ward aim.

📢 Need To Know: Make sure to close your shoulders and tuck in your elbow during your swing which helps keep the shoulders closed.

Step 7: Hand Position On The Grip And Gripping The Driver

The hand position at address with the driver is very important. Your hands should be lined up with your ball. Doing this ensures a medium or slight forward lean on the shaft of the driver.

Your hands can also be slightly behind the ball as well. Whichever is more comfortable.

A tip that can be used to check hand position as taught by professionals is if you were to let your club drop back it should hit the inside front of your standing leg. You can use this tip for any club.

In terms of grip, some golfers have weak, neutral or strong grips. Not one of these grips is the wrong or right way to hold a driver. Certain grips work for certain people.

Ball Position In Driver Set Up

The ball should be slightly inside your front foot when setting up with a driver. In other words, you want it towards the front of your stance. This helps since you’re trying to hit the ball with an upwards motion.


Every coach, teacher or PGA professional has their own methods of teaching how to hit a driver and every player has their own way on how to strike it well. There isn’t one proper golf driver swing but taking these golf driving basics seriously can help you improve your game and stripe one down the fairway. Be sure to comment in the queries what works for you when swinging the big stick.


Should hands be in front of ball with driver?

When hitting a driver, your ball should be in the forward part of your stance. Leave your hands directly above the ball when setting up for the shot. 

Should you have shaft lean with driver?

The shaft needs to be in-line with ball when a player is setting up and addressing the ball. If you put it too far forward you are making more of an effort to catch up which takes away power and distance. 

What is the correct tee height for driver?

There is no exact correct tee height for a driver. People have different preferences when teeing the ball and perform better at different lengths. It is recommended by golf teachers that 1.5 inches high is a good height for teeing up a driver. 

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Lawrence Smelser has been part of the Golfible writing staff since 2019 and is a freelance golf journalist. Smelser has covered the PGA Tour including the U.S. Masters with He holds a journalism Bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M and a Master’s journalism degree from the University of North Texas. Learn more about our team at Golfible on our About Us page.

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