How to shape golf shots?


Shaping your golf ball can be difficult to understand at first but if you can get your head around the theory it can be quite easy to do.

By making changes to your setup you should be able to produce nine different shot shapes that will give you a fantastic number of options out on the golf course.

These consist of low, high and mid straight shots, the same for a fade and the same for a draw. These shots are produced by making changes to the setup position, which in turn change the swing path.

Remember that the swing path, the direction that the club travels before during and after impact, controls what happens to the curve of the ball.

The starting point of where the ball goes is relative to the face of the club. With this in mind the following will help you to confidently shape your shots.

Controlling trajectory

You will find that making a change to the position of the ball at setup will result in the trajectory that the ball flies on.

Move the ball back in your stance to produce a lower flight or forward in your stance to hit it higher.

Put down alignment sticks (a fantastic tool for working on shot shaping that can be found in most professional shops) like the ones pictured above when practicing.

They will help make you more aware of where the ball is positioned at address as well as giving you a neutral setup position from which to work back and forth from.

Hitting a fade

In order to shape the ball left to right (for right handed golfers) you need to swing the club on an out-to-in swing path.

As you take your address position aim left of the intended target with your feet, knees, hips and shoulders.

Aim the clubface slightly left of the intended target to mark the starting point of the shot. A great way to utilise alignment sticks again is to place one between your feet and the ball on the out-to-in swing path.

Place another down in front of the ball pointing at your intended target, so in the case of the fade your clubface will aim slightly left of that target line.

While the club is aiming slightly left of target it will still be open to the path.

Hitting a draw

In order to hit a draw you need to do the opposite if the above. To get the ball moving from right to left through the air the club needs to travel on a path that approaches the ball on the inside and exists the ball on the outside.

Remember that it is the path that controls the curve and the clubface that controls the starting point.

Use your alignment sticks again and point the face slightly right of the intended target line but still closed to the path.

Point your feet, knees, hips and shoulders right so that you make that inside to out path. Providing you trust the path, trust the position of the face and execute the shot confidently, the ball will draw.