Learn how to 'shape' your golf shots

It is important in playing good golf to learn how to hit shots that have shape. Learning how to hit the ball left-to-right and right-to-left, as well as high and low, will help lower your scores.

For right-handed golfers, a left-to-right shot, is called a "fade." Just remember that to start a shot to the left, you need to move three things to the left during your set-up position.

Start with your grip. Move both hands left or counterclockwise, so you see only one knuckle on your left hand.

Next, move your ball position left closer to your left heel.

Finally, align your body to the left with your feet, knees, hips and shoulders (open stance).

Now all you have to do is swing along your body line (outside-in) to the target but keep the clubface square to the target. A fade will cause the ball to fly higher than normal and often stop more quickly. Short irons into the green to a front pin position is a great time to hit the fade.

The opposite curve (right-to-left shot) is called a "draw." You will reverse everything you did for the fade. To draw the ball, remember to move three things to the right during your set-up position.

Start with your grip. Hold the club lightly and move both hands right on the grip or clockwise so you see three knuckles on your left hand.

Next move your ball position to the right closer to the center of your stance.

Finally, align your body to the right with your feet, knees, hips and shoulders (close your stance).

Now all you have to do is swing along your body line (inside-out) like you are swinging to the right fielder in baseball but keep the clubface square to the target. At impact, make sure you let your right forearm cross over your left (called the "release").

To hit a high shot, move the ball position forward in your stance and tilt your body more behind the ball. To hit a ball lower, you need to move the ball back in your stance and have your weight more forward.

Work on shaping your shots on the driving range and your scores will improve on the course.

Dr. Jean Harris is an LPGA Master Professional and teaches at local courses. jean.golfdoctor.harris@gmail.com; golfdoctor jean.com


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