Shaping ball flight is a key skill in elite players’ tool bags. While weekend warriors are just trying to keep the ball in bounds, top players are thinking about not only hitting the ball close, but also the best shot shape to get it there.
There are two basic shot shapes in golf — a draw and a fade. The former moves right to left, and the latter left to right. Simple, right? Well, yes and no.
Most golfers — even novices — can reliably curve the ball in one direction or the other. The difficulty comes when trying to hit the ball the other direction. If you can hit a fade (or a slice), hitting a draw isn’t easy, or so it seems. In reality, though, shaping the ball both directions is simpler than it appears.
In this episode of Pros Teaching Joes, we’re joined by three-time LPGA Tour winner Celine Boutier, who shows us the basics of shaping the ball both ways. Check out the video above, or read below for more.
The high draw is a shot that every golfer wishes they had in their bag. Not only is it a beautiful shape, but it’s also useful for accessing pesky tucked pins. And while hitting a draw seems like it’d be difficult, in reality all it takes is a few setup tweaks.
When you step up to the ball, you want to aim your stance a bit to the right of the target. Next, you’ll need to aim your clubface at the target, meaning it will be a little closed in relation to your stance. Once you have the setup down, all you need to do is swing along your stance line and make sure you release your hands as you swing through impact.
“You’ll aim a little bit more right and have your stance a little bit more closed,” Boutier says. “Then swing where your feet are aimed. And then during impact you want to release your hands a little bit.”
If you follow these steps, your ball should start right of the target and draw back toward the pin.
Hitting a fade is much easier for most golfers, but the issue is they can’t consistently control it. Much like a draw, though, all you need to do to hit a controlled fade is change a few things in your setup.
The setup for a fade is basically the exact opposite of what you do for a draw. Line up with your stance open to the target line and then aim your clubface at the target. Once again, you’ll want to swing along your stance line, but this time, hold off your release a bit longer as you swing through impact.
“Just like a normal swing with my stance,” Boutier says. “But I will try to keep my hands a little bit more passive towards impact so I can leave the clubface a little open.”
If done correctly, the ball should start just left of your target line and work back toward the pin.
Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com 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 email@example.com.
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