Golf’s most accurate driver shares 3 keys for hitting more fairways

joe durant hits driver during the 2024 senior pga championship

Joe Durant is among the straightest drivers in golf history.

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NEWPORT, R.I. — Joe Durant is one of the straightest drivers pro golf has ever seen.

Most years on the PGA Tour, Durant’s driving accuracy was over 75 percent, with his high-water mark coming in a 2015 where he hit 82(!) percent of his fairways. Despite being one of the shorter hitters on Tour, Durant was inside the top 10 in SG: off-the-tee for five straight years (2004-08), and he kept himself inside the top 70 until he graduated to the Champions Tour in 2014

Ten years later, it seems not much has changed for the four-time Tour winner. As Durant prepares for the 44th U.S. Senior Open, he’s parked in the middle of the range at Newport Country Club. Two alignment sticks are on the ground in front of him as he sends ball after ball soaring into the distance.

Durant is a range picker’s dream. Right as the balls leave the face of his driver, there’s little doubt where they’re headed. Each ball lands within a 15-foot circle, or so it seems. It’s as if a machine is swinging the club for him. He could hit a fairway the width of a sidewalk.

After he finishes his practice, Durant insists he’s been struggling with his swing of late, although it’s tough to tell after the consistency he displayed. Nevertheless, the 60-year-old is happy to share his secrets for hitting fairways.

1. Check your lines

For Durant, solid ball striking starts before he ever takes the club back. That means nailing his setup.

“If you can make sure that you’re stacked, which means you don’t have crisscross lines, you can hit it solid,” Durant says. “When I struggle, like I’ve been struggling for the last month or so, my lines have been kind of crossed. My shoulders are going too far one way, my lower body is going too far the other way.”

Another way to visualize this is imagining you have alignment sticks pointing toward the target through your shoulders, hips and feet. In order to get yourself in position to hit a solid shot, you want all of these lines pointing in the same direction stacked on top of one another.

“You’re trying to get everything parallel,” Durant says.

2. Use alignment aids

As Durant hits shots on the range, he keeps two alignment sticks on the ground in front of him. One is inside his ball, while the other is parallel to it just outside the ball. Each serves a specific purpose.

“I’m trying to make sure that my footline is parallel to the inside pole,” Durant says. “And then the outer pole that I use is, it’s kind of like a guide for the club. If I can take the club along the same path on the takeaway, take it along the path, I’m in good shape.”

Durant says he has a tendency of sucking the clubhead inside on the takeaway, so the outside alignment stick gives him a visual to take the clubhead back along during the first part of his swing. If he can do that, he knows he’s taking the clubhead back on the correct path.

3. Tee it low

Generating as much distance as possible is a popular strategy among pros these days, and that usually involves teeing it high and swinging up on the ball. But when you want to promote accuracy, it’s in your best interest to tee it low.

“My launch is a little bit lower than average, but I try to take spin off of it in other ways so it chases out there,” Durant says. “Just try to squeeze it out there. When I’m under pressure I’m gonna tee it lower and try to squeeze it out there with a fade, and I tend to control it a little better, too. Everything for me is built around control, because I’m never going to overpower anything.”

Durant may not be the longest hitter, but he knows his strengths — and he does everything he can to maximize them to the best of his ability.

Zephyr Melton Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at